By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School varsity girls soccer coach Justin Jordan is not related to Ramona varsity boys coach Michael Jordan, but they share the goal of building a strong soccer culture through feeder clubs.
Justin Jordan, known as “Coach J.J.,” was selected as Ramona’s new head girls coach in October— three weeks before the Nov. 10 start of tryouts.
“It was a little short,” Jordan said.
Jordan went through the hiring process after Tom Charbonneau stepped down as Ramona’s girls coach. Jordan is making his debut as a high school varsity coach this season, but his club coaching experience at Ramona FC gives him familiarity with the Ramona soccer culture, and he sought the job in an effort to make the transition from club to high school soccer more seamless.
“The job became available and I was coaching club teams here in Ramona with Ramona FC and the girls’ team needed a coach who was going to continue the development that the girls have been experiencing,” he said.
Jordan graduated from Poway High School in 2000 and played soccer for the Titans. He then played NCAA Division II soccer at Cal State University Stanislaus, and he also participated in the U.S. Open tournament with the San Diego United Men’s Club.
Jordan began his coaching career while still in high school. “I’ve been coaching since I was 16,” he said.
Jordan coached Poway’s freshmen and junior varsity teams. He has also coached club soccer with the PQ Premier, RB Renegades, and San Diego Surf organizations. Jordan has lived in Ramona for the past five years, and after taking a year off from club coaching, he began coaching what was then Ramona Intra.
Ramona Intra is now Ramona FC. Jordan is currently the organization’s director of coaches, and he also coaches the girls under-16 and boys under-14 squads.
Jordan’s varsity assistant with the high school team this season will be Dina Vizcarra. Noelle Schmidt will coach the junior varsity girls.
Ramona’s first home game this season will take place Dec. 7 against Fallbrook.
“We’re a young team, but we have talent and I hope to have a successful season, make it into the playoffs,” Jordan said.
Jordan also hopes to build a culture of successful soccer for the high school program.
“I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans and future Ramona High School girls at the games,” Jordan said.