Growing up in Cabrini’s backyard, it always seemed like destiny for Robert Dallas, head coach of Cabrini men’s soccer team, to end up at the university. Dallas, like many coaches, started out playing soccer as a child and quickly fell in love with the game.
“Soccer was the main reason I went to school. My parents didn’t really give me a choice, so I said I might as well keep playing,” Dallas said.
The beginning of a long-awaited journey
Shortly after graduating with a degree in education from Millersville University, Dallas found himself coaching his
alma mater, Radnor High School. While there, he saw a familiar face, Glen Jaskelewicz, a former Radnor High history teacher.
Jaskelewicz coached alone at Cabrini and needed assistance. Thus, in 2006, Dallas began his Cabrini coaching journey. Dallas started as an assistant coach, and after six years, in 2011, he quickly found himself filling the head coaching position.
Dallas believes there is some sort of fate in ending up in his own backyard.
“I often say it’s like one of those things that’s too close to home, but after coming home from college I finally realized it was in my backyard the whole time, and I wished I had considered that sooner,” Dallas said.
During his time as assistant coach, Dallas and the Cavaliers achieved 77 wins along with two Colonial States Athletic Conference title wins.
Now in his 11th season, Dallas has achieved over 100 wins, along with an Atlantic East Conference, AEC, championship title in 2021.
A recent win for the record books
Cabrini and Eastern universities showcased the “Battle for Eagle Road” rivalry game on Sept. 17. The Cavaliers came out on top with a 2-1 win. The victory marked the first win against Eastern University for Dallas as head coach.
“[The team] did a great job recognizing that this was an important game for them with the neighbor across the street. “It’s always been a close and hard-fought game, and this year we were able to find ourselves on the right side of it,” Dallas said.
A connection between a coach and his team
“I went to school to be a teacher. I’ve been interested in being an educator my whole life, and look at it as I have been a teacher while being a head coach. For me, the lessons these guys learn on the field about adversity,
overcoming challenges, and how to conduct themselves are lessons that go much further than just kicking a soccer ball,” Dallas said.
Andre Justin, a former member of the team and current assistant coach, discusses his past playing for coach Dallas,
“This connection means everything to me because he was one of the first coaches to believe in my ability to play at the collegiate level, and now he’s one of the first ones to believe in my ability to coach at the collegiate level. Not many people get opportunities like that at the age of 23. I am grateful for everything he has done for me and continues to do over time. Coach Dallas is family to me,” he said.
“For me, it’s been about developing young men, and I think we have done a good job of that and hopefully we can continue to do a good job,” Dallas said.