As a seven-time GSAC Coach of the Year recipient, Jason Surrell has solidified himself as one of the elite coaches in the nation. In his 12 years coaching Azusa Pacific, Surrell has led the Cougars to 12 national tournaments, where they have made nine quarterfinal appearances, eight semifinals appearances, and three times advanced to the national title game, including back-to-back NAIA runner-up finishes in 2006 and 2007. Last season he reached the 200-win plateau faster than any coach in NAIA history, defeating long-time rival Westmont 3-0 on October 12th.
Last year Surrell guided his team to an appearance in the NAIA semifinals, where they faced the three-time reigning national champions, Lee (Tenn.). Despite posting an early season 2-1 win over the Lady Flames, the Cougars fell 2-0 in the semifinal match. This year Surrell, one of the NAIA's most successful coaches, faces the task of leading the Cougars into uncharted territories as Azusa Pacific joins the Pacific West Conference in its second year of NCAA Div. II candidacy.
In 2007, Surrell posted his second consecutive 20-win campaign, advancing to the NAIA title game for the second straight season. After suffering an early-season 1-0 road defeat to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in a rematch of the 2006 national title game, Azusa Pacific reeled off a 16-game winning streak that landed them right back in the national title game. Along the way, the Cougars picked up their sixth GSAC title in the past 8 years, posting just the third perfect 10-0 conference mark in GSAC history, along with the program's fifth NAIA Region II championship during the same time period. The 16th win of the streak was an emotional 2-1 win over Lindsey Wilson, ending the Blue Raiders' back-to-back title hopes and sending Azusa Pacific back to the NAIA championship final for the third time under Surrell. Four Cougars earned NAIA All-Tournament recognition, with Theresa Broad claiming the Tournament's Offensive MVP award. In addition, 5 players earned NAIA All-American recognition, and 6 were named to the All-GSAC team, including GSAC Player of the Year Randie Massro.
One year earlier, in just the third game of his seventh season as a head coach, Surrell became the second-fastest coach in NAIA history to post 100 career wins. Surrell hit the milestone mark in just his 127th game as a collegiate head coach. With an 11-year coaching mark of 193-27-17, his .850 career winning percentage makes Surrell the all-time winningest coach in NAIA history in terms of win percentage. In addition, he sits atop the Cougars' career coaching list with well over twice as many victories as any other coach in Cougar women's soccer history.
In his rookie campaign in 2000, Surrell orchestrated the Cougars to a 19-3-3 mark while bettering that the following year when the Cougars finished 17-1-1 and earned their fourth straight trip to the NAIA semifinals, where they fell to Oklahoma City in a shootout. In 2002, the Cougars finished 16-4-0, advancing to the NAIA title game for just the second time in school history, and in 2003, Azusa Pacific went 13-4-3 and made its sixth consecutive NAIA quarterfinal appearance. In 2004, a 15-2-1 Cougar squad was upset in the first round of the NAIA Tournament. In 2005, Surrell and the Cougars put together an unbeaten streak of 21 games before bowing out of the NAIA Tournament in the quarterfinals with a 17-1-4 mark. With a 7-0-3 record in GSAC play, Surrell and the Cougars re-claimed the conference crown after back-to-back second-place finishes. His 2006 squad posted a 9-1 conference record for the program's sixth GSAC title, and a 14-game winning streak landed the Cougars in the NAIA title game, where they found themselves tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation, despite out-shooting Lindsey Wilson by a 26-8 margin. In the fourth overtime, Lindsey Wilson scored the golden goal to steal the national title away from Azusa Pacific.
Under Surrell's direction, Azusa Pacific has gone 93-8-6 in GSAC play over the past 11 seasons, the best run of any team in the conference in that time. Fittingly, Surrell has been named GSAC Coach of the Year each of his first 3 seasons at the helm, again for 3 straight seasons from 2005 to 2007, and most previously in 2009.
In the summer of 2008, Surrell coached the Los Angeles Legends FC's first-ever representative in the United Soccer Leagues' W-League, the USL's highest level of women's soccer in the United States and Canada.
An assistant coach for 4 seasons, Surrell became the head coach in 2000 when Christian Johnson was named the director of soccer at Cal State San Bernardino. While Azusa Pacific was in between coaches during the spring of 1997, Surrell coordinated the recruiting effort that landed eventual NAIA Players of the Year Kendra Payne (1998), Andrea Alfiler (2001), formerly of the WUSA's Philadelphia Charge, as well as NAIA All-Americans Janay Duran and Missy Myers in what has been termed the best recruiting class in school history.
His coaching career began in 1996 at Bonita High School in La Verne, Calif. Each of his 3 Bearcat boys' teams won the Valle Vista League championship (Bonita's first-ever league titles), with the 1997 squad advancing to the CIF semifinals. After posting a 57-15-4 record in 3 years at Bonita, Surrell took over the boys' soccer program at South Hills High School in Covina, Calif.
His initial season with the Huskies was a coach's dream campaign. After fulfilling a key role in Azusa Pacific's national championship pursuit in the fall of 1998, he then led South Hills to the CIF 4A championship with a 17-2-4 campaign in the spring of 1999, his first year at the South Hills helm. As a result of his prep title, Surrell was named CIF Coach of the Year.
A former Cougar standout, Surrell was a 4-year starter and a key figure during a successful period of Azusa Pacific men's soccer, playing in 75 games during his career, starting all but 4 of them. He scored 5 goals and tallied 13 points while playing for a Cougar program that posted a 43-29-9 record from his 1992 freshman season through his 1995 senior campaign. He patrolled the Cougar midfield as a freshman and sophomore but moved to the defense for his final 2 seasons of play. As a sophomore, he garnered NAIA All-District second team recognition.
A native of Orange County, Surrell prepped at Irvine (Calif.) High where he was a 2-time All-South Coast League first team selection. During his 1992 senior season, he was named team MVP and Orange County Register All-County second team.
Surrell, 34, graduated from Azusa Pacific in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in social science. He and Azusa Pacific alum Leah Stanley have been married for 10 years, and they are active members of NewLife Community Church in Pomona. The Surrells have a daughter, Taylor, and they live in Upland, Calif.