MU
Oak Leaves

February 19, 2016

Dave_Good

Men's head soccer coach Dave Good will retire in March.

Former Soccer Players Remember ‘Good’ Times with Coach

Aaron Lloyd

“Today is a beautiful day to play soccer,” is something that Head Coach Dave Good said before every practice, rain or shine, for 36 years. Good has been a mentor and friend to hundreds of players over his tenure as Manchester University’s men’s soccer coach. He will be remembered, not only for his wins and losses, but also for the relationships he built with players during his time at the helm of Spartans men’s soccer.

Carson McFadden, a four-year Spartans soccer player who graduated in 2013, was someone who really looked up to his former coach. “In my time at Manchester, Coach Good came to represent a role model,” McFadden said. “He was our coach, of course, but he was also an incredible person as a whole—and that can’t be said for all coaches. He was and is a real, compassionate person, and that makes him someone who’s definitely a genuine role model.”

John Lash, who graduated in 2012, also thinks of Goodwith high honor. “Coach Good is just the best dude ever,” Lash said. “He always had a smile on his face and always just enjoyed what was going on. More than anything he made us all remember why we loved playing the game of soccer.”

Josh Collier, a 2015 graduate, agreed with Lash. “Coach Good, to me, was more than just a coach,” he said. “He’s a great guy, and truly cared about every player as a person and not just as some guy on the team. He was, in some ways, a mentor, always available to talk about classes, about life, or anything else. He was our coach, but he was also our friend.”

When it comes down to the kind of legacy Good is leaving behind as he steps down as head coach, his players unanimously agree. As Grant Noakes, a 2014 graduate, puts it, they believe that Good’s influence isn’t just on the field. “Coach Good has left behind a legacy that focused on building us into better people on and off the field,” he said. “He was a great mentor for all people.”

Collier agrees. “I also believe that his legacy expands beyond the soccer field; he made an impact on lives of the players he had,” he said. “I know he had a lot of second-generation players after coaching their fathers. And I believe that says a lot about him as a person and not just as a coach.” Collier also said that Good’s legacy on the field is huge, being a top 40 DIII men’s soccer coach of all time.

McFadden also believes that Good’s legacy will be remembered in a different way as well. “His legacy will be seen in the love everyone has for each other,” he said. “We always focused on team building and being together as a team, and when we played well, that’s when that feeling of togetherness was the strongest. The alumni game is a good example, actually. Many players come back to Manchester because of the experiences they shared under Coach.”

Players’ favorite memories of their former coach are spread out over various events. When Lash recounted his time under Coach Good, he broke down his memories into two different categories—on and off the field. “Off the field I would have to say the Jamaica trip and how he used that to demonstrate the importance of athletics, academics, and civics,” he said. “My favorite on-the-field memory would have to be his favorite quote, ‘It’s a beautiful day for soccer.’”

Dian Radev, an international student from Bulgaria who graduated in 2013 remembers one nail-biting game in particular. “My favorite memory with Coach Good is the big smile he had on his face when we beat Rose-Hulman at home 2-1, after we were losing 1-0 until the 89th minute,” he said. “I will always remember Coach Good saying that it’s not over until it’s over. I think we had a couple games that we won and almost gave him a heart attack.”

Noakes went another direction with his remembrance of Good, saying that his favorite memory with him was their Halloween practices when Coach would break out his pink pants for practice.

To announce his retirement from coaching, Good sent out a letter to his former players, so that they could be some of the first people to know. McFadden wanted his coach to know how much he influenced his life. “I want Coach Good to know that he was one of the reasons I enjoyed going to Manchester,” he said. “Soccer was a huge part of my life there, and he in no small way made that aspect of my college experience incredibly memorable. He showed us all what it meant to be a caring and compassionate person, and that, in my mind, is more important than any lesson on the soccer field.”

The players uniformly thanked Good for providing them with not only a coach, but also a friend and mentor.