Note from the Editor: This is an article in a series called "Wethersfield Heroes," where our students work to highlight and honor those in our community going above and beyond amidst the tumultuous year. If you know someone that you would like to nominate as a Wethersfield Hero, please contact Mr. Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by: Rei Betoja and Antonio Contreras
Rob Jachym is no stranger in the Connecticut soccer scene, and especially in the Wethersfield community. From a professional soccer player to one of the most recognized coaches in the state of Connecticut, Mr Jachym has created a legacy for himself so much so that some people could even call him a hero.
Robert Jachym moved from Poland to the United States in 1979 at the age of 5 years old. His left foot began to terrorize his opponents when he started at Maloney High School in Meriden, Connecticut. Being named an All-American in 1991 is what led him to his next step at the University of Hartford, where he was a second team All-American and graduated in 1996.
“[Jachym] is one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met, no matter what he does he always does 100%,” said college roommate Antonio (Tony) Leone. The dynamic duo are still friends to this day, so if anyone knows Rob, it's Mr. Leone.
With only one step left in a professional career, he was drafted by the Columbus Crew at the 3rd overall pick in the inaugural draft in 1997 . After 7 years in the MLS as well as the USL and 63 goals later, it was the end to Jachym’s playing career and the beginning to a new chapter.
Wethersfield did not understand how lucky they were when Rob Jachym became an assistant coach for the boys soccer team. But years later, it is relevant how he has changed the Wethersfield soccer culture as a whole. “I think this year's championship is a great example of what he has done,” Mr. Leone said. Rob led this year's team to another State Championship, the 5th under Rob and the 16th in the program's history, which is the most in the state.
But Rob reaches out past the varsity program and into the community of Wethersfield as a whole. Rob Jachym runs the Revolution Academy, which is a soccer summer camp that travels through the state of Connecticut, but for one week near the end of August it makes a stop to the town of Wethersfield.
A great number of those who lifted that trophy this year attended that camp as a kid and one of them being myself. This has made Rob somewhat of a celebrity in town. “ We couldn’t go into Dunkin Donuts without the people mentioning good luck Rob good luck boys keep it going coach.”
A hero can be defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Mr. Leone went one to say “It’s also great for the town players at the younger levels to have something to aspire to.” A hero nonetheless. Kids in this town grow up idealizing him and aspire to play on that field, under those lights, and maybe even one day live one of those trophies. So when it comes down to if Rob Jachym is a hero, the answer is obvious.
He took over the head coach role in the year of 2000 and the rest is history. Success was no problem for Rob and the eagles as in the first 9 years as a head coach he already won 4 state titles. He had already made a name for himself as a player but was becoming even a bigger figure as a coach. This legendary status was set in stone when he was inducted into the Connecticut soccer hall of fame in 2010.
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