Most kids growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia are engulfed in football, baseball and basketball from an early age. Sahaydak was different, he chose to dive head first into soccer, which took him to places that most people only dream of reaching.
Soccer took him all over the world while playing professionally, it gave him an education at North Carolina and it helped him meet his wife and “co-worker”, Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak.
Now entering his sixth season as the Co-Head Coach of the VCU women’s soccer program, not much has changed for the 33-year-old native of Bethlehem, Pa., soccer is still his life.
“I think Tiff and I are both products of the environments we’ve been in,” Sahaydak said. “We’ve been fortunate to have been coached by some extraordinary coaches and to have played with some great people. We have the advantage of seeing things that did work and things that didn’t.”
The duo’s impact was felt immediately, leading the Rams to an 11-8-3 mark and a date in the CAA Championship game, with a roster of just 13 healthy players.
“The first year was something that we will never forget,” he said. “Not only was it our first year as head coaches, but the way our girls continued to battle and do anything we asked of them was just awesome.”
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about the future of the program under their leadership,” said Norwood T. Teague, VCU’s former Director of Athletics. “Since their arrival, they have done all the right things. For two people who had never coached at the Division I level, their growth has been significant. They were more prepared for this job than I even thought they were.”
Sahaydak rose quickly through the national soccer community, earning spots on the U-18 and U-20 national teams and gaining a scholarship to join the Tar Heels for the 1995 season.
In 1997, he was granted the opportunity to become, at the time, the youngest player to ever play on Major League Soccer when he played for the Columbus Crew. He spent two seasons with the club. He then joined the Miami Fusion for three seasons than the reserve squads for FC Dallas and DC United.
After his playing career came to a close, he returned to Chapel Hill and completed his degree in communications/rhetorical studies.
“It is interesting. As a player, I always responded
to that type of coaching, that individual coaching, much better
than I did having a coach stand up in front of the group,”
Tim said. “I just kind of melded into that. Tiff is
wonderfully talented as a motivator. She’s great at getting
up in front of a group.”
“It’s not like I can’t instruct and he can’t motivate,” Tiffany said. “Tim can but he’s fine with stepping back and letting me take that role. That is kind of what has gotten me through my career, having a really positive outlook on everything. I’m more outspoken about those things and more comfortable with that.”
The duo currently resides in Richmond’s Historic Fan District with their two daughters, Layla and Evie.