New men's coach at Gustavus
Michael Middleton has been named the new head coach of the men's soccer program at Gustavus Adolphus College. Middleton, a 1983 graduate of Leeds Carnegie College of Physical Education and Recreation in the United Kingdom, is replacing Larry Zelenz, who resigned in May after serving as the men's soccer coach for the past 24 years.
Middleton, a native of Birmingham, England, brings an impressive coaching resume to Gustavus that includes very successful tenures at SUNYAC schools Fredonia State and Cortland State in New York and professional coaching experience with English Premier League and English First Division clubs. While at Fredonia State from 1993 to 1999, Middleton directed his squads to four conference titles, two ECAC Championships, and three NCAA Tournament appearances. He was named the SUNYAC Coach of the Year in 1995.
In 2000, he accepted the head coaching position at Cortland
State University and proceeded to direct the Dragons to SUNYAC titles in 2001, 2002, and 2003. And once again, Middleton was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year, this time in 2001.
In 2007, he directed the Buffalo semi-pro franchise Queen City FC to the East USA Conference Title, and the squad advanced to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) national championship game. He recently completed two years as the Academy Year-Group Head Coach for the Birmingham City Football Club of the Premier League in the United Kingdom.
Set to begin his coaching duties in August, Middleton is excited
about joining the Gustavus community. He stated, "I was so
impressed with the friendliness and hospitality of the athletic
staff and College community during my visit. Everyone was so
genuine and welcoming and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to
join such an exciting environment." He added, "It really struck me
that the soccer student-athletes had such a good reputation around
campus. Nearly everyone commented on what friendly, polite young
men they were. That is a great legacy for Larry Zelenz to leave,
and speaks volumes for him and
the program. I look forward to continuing the tradition of bringing
bright and talented young men to Gustavus to pursue excellence both in the classroom and on the soccer field."
In addition to coaching the men's soccer team, Middleton will also teach in the health and exercise science department. An experienced educator, Middleton holds a master's degree in physical education from West Virginia University and a Post Graduate Teaching Certificate from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. He served as an associate professor in the physical education department at both Fredonia State and Cortland State teaching sports psychology, stress management, and advanced coaching methodology.
Middleton becomes the eighth head coach in the 42-year history of the Gustavus men's soccer program. The Gusties have compiled an all-time record of 418-182-90 (.671) winning 12 conference titles and making eight NCAA Tournament appearances.