Robert Morris University tabs Jonathan Potter as men’s soccer head coach
Moon Township, Pa. – Robert Morris University Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris King announced that Jonathan Potter has been named head coach of the RMU men’s soccer program.
“We’re thrilled to announce Jonathan Potter as the next head men’s soccer coach and we welcome him and his family to Robert Morris University,” King said. “We set out to attract the top head soccer coach candidates to lead what has become one of the rising soccer programs in the Horizon League. Coach Potter set himself apart from other candidates as a leader for multiple soccer programs that have won conference championships and competed in the NCAA Tournament. We talked to industry professionals across the college soccer landscape and it was a universal theme that Coach Potter is regarded as a highly desired NCAA Division I head coach candidate based on the remarkable job building and leading the soccer program as the head coach at Presbyterian College.”
Potter, a native of Winston-Salem, N.C., joins RMU after spending the last seven seasons as the head coach at Presbyterian. Taking the reins of a program that finished last in RPI in NCAA Division I the season prior to being named head coach of the Blue Hose, in just his second season Potter guided Presbyterian to the 2017 Big South Conference Tournament title and a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Blue Hose finished with a mark of 10-5-2 (.647), helping Presbyterian notch consecutive winning seasons for the first time ever and in the process establishing program records for wins and winning percentage.
“I’m honored to be named the next men’s soccer head coach at RMU,” Potter said. “I would like to thank Vice President and Director of Athletics Chris King and the search committee for giving me this great opportunity. I also want to thank Athletic Directors Brian Reese, Danny Sterling and Rob Acunto for their support during my time at Presbyterian. It’s a privilege to serve the student-athletes at Robert Morris. I’m excited to build on the great legacy built by many former student-athletes and coaches, and my family and I are delighted to join the RMU family.”
Over 25 student-athletes earned All-Big South accolades during Potter’s tenure at Presbyterian, while off the field the Blue Hose posted the highest team grade point average (GPA) in the athletic department during the 2021-22 academic year, finishing at 3.38. The same year the men’s soccer program also led the Presbyterian Athletic Department in community service hours. In each of his seven seasons as the head coach at Presbyterian, the Blue Hose were bestowed the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for finishing with a team GPA of 3.00 or better.
“Jonathan’s clear vision to elevate the RMU soccer program was evident from the beginning of our process, as he was quite passionate and enthusiastic in our discussions in his desire to become the next head coach,” King said. “His combination of experience, professionalism, passion and preparation stood out as we look to move our men’s soccer program to new heights. We are excited for Coach Potter to write the next chapter of success of our men’s soccer program and compete for Horizon League championships and NCAA Tournament bids.”
In Potter’s first season at Presbyterian in 2016, Potter orchestrated the third largest turnaround in NCAA Division I, as the Blue Hose posted seven wins, including a 4-4 (.500) mark in the Big South. As the No. 5 seed in the 2016 Big South Tournament, PC knocked off No. 4 seed Liberty, 2-1. That set up Presbyterian’s magical run to the NCAA Tournament in 2017, and Potter’s guidance culminated in 2021 with the first winning season in program history at the NCAA Division I level as the Blue Hose finished at 7-6-3 (.531).
Prior to being named the head coach at Presbyterian, Potter spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Elon from 2011-16. The Phoenix appeared in the NCAA Tournament four times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015) and were ranked as high as No. 8 in the country during the 2015 season. Elon claimed the 2012 Southern Conference regular-season crown and was also a three-time Southern Conference Tournament (2011, 2012, 2103) champion, while in 2015 the Phoenix were regular season co-champions of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
Potter was a four-year starter at Chowan University from 2006 to 2009, appearing in 68 out of a possible 69 matches during his career, including 59 starts for the NCAA Division II Hawks. Potter earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with a concentration in sport management from Chowan in 2010 and also earned a Master of Science degree in athletic coaching education from West Virginia University in 2012. At the professional level, Potter played for the Northern Virginia Royals Super 20, helping the team reach the 2008 North American finals. Potter also spent four weeks in the summer of 2009 training in Argentina with semi-professional Club Atletico Rivadavia de Necochea.
Beginning his coaching career at Davidson College, Potter spent the 2010 season as the director of operations with the Wildcats. In the summer of 2011, Potter served as an assistant coach with the Carolina Dynamo of the United Soccer League (USL). He helped tutor a team that claimed the South Atlantic Division Championship and qualified for the US Open Cup against other professional clubs. Potter, who owns a United States Soccer Federation National A-Senior License as well as an advanced diploma from United Soccer Coaches, has also various experience coaching at the youth level.
Potter and his wife, Melissa, have two daughters, Nora and Stella.