Manuel "Mani" Hernandez
1968 Hermann Trophy Winner
College: San Jose State University
Hometown: Madrid, Spain
Hernandez was born in Spain where he spent most of his youth. He arrived in the U.S. as a junior in high school. Hernandez played youth U17 and U18 in Hayward, California. His senior year, San Jose State soccer coach Jules Menendez approached Hernandez about playing for him. In 1968, the Spartans went to the NCAA Final Four before falling to eventual co-champions Maryland. That year, Hernandez was selected as a first team All American and the 1968 Hermann Trophy recipient as the top collegiate player of the year.
Following college, Hernandez spent several years with San Francisco semi-pro teams. In 1974, the North American Soccer League (NASL) established a franchise in San Jose, naming it the San Jose Earthquakes. The Earthquakes signed Hernandez. He spent three season with the ‘Quakes, 1974-1976. In 1979, he signed with the Detroit Lightning of the Major Indoor Soccer League. After one season, he moved to the San Francisco Fog.
In 1970, Hernandez represented the united States Olympic Team at the Pan-American games, Hernandez scored two goals against Bermuda which allow them to go into the second round of competition for the first time in the history of the tournament. In 1972, Hernandez was selected for the U.S. Olympic Team as it began the qualification process for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Hernandez scored one of the two goals in the U.S. victory over Jamaica which put the U.S. into the tournament. Hernandez earned two caps with the U.S. national team in 1974, both losses to Mexico.
In 1976, Hernandez coached Leland High School (San Jose,CA) Varsity Men's soccer team to its first Central Coast Section championship and in 1982, Hernandez coached the Gunderson High School (San Jose, CA) Varsity Men's soccer team to its first Central Coast Section playoff berth, beating previous CCS champion Watsonville HS 11-1 in a 1st-round match. In 1983, Presentation High School in San Jose hired Hernandez, becoming the head coach of the girl’s varsity soccer team. Over the decades since then, he has taken Presentation to seventeen league championships and eight Central Coast Sectional titles. Aly Wagner and Danielle Slaton are among the players Hernandez has coached at Presentation.