New Jersey Copa FC Tuesday announced the hiring of Fernando Barboto as head coach of its USL League Two team that will make its debut this year.

The current NJIT men’s head coach and former Cosmos B coach has signed a multi-year agreement with the club. Barboto will take a leading role in the technical direction of New Jersey Copa FC’s USL Two Reserve and USL Academy teams.

“Our focus from year one is for New Jersey Copa FC to compete deep into the playoffs every season,” New Jersey Copa FC president and founder Roberto Aguas said in a statement. “With the hiring of Fernando, one of the most experienced and talented coaches New Jersey has ever produced, we are off to a successful first step in launching this project. Simply put, Fernando was our first choice, and we are thrilled to have someone of his character bringing his talents and leadership to our organization.”

Barboto brings a ton of experience to the team. The fourth NJIT head men’s soccer coach in the program’s Division I era. Barboto has coached many players who have moved to the next level. That includes Mamadou Guirassy, who led the nation in goals (16) and was selected ASUN Conference Player of the Year in 2017. Guirassy was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 Major Soccer League SuperDraft by the Portland Timbers.

In his most recent season, Barboto was named 2019 ASUN Conference Coach of the Year, and, along with his coaching staff, was named United Soccer Coaches Atlantic Region coaching staff of the year, having led the Highlanders to the first NCAA appearance at the Division I level.

“I am so pleased to join the FC Copa organization and integrate the values and culture of this great club into New Jersey Copa FC,” Barboto said in a statement. “I am in lockstep with the vision laid out by NJ Copa FC president Roberto Aguas to compete on the field every season while creating a premier pre-professional side in USL League Two.”

Barboto has served as the head coach of the Cosmos B Team in the National Premier Soccer League, winning the 2016 North Atlantic Conference and advancing to the regional semifinal. Prior to joining NJIT, Barboto oversaw the revival of Iona College’s program. Over 13 seasons at Iona, Barboto had numerous conference award winners, All-MAAC honorees, NSCAA All-Region selections and more than 75 MAAC All-Academic picks.

Several of his players who went on to professional soccer, including three in MLS: Franklin Castellanos (Red Bulls II), Ignacio Maganto (LA Galaxy) and Victor Munoz (Sporting Kansas City). A Division I head coach since 2000, Barboto also has had stints at Saint Francis University and Lafayette College. He began his coaching career as head coach of the women’s soccer team at Montclair State University.

A 1994 graduate of New Jersey’s Montclair State University, Barboto was a four-year letter winner and a NSCAA All-American. He went on to play six seasons with the North Jersey Imperials of the United Soccer League.