MU
Oak Leaves
February 19, 2016
Dave_Good
Men's head soccer coach Dave Good will retire in March.

Beloved Soccer Coach Says 'Good'-bye

Sarah Farnam

After 36 years of coaching soccer at Manchester University, Head Coach David Good has officially announced his retirement.

Though Good did not begin coaching at Manchester until 1980, soccer has been a major part of his life for as long as he can remember. A soccer ball was at his feet as he grew up in Nigeria, then as he attended Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, then as he played for Lancaster United, a Pennsylvania club team, post-graduation. Upon moving to North Manchester with his wife, Lois, he secured both assistant coach and grounds crew positions. “I’ve had the good fortune to be doing two things I’ve enjoyed since I was 3 years old: playing soccer and playing in the dirt,” he said.

According to Good, the most rewarding part of being a coach is the relationships that he has been able to form with fellow soccer-loving students. “The relationships developed with so many good people and the experiences we have shared together have been special,” he said.

Some of his favorite experiences that he’s had as a coach include coaching his two sons while they attended Manchester, and getting to know the unique perspective that international student-athletes bring to the team. Since he began, a total of 32 countries have been represented on the team, from a player whose family fled the war in Laos in an overnight escape to three Somalian brothers whose family spent over 10 years in a refugee camp in Kenya.

A notable experience that transformed into tradition was the first time that Good and his players traveled to Nigeria over January Session. The idea for the trip stemmed from a dream he’d had in which he and players from the team were climbing up a mountain near the area in Nigeria where he grew up. On this trip, when they weren’t digging trenches for water pipes, the team had the opportunity to play for crowds of 10,000, which included the Governor of Borno State and other dignitaries. There have been six other learning/service trips since, all of which have taken the players to Jamaica.

Since Good was appointed head coach in 1981, the soccer program at Manchester has grown exponentially. “When I first started, there were only a handful of guys on the team who had high school or club soccer experience,” he said. “That doesn’t happen anymore.” In fact, under Good’s leadership, the team has finished in the top four of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference 10 out of the 18 years that it has competed. “We’ve had a few disappointing finishes in recent years but I believe the team is primed to put itself back in contention,” Good said.

Next fall, when the Manchester soccer team takes the field once again, Good would like them to remember to put in their best effort both on and off the field, and to be thankful for the friends, family and even former coaches that come out to games to support them. “Remember that it‘s always another beautiful day in the Manchester neighborhood for this beautiful game of soccer!” he said. “Make the most of it.”