Matt and I discovered a cool, "it's a small-world" situation the other day. As it turns out, Matt's dad, Gail, a sports reporter for The Olympian, was going to interview my dad, the women's soccer coach at The Evergreen State College, for a pre-season article. Gail did a great job, so I'm including part of the article below. The Olympian can reprimand me for doing it, but I don't care. I'm a proud son! Way to go Dad! (BTW, Dad and I have the same name, so don't get confused.)

Committed to coaching
Evergreen's Mottola among new soccer coaches at South Sound's colleges
By Gail Wood

It turns out that cooking and coaching aren't all that different.

Just ask Paolo Mottola, who was weaned on both Italian soccer and Italian cooking. He's an entrepreneur with a kick.

After working 12 hours a day, six days a week for 20 years in a successful family restaurant business, Mottola sold a chain of four Seattle-area restaurants six years ago to do what he's always wanted to do -- coach soccer.

In 2000, Mottola changed careers and committed himself to coaching, beginning a fast rise up the ranks through youth, high school and college soccer. As the new women's soccer coach at The Evergreen State College, he's hoping he has the right recipes to get his team back into the playoffs.

"Soccer is my first love," Mottola said. "It was time for a change. I felt I had a lot to offer. My European background gives me a different edge."

Born in Seattle, Mottola lived in Naples, Italy, for three years, from when he was 10 to 13 years old in the early 1970s. He returned to Italy every summer through his high school years to play soccer, giving him an early insight to the sport.

That exposure, his commitment and his skill helped him develop into a player who made the Olympic Developmental Team, gaining all-region honors.

"I've been infatuated with the game since I first moved to Naples with my family," Mottola said. "I grew up playing in academy programs."

…Mottola brings an impressive resume as a player. Mixing time between winters in Seattle and summers in Naples, Italy, Mottola grew up playing soccer year around. But when it came time to choosing a career after graduating from Rainier Beach High School, Mottola chose business over a chance of playing college soccer, seeing the handwriting on the wall.

"By going into the family business, I knew I could make three times what I might have made playing professional soccer," said Mottola, who is married to his high school sweetheart, Vicki, and has three grown children.

Six years ago, Mottola threw himself into coaching. He's now the director of the South Hill Soccer Club, which has 1,000 participants ages 9 to 14 and has 94 teams. Mottola crossed the bridge to college coaching when he coached the last two years at Tacoma Community College, leading it to the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges playoffs.

Besides his involvement at South Hill and Evergreen, Mottola also coaches soccer at Lakes High School, giving him a full plate. But that's how Mottola, who replaces Erik Snyder at Evergreen, likes it.

"I'm doing what I love to do," he said.