Dante Zanatta will be a prominent figure on the local soccer scene this coming season.
Zanatta has been appointed the new head coach of the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s soccer squad as well as a new technical director for Kelowna United.
For the last three seasons, Zanatta was a full-time staff coach with the B.C. Soccer Association.
He also served as a coach with the Canadian Soccer Association at National Training Centre West.
Zanatta’s roles with the BCSA included involvement with the provincial team program, player and coach development programs and for the past two years as Manager of District Development Centres and Grassroots Programs in the province.
His resume includes a successful playing career and head coaching stints with Victoria United FC of the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL), and the Gorge, a Division 1 men’s team in the Vancouver Island Soccer League where he guided the club to a national final in 2002.
“I am really looking forward to the challenge of coaching in the BCCAA, and building a strong and competitive program for years to come,” said Zanatta.
UBC Okanagan athletic director Rob Johnson said Zanatta brings a good level of both competence and experience to the job.
“I think this is a tremendous opportunity for the men’s soccer program,” said Johnson. “Dante brings lots of experience and has an excellent reputation within the provincial soccer community. We anticipate that these qualities will assist him in recruiting the high achieving student athletes necessary to have our men’s soccer program competing for provincial and national medals.”
With Kelowna United, Zanatta will join current technical director Shaun Flanagan with a focus on player and coach development.
He will also assist in preparing the Thompson Okanagan team for play in the new B.C. Premier Soccer League in 2012.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Dante’s experience and background join our club,” said Kelowna United president Mark Krehel. “He’s one of the top coaches in Canada. He’s phenomenal and we’re lucky to have him.”