Health Sciences Alum Leads Southeastern Community College Men’s Soccer to First National Title
Wisdom Ifeanyi’s deep passion for soccer drove his life-changing decision to move around the world from his home country of Nigeria to study at Indiana University South Bend.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to go to school in Nigeria. IUSB gave me the big opportunity of my lifetime,” says Wisdom. He chose to major in health sciences with a concentration in sports and exercise science so he could further develop his soccer coaching skills. During his time as a student pursuing his undergraduate degree, Wisdom also built up his professional experience by serving as the assistant coach to the women’s soccer team at IU South Bend with head coach Bobby Barnes.
“I love soccer,” explains Wisdom. “I wanted to study and understand more about the body, like anatomy and strength and conditioning, so I can be the best in my field.”
Wisdom is well on his way to making that major ambition a reality. His first season as a soccer coach for the men’s team at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa, culminated in winning the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Men’s Championship – the first national title win in the soccer program’s history.
“It feels amazing applying almost everything that I learned from school and being able to contribute to the success of my team,” says Wisdom.
To further build the knowledge to be the best soccer coach he can be, Wisdom is currently in the process of earning a master’s degree in coaching from the Ohio University.
“Coaching education is understanding that it’s not just about soccer or the right exercises, but also the psychology of players and managing relationships with parents, agents, and referees as well.”
Wisdom’s professional ambitions are to make a name for himself as a college soccer coach in the United States, and eventually return home to Nigeria and coach at the professional level.
“I want to be the first Black soccer coach to win the World Cup. No Black coach or country has won the World Cup or even made it to the semifinal. I want to be the first coach to take an African country to the finals.”
In addition to scoring his first national title as a soccer coach, Wisdom has also started his own publishing company, Chandellebooks, an imprint for EfineGlobal Publishing Inc, which publishes books for school children. He also became a naturalized citizen of the United States this year.
“I came here for the ‘American dream’ and the United States has opened their arms to me and given me the opportunity to succeed.”