Coach Tanaka holds the highest coaching licenses in the United States, the United States Soccer Federation National (USSF) "A" License, the United Soccer Coaches/NSCAA "Premier" Diploma and the USSF National Youth License. She has coached at the youth, club, high school and community college level to great success in Southern California and winning Championships at the Club, High School, Community College, state and regional ODP levels over her 33 years of coaching. Entering this 2019 season Tanaka has 1,988 career wins as a head coach at all levels. Tanaka recorded her 100th community college win in 2016 to clinch the South Coast Conference Championship.
Coach Tanaka was appointed to the 14 person US Soccer Federation (USSF) National Technical Committee for Player Development in 2001 and served through 2004. This committee was made up of the US Youth National Team coaches, then current US Men’s National Team Head Coach (Bruce Arena), then current Women’s National Team Head Coach (April Heinrichs), MLS and former WUSA players/coaches.
She has trained and coached dozens of players who have gone onto play at major University Soccer programs across the nation. In addition she has coached CIF-SS Players of the Year, NSCAA high school All Americans, collegiate All Americans, NWSL, WUSA and WPS All Stars, WPS Rookie of the Year, MAC Hermann Award winners, players who have played professionally overseas, players who have played for the Mexican National Team, and US National Team in Olympic and World Cup competition.
In her eleven years at Rio Hondo, 87 players have been recognized as All-Conference athletes, 8 have been named as the Conference MVP or Defensive/Offensive Player of the Year by the Conference coaches, 3 United Soccer Coaches/NSCAA Scholar-All-Americans, one USC/NSCAA National Scholar Athlete of the Year, 12 CCCAA Scholar Athletes, 2 USC/NSCAA All-Americans and 5 players have been the Rio Hondo Female Athlete of the year. Tanaka was named Conference Coach of the Year in 2014,2015 and 2017.
In those 10 years, 90 percent of Rio Hondo sophomores have transferred a record number of players to universities or were accepted into a professional program such as a nursing RN program. Many of the players received athletic or academic scholarships and continued their collegiate soccer careers. The team had a 100 percent transfer rate for sophomores in 2013, 2014 and 2016 leading the nation in transfer percentage.
Rio Hondo was also named an NSCAA Academic National Team for seven years in a row in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018 and 2019 was only 1 of 4 community colleges to earn this award.
Tanaka has been a staff and age group head coach for the Region IV –ODP/Olympic Development Program (representing the 14 western states) program, working there since 2003 and previous to that coached for Cal South's ODP program for many years. At the club level, she has coached for the Irvine Strikers, So Cal /Cerritos Infinity, NHB FC and the San Diego Surf.
She coached high school for 5 years at Chadwick School winning 2 CIF-SS Girl's Soccer Championships, 3 Prep League Championships and was named the CIF-SS Coach of the Year twice in 2004 and 2005. Her overall record during this 5 year span was 82-13-15 with an impressive 56 shutouts and 320 goals scored.
As an Assistant Coach at Long Beach City College in 2004 and 2005 she helped the team to the 2005 State Women’s Soccer Championship and the NSCAA Junior College #1 National ranking.
In 2003, Coach Tanaka received the US Soccer Federation-April Heinrichs/NIKE Coaching Award for her contributions and education in girl’s soccer. She has been featured in Soccer Jr. and Soccer America magazines for he innovative coaching techniques.
She is a strong believer in the benefits of higher education. She holds two graduate degrees and continues to search out higher education opportunities. Jennifer completed the 200 hour registered yoga teacher (RYT200) program and is a certified instructor from Yoga Alliance. She earned her first Masters of Arts in Business Leadership from Chapman University and completed the second graduate degree, a Masters of Science in Physical Education.
She played for the So Cal Futsal Academy in the Women’s Pro/Am Division of the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 United States Futsal National Championships’ where the team won four consecutive US Futsal Federation National Championships. As a senior in high school she chose to bypass her last year of playing high school soccer in order to play for the then #1 ranked women’s team in the nation, AJAX of Palos Verdes, CA. As a Freshman at UC Irvine, Tanaka set the school record for single season assists and is still a top record holder in career assists. She graduated from the University of California at Irvine (1995) in 3 ½ years while playing NCAA Division 1 soccer.