Since arriving at Shawnee State University in 2018 as the Head Coach of Women’s Soccer, Natasha Ademakinwa has brought a powerful approach, a distinguished record, and a new network of connections in the sport to SSU. Last year, she was named the Director of Soccer, now guiding both the men’s and women’s teams.
A native of England, Ademakinwa grew up playing soccer and coaching at a young age with club teams and academies in London. She earned her first coaching license at 16 and continued to guide young athletes while playing the sport herself in her childhood and early 20s. Several of her athletes went on to play professionally and for England’s U21 national team.
Bringing over 20 years of coaching experience to SSU’s field along with eight division championships and four undefeated seasons from various programs, Ademakinwa is dedicated to building both the men’s and women’s teams with the best players from not just the region, but from around the world.
“We recruit from all over the world to bring the best-dedicated student-athletes to our program,” she said. “We have players from several nations in Europe as well as South America, Asia, and others, plus great players from right here in our region and nation. These are outstanding men and women who take both the sport and their studies very seriously.”
Now overseeing a staff of assistant coaches and fitness experts for both the Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams, Ademakinwa is looking forward to being an advocate and mentor to her student-athletes and their well being.
“These are students with a need for learning many lifelong skills,” she said. “From time management to basic organization and planning, as well as resume-building and understanding how to prepare for launching their career, all of these are critical.”
Coming off her first season as Director of Soccer, Ademakinwa is ready to expand the growth in her women’s and men’s programs this next year.
“This is a commitment from Shawnee State to build our men’s and women’s programs and provide the resources needed to compete in the NAIA,” said Jeff Hamilton, SSU Athletic Director on the announcement of Ademakinwa’s appointment. “We are excited to be able to have Natasha continue coaching and have her passion, experience, dedication, and leadership to help both the programs.”
Ademakinwa earned her master’s degree in coaching and sports education and holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology with health science as well as a degree in sports management.
To learn more about the soccer programs at Shawnee State University and other varsity athletic teams, visit www.ssubears.com.
This feature was initially released in the Shawnee Magazine 2022 issue. To view the full magazine online, visit www.shawnee.edu/magazine.