JOHNSON, Vt. - Saint Michael's College men's soccer head coach Wade Jean was inducted into the Northern Vermont University-Johnson Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday night. A standout three-sport student-athlete during his undergraduate years at the former Johnson State College, Jean has been a successful college soccer coach for nearly three decades.
A native of nearby Saint Albans, Jean played soccer for four years at Johnson, graduating in 1990 with a degree in elementary education. A four-year starter as a defensive midfielder, Jean was a two-year captain and led the Badgers to three Mayflower Conference titles and two NAIA Region V Western championships. He also earned the Bryan Wendall Award, given to the individual signifying the most dedication to his college's men's soccer program. Jean not only played soccer but was a member of the Nordic skiing and men's tennis teams at Johnson.
Following his playing career, Jean spent one season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping the Badgers compile a 16-4-1 record and a berth in the NAIA Tournament in 1989. The Badgers also won Mayflower Conference and North Atlantic regional championships during Jean's year as an assistant.
In 19 seasons as a college head coach, Jean's charges have compiled a 168-136-40 mark, as he has fielded accomplished teams at three levels. Jean spent three seasons (1990-92) as the head coach at Champlain College in Burlington, building the Beavers into one of the region's top Division I National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) programs. Champlain won a program-record 12 games in Jean's final year with the school.
Jean was the head coach from 1998 to 2005 at Division I Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, earning Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year laurels four times in his eight seasons. He left with the school record for victories, going 82-54-15. The Dukes posted five 13-win seasons, including each year between 2002 and 2005, advancing at least as far as the A-10 Tournament semifinals each of those four years, including to the 2002 title game. Under Jean, the Dukes made it to a pair of tournament championship games and earned at least a share of three A-10 regular-season crowns. Duquesne was ranked as high as 25th in the final 2003 national poll.
In two stints at Saint Michael's (2006-07, 2012-present), Jean and the Purple Knights have rattled off 60 victories while playing in one of the toughest Division II leagues in the country, the Northeast-10 Conference. During his initial stint, Jean inherited a program that had qualified for the NE10 Tournament five times in its first 19 seasons of league play. He promptly led the program to NE10 Tournament berths both years at the helm. The 2006 squad's NE10 Tournament semifinal appearance was the program's first in 18 years, and he was named NE10 Coach of the Year. After spending four years as an assistant - including the final three as associate head coach - at Division I University of Vermont, Jean returned to Saint Michael's in 2012. The Purple Knights had the most prolific offensive season in program history that year before making a return to the NE10 Championship three falls later.