Zepeda, 26, is a former student at the charter school, where he launched the soccer program in 2014. The CSEE’s high school boys’ varsity soccer team won the City Schools Sports Association’s league and state championships in the fall of 2023. The high school girls’ varsity team won the CSSA’s league championship in their past season.
Zepeda coaches the middle school boys’ and high school varsity girls’ teams, in addition to managing the elementary school soccer program. He said good coaching requires passion and compassion, and he called the Positive Coaching Alliance’s recognition an honor.
“I couldn’t do it without the school leadership, the students, the parents, and the community. This is a great experience not only for me, but also for the school,” Zepeda said.
The Positive Coaching Alliance received nearly 500 nominations nationwide, and Zepeda is the only coach in New York chosen as a regional winner.
“The best thing about Mike is that he’s always looking at the next step, and I think that’s important for a leader, to have a clear vision of where they were, where they are and how they want to take the kids to the next level,” said Michael DeSimone, the charter school’s athletic director.
You look at Mike, and it’s more than soccer for him. The mission of the Positive Coaching Alliance is to change the culture of youth sports so that every child regardless of their social or economic circumstance, has access to a positive youth sports experience.
In the coming weeks, the Positive Coaching Alliance’s selection committee will identify 10 national winners who will each receive $500, and recognition on PCA’s website, newsletters, and media campaigns. One Coach of the Year will win $10,000 for their school or program.