Head men's soccer coach Marlon LeBlanc said he is humbled and blessed to be the first African-American head coach in West Virginia University history.
LeBlanc began his 13-year tenure in 2006 when he was hired to be the head coach of the men’s soccer team at WVU. Prior to West Virginia, LeBlanc had served as the assistant coach for the men’s soccer team at Penn State from 2001-2005.
“We’re all West Virginians, this is my home, this is a state that I love. I grew up in New Jersey and went to school in Pennsylvania but West Virginia is my home,” LeBlanc said.
Before 2018, the Mountaineers had compiled a 114-84-32 mark and had secured 24 Top-25 victories through 12 seasons with LeBlanc at the helm. The last two seasons have seen LeBlanc guide West Virginia to top-25 rankings throughout each season, and, in 2015, LeBlanc led a team that achieved their fourth consecutive Mid-American Conference Championship.
LeBlanc is also known for holding all of his players to high standards in the classroom. In 2017, LeBlanc earned his 10th consecutive United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award. Over the course of LeBlanc’s career at WVU, his teams have obtained at least a 3.0 GPA each semester since 2007, his second year as head coach.
In 2007, LeBlanc created an organization called “One WVU” that helped recognize all races and focus on the only colors that matter at WVU: blue and gold.
“One of our players at the time [Donald La Guerre] was walking down the street and somebody dropped the ‘n’ word on him and he came to me and told me about it,” LeBlanc said. “I immediately went to my boss and said ‘We’ve got to do something about this.'"
LeBlanc said "One WVU' was born out of it with the idea that nothing brings the community better together than athletics
“‘One WVU’ was born out of that with the idea that the only colors at WVU that matter are gold and blue and not black, white or anything else and it really just kind of became a platform for diversity at WVU," he said.
LeBlanc believes it is truly special to serve as West Virginia’s lone African American head coach.
“I think it’s something to be really proud of, I hope West Virginia’s proud of it too," he said. "It’s certainly not something I necessarily dwell on or think about every day, but it is something that I definitely feel is important to me."