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Michael Wilson scores Coach of the Year award

Michael Wilson, head coach for men's soccer, was awarded Coach of the Year. Photo by Andrew Larsen

Michael Wilson, head coach for men’s soccer, was awarded Coach of the Year. Photo by Andrew Larsen

By Andrew Larsen

Michael Wilson, the new head coach for men’s soccer, has an interesting story beginning overseas and eventually leading him to Waldorf College to coach the Warriors.

Growing up Wilson moved around a lot because of his father’s involvement in the Royal Air Force. He was born in Wegberg, Germany, eventually moving to England and finally ending up in Scotland. As a child Wilson played multiple sports including ice hockey, basketball, tennis and swimming, but soccer was his true passion.

Pushed at an early age by his granddad and his father, Wilson made the Elgin City Youth Academy Team, based out of his hometown of Elgin, Scotland at age 12. He later made his professional debut at age 16. Elgin City is currently in the Scottish League Two division in Scotland.

Wilson moved to the United States at age 20 because he wanted the opportunity to play soccer and go to school at the same time.

“In Scotland there’s not many opportunities to do both. You really are either going pro or your going into university or college. There is no real opportunity to both meaningfully anyway,” Wilson said.

After graduating from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, with numerous soccer accolades and a bachelor’s of science degree in health and human performance, he had a major life choice to make. He could continue his education or ultimately choose to go and play professionally somewhere.

“Through discussion I had with my parents and also some of my friends who are playing pro currently and have played, I felt that it was better for me to go into the coaching role,” Wilson said. “I wanted to stay in soccer throughout my life, and I wanted to get my master’s degree. That was something that was really big for me and I chose to do the education route because soccer careers don’t last a very long time.”

Wilson stayed and became an assistant coach at NSU while earning a master’s of science degree in health and kinesiology, as well as a master’s of education degree in school administration.

During his last semester of completing his master’s of education he coached the Glenpool High School girls’ soccer team. He coached the team to an undefeated 14-0 season and a state championship.

Following his period of time coaching at Glenpool he wanted to get back into the college game.

“Everyone told me don’t go down to high school because it is a very difficult process to get back into college after high school,” Wilson said.

Following the departure of former head coach Ryan Martin, Wilson got his wish and was hired on as the Waldorf men’s soccer team head coach in the fall of 2015.

The Warriors (8-9) finished the season with a 2-1 overtime loss to conference rivals, the University of Jamestown Jimmies, in the semi-final North Star Athletic Association tournament on Friday. Coach Wilson also picked up the 2015 NSAA Men’s Soccer Coach-of-the-Year following the loss.

“The goal this year for me personally, from a coaching perspective, was to go and just beat last years record. So for me the year has been really successful for us,” Wilson said.

Outside of soccer Wilson puts a lot of focus on academics and community service. He expects his team to one day earn an academic team award, and set an example for other teams to follow.

“We obviously would love to lead the way in shaping how other teams do things with regards to academics, how we conduct ourselves, professionalism and obviously the community,” said Wilson. “We do a very good job of supporting other teams so we can bring the whole sporting culture at Waldorf together in a more positive way.”

In years to come Wilson hopes to cement the Waldorf men’s soccer team as one of the top teams in the conference, and eventually one year have a winning season – a feat that Waldorf Men’s Soccer has yet to see.

“Coach has brought a new kind of energy to the program and I fully expect him to one day bring this team a winning season,” junior Stephen Jenkins said.