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FC Copa Academy Celebrates Black History Month: Sherwin John

Our second feature spotlight is Sherwin John. In his own words, learn about his role and his motivations.

As an Academy Coach at FC Copa, Sherwin brings 35+ years of experience as a coach and player to FC Copa. A mainstay at FC Copa Rutgers, Coach Sherwin also oversaw two teams at Millstone this season. Originally from Trinidad, Sherwin attended St Peter’s High School where he was team captain. He went on to play two seasons at PRATT Institute in Brooklyn. Coach Sherwin has led multiple FC Copa teams to state rankings and the NJ Copa FC U23 Women’s Team to undefeated and championship seasons. In between his FC Copa assignments Coach Sherwin is a full time Project Manager.

Can you please describe your experience with FC Copa?

The last 7 years at FC COPA have been a tremendous experience for me. The first time I remember coaching on opposite fields from Coach Roberto and wondered how he was able to sit quietly through a game while his opposing coach was "losing it" on the other half. FC Copa has always been a place that I said to myself, "one day I would like to coach there.” I brought my son over from NJSA Academy to play for Copa and Coach Roberto in 2013, and I was in Dallas with his team when he and I discussed me coming over to join the academy, one of the best decisions I have made. The class and dedication to excellence I saw was tremendous. I still follow them to this day. Over the past 7 years, the Academy has made tremendous strides in how we develop our players and coaches. I have made lifelong friends with coaches and players alike.

In what ways do you recognize and celebrate Black History Month?

I recognize the importance of this month for "people of color" as a way to understand the struggle of those that have come and gone before me and have paved the way for me to be successful in my career and as a soccer coach. I don't celebrate Black History Month in any specific manner, because there are 11 other months that also need celebrating. Celebrating for one month unfortunately is just not enough, as we need to continue to deal with and fight to resolve the issues that still affect people of color all year.

Who has served as role models and influencers in your soccer career?

There are a few people that have had significant influences on my soccer career. First my late father, who played at Cornell University in the 60's during the height of the struggle for equality. He always pushed me to be the best by working hard at my craft. Not the biggest kid on the field and playing center back, he made it clear that I needed to lead by example. I follow that motto still to this day. My High School coach Mr. Wilton Jackson was also a big influence, as he always reminded me that “a small ax can cut down a big tree.” Finally my late mother, who always reminded me to be honorable regardless of the circumstance.

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