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Celestin to Receive Induction into Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 10/28/2012
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Ron Celestin will be inducted into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame on Nov. 4.
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications

Princeton assistant women's soccer coach Ron Celestin will be inducted into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame at a dinner Sunday evening, Nov. 4, at the Hibernian Club in Hamilton, N.J.

"Ronnie couldn't be more deserving of this award," Princeton head coach Julie Shackford said. "He is a true ambassador of the game and his passion for coaching Princeton's student-athletes is unparalleled. We are all so proud of him and feel lucky to work with him every day."

Here is Celestin's bio from the Hall's Web site:

"Ron Celestin has a long history within the Princeton soccer scene. As a player and coach, Ron has demonstrated his love for the game and he continues to make his mark on future generations of players. For his contributions, we welcome Ron Celestin into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame.

"A native of Haiti, Ron first burst onto the local scene as a four-year varsity starter at Princeton High School, leading the Little Tigers in scoring three of his four years. Princeton, with Ron's gifted scoring touch leading the way, won the CVC Championship in 1978 and 1979 while he garnered All-County, All-Group, and All-State honors during his high school career.

"His college career was equally successful. As a undergraduate defender for West Virginia Wesleyan, he helped the Bobcats win the 1984 NAIA National Championship. He also plied his trade on the field for local powerhouse Mercer County Community College and played semipro soccer for Team New Jersey from 1985 to 1990.

"Coming back to Princeton and starting a long career as a teacher and coach, Ron guided the Princeton High School boys to the 1995 State Championship during his ten years at the school. He was instrumental in the forming of the N.J. Wildcats women's program, coached a number of NJ Select teams and in the N.J. ODP program as well as being the technical director with the FC Magic program.

"Following his success in the high school ranks, Ron moved across town to Princeton University, where he assumed his duties as assistant coach with the Tiger's women's program, a position he still holds after 18 years.

"Ron's dedication to the Princeton community saw him being honored by the Princeton Public Library in 2005 as one of their "Unsung Heroes", an award honoring members of Princeton's African-American community "who in their own way have contributed vastly to the overall development and fiber of Princeton and the surrounding area through their profession, community service activities, talent or their everyday lives."

"A teacher in the Princeton school district and a member of the Princeton High School Hall of Fame, Ron Celestin is warmly welcomed into the Mercer County Soccer Hall of Fame."

Celestin was inducted into the Princeton High School Hall of Fame in 2007. At Princeton University, Celestin has helped the Tigers win six Ivy League championships, including in 2012, make seven NCAA tournaments, including reaching the NCAA semifinals in 2004, and helped players from his era rewrite the program's records.

Celestin will be one of two current Princeton soccer coaches in the Mercer County Soccer Hall, joining men's head coach Jim Barlow '91, an alumnus of Hightstown High who played at Princeton and returned to coach the team in 1996. He was inducted into the Hall in 1999.

Those interested in attending the dinner can visit MercerCountySoccerHOF.org to purchase tickets and for more information.

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