Nate Daligcon, Seattle University’s associate men’s soccer head coach, has recently been inducted into the Rochester Rhinos Hall of Fame. Daligcon has been playing soccer since he was five, and over his career he has won four league championships and one U.S. Open Cup title.
Nate Daligcon became a Hall of Famer Saturday.
Bailee Clark: How old were you when you started playing soccer?
Nate Daligcon: I guess I was five or six. My parents put me in soccer to try to keep me busy, same as a lot of the other kids.
BC: What has been your favorite thing about soccer?
ND: Throughout the years, the connections, friends and players I’ve met have all made an impact. I’ve been able to travel all over the U.S. and internationally, and there’s some great memories with the teams and from getting to travel different places.
BC: Do you have a favorite place you’ve travelled?
ND: U.S. wise, I enjoyed Charleston. It was a nice city and a nice place. Internationally, I was able to take a trip to Japan with the Seattle Sounders. That was a great experience because it was my first time playing outside the country.
BC: In your soccer career, what has been your proudest moment?
ND: Game wise, when we won the U.S. Open Cup in 1999. It’s the oldest soccer tournament in the U.S.
BC: How does it feel to be inducted into the Rochester Rhinos Hall of Fame?
ND: It was not expected. But it was very humbling because some of the players who have been inducted have played with national teams and done quite a bit. I think that it is great to be mentioned with those players. I didn’t realize how many games I had played there, and it’s great to be honored.
BC: Early in your career, would you have ever seen yourself getting an award like this?
ND: No. I didn’t think that way back, when I started university, that it could be something to expect.
BC: Before your career took off, what were some of the things that motivated you to want to play soccer?
ND: I think one of the reasons was that I enjoyed it. There was also an opportunity to get a scholarship to a university, so it was a big part of being able to go to college. I was the first out of my immediate family to be able to go to college, and I think that was a big factor in the amount of effort I put towards soccer.
BC: What was it like to play for the Rochester Rhinos?
ND: It was an amazing experience. I got traded there. I was playing for the Sounders for my first year and got traded for my second year. I was sitting at home getting ready for practice and I got a phone call from the Rochester general manager saying that they had a plane ticket waiting for me, and they asked if I could fly out the next day. They had a game during the weekend and I had a big decision to make. I decided to move out there and try it out. I had a great couple of years. Rochester at the time would have 14 or 15 thousand people coming to the games, so it was a big draw. Unlike Seattle, Rochester is more of a small and close-knit community, and that took some getting used to. I would go to the grocery store and people would be like, “Hey good game last night” or if you didn’t play well, “Bad game.” I think that was an experience in itself. I was able to meet some great people and teammates, some of whom I still talk to. When I look back, it was probably my best soccer experience.
BC: Do you have any goals for the rest of your career coaching soccer?
ND: Just to keep learning. I want to keep improving my skills, and working with college athletes is great.
BC: How has the experience of coaching at Seattle University been?
ND: It has been fantastic. It has been everything that I could ask for in terms of development. I coached at a division two school before, and this is the next step up. I’ve learned a lot from coaching, and the team has been great. I think that now we are in a spot where we are in the Top 25, and we are looked at as a top soccer school. Even when we go out recruiting, we are always looked at as Top 20 or 30 in the nation. I think those are great things, but we always want to keep moving forward, working towards continuous improvement. We are always talking to the guys about improving on all facets of the game, and I want to work on improving on all facets of coaching as well. There are always ups and downs, but it has been great to be here for the last five years.
Bailee may be reached at