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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Student athlete & coach: Julian Patino

EIU Athletics
Redshirt junior Julian Patino kicking an extra point against Illinois State University. Patino joined the team after Eastern’s game against Indiana State two weeks earlier.

For most people, playing a sport and going to college is a lot of work, but in the fall, redshirt sophomore kicker Julian Patino kicked for the football team, went to school and coached the men’s soccer team. 

Patino was a varsity soccer player in high school, but he only played in his freshman and sophomore years. He stopped playing soccer to continue kicking for the football team in high school for Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. 

During his freshman year at Eastern, he was on the football team, but he was going through injury problems and wasn’t enjoying college football. 

“I was just like ‘Man maybe it’s not meant for me,’” Patino said. “I always had a longing or this thought that I felt like I was good enough to play at the Division One level to play soccer, and so I had this want still and ended up kind of going out on a whim and saying ‘Hey I’m going to give this shot a go.’ Ironically, coach [Josh] Oakley had just been getting hired here for the men’s soccer program, so it kind of worked out perfectly.” 

Patino was on the men’s soccer team for all of 2022 but didn’t play in any games in the fall due to eligibility problems. 

After that season, Oakley told Patino he could play, but he didn’t know how much Patino would play. 

“After some long conversation, he ended up offering me the idea of coming on as a coach with the soccer team my junior year, this past fall, and that’s kind of how it came about,” Patino said. 

Before the first game of the 2023 football season, starting senior kicker Stone Galloway suffered a groin injury and was not able to play. 

After that game, the special teams coordinator Kyle Derickson called redshirt junior long snapper Brett Galletti and asked him if Patino wanted to come back to the team. 

“I was with Brett at the time he got the call, and so as soon as he hung up the phone, he came out of his room when he was on the phone and he’s like ‘Hey Julian, would you want to come back and kick and play football?’” Patino said. 

During the season, Patino went three for three on field goals and 12 for 13 on extra points. At the same time, he was also a student assistant coach for the men’s soccer team. For three months, Patino took on the challenge of being an assistant coach for soccer and kicking for the football team. 

“I did spread myself a little thin, but ultimately it was just a super growing time, and I definitely enjoyed it,” Patino said. “It was an experience I feel like not many can say, and I’m super thankful and grateful that I was able to experience something like that.” 

Patino plans to stay on the football team and leave the soccer team as an assistant coach for the upcoming season. 

“I knew a lot of the guys as a player and then I was a coach with them as well, so there definitely is a lot of great friendship on that side as well. But ultimately, I decided that I was going to give football another season,” Patino said. “To be around some of my closest friends, Jack Valente, Brett Galletti, and finish out my senior year with those guys and that team aspect, being a player, and kind of giving it one last go for my senior year.” 


Luther Yoder can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

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Luther Yoder
Luther Yoder, Assistant Sports Editor
Luther Yoder is a sophomore journalism major. This is his first year at The News.

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