Harvard men's soccer Coach Jonathan P. "Jape" Shattuck, who led his team to the NCAA Final Four this past fall, resigned yesterday.
The five-year coach said that he was leaving Harvard in order to pursue a career in the field of sports law.
Shattuck compiled a 44-29-8 record in his tenure at Harvard, the fourth winningest mark in Crimson men's soccer history. The 1986 booters compiled a 11-4-4 mark on the way to the national semifinals, where the Crimson lost to eventual national champion Duke.
"The past five years have been the greatest of my coaching career," Shattuck said in an official statement. "Harvard soccer had definitely crossed a threshold, and I am very proud to have been a part of that progress. I think now is the perfect time to hand the program over to someone else."
No successor was immediately named. In his announcement to the squad Wednesday, Shattuck said he would find his successor personally.
"It was a surprise to everybody," Harvard Captain Paul Nicholas said. "It was a shock to everyone--nobody on the team had any idea."
Apparently, however, Shattuck had been considering his action for some time. The coach told his team this week that he had originally planned to resign after the 1985 campaign, but that he had been so disappointed with the season--Harvard limped home to a 8-6-1 mark--that he decided to stay on one more year.
"He was a great coach and very well liked," Nicholas said. "There's no ill-feeling--it was his own choice. Everybody's sad to see him go."
"Obviously I'm a little disappointed," Harvard sophomore goalie Chad Reilly said. "He's a great coach, and I really enjoyed playing under him.
Under Shattuck the Harvard program found a re-birth, reaching the NCAA tourney in 1984 for the first time in a decade. That tournament squad lost to UCLA in the national quarters, but the 1986 team defeated Yale, Boston University and Hartwick in the tourney to reach the final four.
The 1976 graduate of Syracuse served as an assistant coach at his alma mater and then in a smimilar capacity at Hartwick before becoming Harvard's 10th men's soccer head coach before the 1982 season.