Viterbo University Athletics welcomes new Men’s Soccer coach, Roberto Yepez


Roberto Yepez will be Viterbo Men’s Soccer’s new Head Coach

Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

The Viterbo Men’s Soccer team has had a major change in staff following their historic 2022 campaign. Roberto Yepez has been hired to replace Luke Dunn as the team’s new Head Coach and has assumed his position in the role as of March 1, 2023. Yepez has experience both competing at and coaching for many levels, and he will bring this knowledge to a team which is hoping to build on the past two seasons of success. 


Viterbo Men’s Soccer has been steadily improving under previous coach Luke Dunn. Dunn was the coach for five seasons and was able to bring success to a program that had been stagnant for over two decades. In those seasons, the team improved from 2-13-1 in 2018 to 16-1-1 in 2021 – a program record for wins. They also made history again in 2022 earning a top 25 ranking in the NAIA for the first time in 20 years while finishing with a 15-2-1 record. 


During the offseason, Coach Dunn accepted a position as the Head Coach for the Purdue University Northwest Pride. In February 2023, Roberto Yepez, a former player and tenured assistant coach for multiple NAIA teams, stepped in to fill that position.  


Coach Yepez has had years of experience in competitive soccer as both a player and a coach. As a player at Lincoln Christian College, he demonstrated an elite work ethic, being the team’s Offensive Player of the Year in one season and Defensive Player of the Year in another. He also received all-conference recognition as an Honorable Mention. 


During this time, Yepez also played in the semi-professional circuit and made an impact wherever he played. He tried out for many simi-professional teams, training with the Chicago Fire Juniors, among others. He eventually competed for a season with the semi-pro club Baltimore Kings before returning to Illinois to create his own club.  


Roberto Yepez founded his own semi-professional soccer team, FC Diablos, in 2017. He founded the team in Bloomington, IL, with the mission to expand semi-professional soccer in the Midwest. The team competed in the United Premier Soccer League and the Midwest Premier league before disbanding in 2023. 


After his time in college, Yepez was the assistant coach at his alma mater, Lincoln College, for three years. Most recently, he was an assistant coach for Point University in Georgia during the 2022 season.  


At Lincoln College, he was instrumental in helping raise the team GPA from 2.7 to 3.3. Yepez gives an example of his strategies to achieve such high marks, claiming that “One of the things that I’ve always done is kept live standings of GPAs.” Employing “games” like this helps teams maintain accountability and transfer their competitiveness into the classroom.  


When asked about his role in building a positive team environment, Coach Yepez emphasized the importance of goal setting. “When I came in, I met with all the players one on one to discuss their future on the team and what their goals were.” And these goals have carried into training as well, with the team weightlifting and playing ‘futsal’—a type of indoor soccer—twice a week. They have also returned to the pitch, demonstrating their dedication to improvement during the offseason. 


Coach Yepez holds a strong belief that games are won between the margins and encourages his athletes to do the “little things” right. “I’m really picky with the small details: challenging a 50/50 ball, not losing a one on one,” he said. “If you’re successful in those small things, that adds to the bigger picture and helps you win more games.” 


Roberto Yepez is making the offseason transition to Viterbo Men’s Soccer’s Head Coach and is hoping to build on his new team’s previous seasons of high-caliber play. A head coaching change may be difficult to manage at first, but with continued hard work, the team is looking to continue their strength for another season.