Yorke hits 151, breaks all-time PLU record

Jake Bilyeu
Mast TV Sports Producer
bilyeujc@plu.edu

At the start of the season, Pacific Lutheran University Men’s Soccer head coach John Yorke had 143 wins, seven wins shy of the team’s all-time record. The team set their sights on 150.
It seemed like an average game when the PLU Men’s Soccer team took the field last Tuesday against non-conference opponent Trinity Lutheran.

After the Lutes defeated them 2-0, the game became an entirely new experience. Head coach John Yorke had just tied the all-time record for most wins.

The team beat Linfield over the weekend, bringing coach Yorke’s record to 151 wins, 100 losses, and 14 ties. Coach Yorke cherishes memories from special games like this, and has been for years.
“There’s always been a lot of good victories,” Yorke said. “The best memories are the relationships that I’ve formed with players.”

The soccer team rushed their coach, John Yorke, cheering after they won and broke the all-time record for most wins by a PLU soccer coach.
The soccer team rushed their coach, John Yorke, cheering after they won and broke the all-time record for most wins by a PLU soccer coach.

Some of those players stuck around after they finished their careers with Yorke, including assistant coach Jamie Bloomstine, who completed his 400th game with the team a few days before Yorke took his record.
“We are on the same wavelength,” Bloomstine said of his 14-year partnership with Yorke. “It’s just been a great experience, and I’ve learned a lot from John.”

Assistant coach Peter Voiles partnered with Yorke and Bloomstine after the duo’s first year together. Voiles said he has never regretted that decision.

“The friendship that the three of us have created is pretty amazing,” Voiles said. “Through traveling and working together, the two of them have become my closest friends.”

Voiles also added that the most impressive aspect of Yorke’s coaching is his ability to adapt. “Yorke can work with any team in any situation,” Voiles said.

Yorke gives his assistant coaches just as much credit and says he benefits from coaching with them as well. Together, the trio has produced a winning record for the team in all but one of their seasons together, including a first place finish in their Northwest Conference in 2011.

PLU Athletics Director Laurie Turner gives PLU Men’s Soccer head coach John Yorke the game ball after breaking the all-time record for most wins.
PLU Athletics Director Laurie Turner gives PLU Men’s Soccer head coach John Yorke the game ball after breaking the all-time record for most wins.

“When I first got the job, Jamie and I didn’t know each other,” Yorke said. “When he and I talked, though, it was a perfect fit right away.”

Yorke is also on his way to becoming the longest tenured coach in Men’s Soccer history. On the way there, he led the way to many memorable victories over the years.
“Over the years, many games have had a monumental impact on our team’s success,” Yorke said. “Defeating Redlands after they had eliminated us from the NCAA tournament was huge, as well as ending Wisconsin-Whitewater’s five year home win streak.”

While Yorke’s success may dominate the limelight now, he has always been quick to put his team first. That mentality has carried onto his current team.

“He’s always positive, regardless of the game’s outcome,” senior Jacob Beck said.

“It makes us feel like we are a part of the team,” senior Troy-Mikal Oliger added.

Yorke has strong relationships with his alumni, older players, and even first-year players. Sophomore and first year player Colin Davies as well as fellow newcomers have had no trouble integrating themselves into the group.

“Coach is always giving us opportunities to compete in practice,” Davies said. “It makes us all feel that we’re a team rather than individuals, which definitely makes us a better team.”
Yorke acknowledges that he mutually respects his newest additions.

“The contributions of our freshman and transfer class can’t be overlooked,” Yorke said. “I love the way that they have fully immersed themselves into the team.”

The season may not be over yet, but coach Yorke’s 151st win has provided a special moment that no one on the team will soon forget. The team still aims to make this a memorable year, and they’ll continue that journey this Saturday when they face Puget Sound on the road.

Hear more from John Yorke:

Samantha Lund

Samantha Lund was the Editor in Chief at The Mast, a student-run newsroom within Pacific Lutheran University, in 2015-16. Lund created Mast Magazine in 2015 to give students a forum for long form news pieces. She could be found writing for Pacific Lutheran University's Marketing and Communication site plu.edu or interning at MOViN 92.9's morning talk show in Seattle. Other places to find her content include: Alaska Airlines blog and website, The News Tribune and The Bremerton Harald.

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