FC Tucson

FC Tucson sticking with Jon Pearlman as permanent head coach

Jon Pearlman (Photo by Aric Becker/FCTucson.com)

FC Tucson has tried to find an answer to their head coaching issue for three months.

The Men in Black have found the solution, and the person was right there in the front office. Interim head coach, Jon Pearlman, who also serves as the technical director for FC Tucson, has been named the official head coach.

“I always wanted to serve this badge and this organization. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I had to come back here,” Pearlman said. “It helped me be a better coach and a better servant to the entire group of people that work here.”

The decision to make Pearlman FC Tucson’s permanent head coach was no easy task for Amanda Powers, the president of FC Tucson. After many interviews with potential candidates that ranged from college coaches all the way to those involved with USL championships, she felt that Pearlman was the clear choice.

“You need someone who cares about this city, the crest and seeing this team be it’s full potential,” she said. “It was pretty powerful hearing what a few weeks of coaching had sparked in Jon.

“At the end of the day, I couldn’t think of anybody better. He knows this community. He’s been coaching for two decades in this community when we look to the future of our academy program, our women’s program and our first team, having somebody instill all of the coaching attributes that you want. Developing the person and not just the player is something we’re incredibly passionate about.”

Pearlman co-founded FC Tucson in 2011. He then became the head coach in 2017 after former coach Rick Schantz left for a job with Phoenix Rising FC. Pearlman finished that season with a 9-2-3 record.

He then went on to coach the Oklahoma City Energy as an assistant the following year before returning to FC Tucson to serve as the technical director in 2019.

Pearlman took over as interim head coach June 30 following the mutual parting of ways with John Galas, who went 2-4-3 before the decision.

Since then, Pearlman dug his team out of 11th place in the USL League One standings all the way to playoff contention at sixth place following a seven-match unbeaten streak.

The Men in Black have gone 7-5-3 with their new head coach and 9-6-9 overall on the season with 33 points. His next goal is to help make the city of Tucson a hotbed of soccer stars again, starting with turning FC Tucson back into a winning team.

“Our vision was to grow soccer in this community, to bring MLS teams here, to inspire kids, to build fields, to make people know that this is a centerpiece of the United States soccer landscape, which seemed an impossibility at the time,” Pearlman said.

FC Tucson has Saturday night off this week but will return on Wednesday to face last-place North Carolina FC at Kino North complex. The match begins at 7p.m. There are four matches remaining in the season.


Nathaniel Martinez is an aspiring sports journalist who is a Sahuaro High School graduate and Pima Community College student. He has written for the Aztec Press at Pima. While at Sahuaro, he played football for longtime coach Scott McKee and he wrestled for the Cougars.

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