|MC Square | Search|
Parents Progress Archives
Planning to Visit?
Men’s soccer coach Dave Brandt ’85 develops formula for winning games while building character in players
By Kevin Benedict ’02
Editor’s note: In addition to five national championships, men’s soccer coach Dave Brandt holds the highest winning percentage among all NCAA soccer coaches and reached 200 wins faster than any other coach in NCAA history. To gain insight into how Brandt develops excellence and impacts players, Parents Progress invited former soccer player and alumnus Kevin Benedict to interview him.
Fast forward to the coming fall which will mark Dave Brandt’s eleventh season as Messiah College’s men’s soccer coach and the start of the second decade of his incredible career. The first decade saw an astounding 203–20–12 record, five of the last seven NCAA Division III National Championships, and six of the last seven Final Fours.
What Messiah’s soccer program is doing, beyond churning out championships like cars on an assembly line, is what Brandt calls “playing to a standard.” It’s a standard that has not yet been achieved, he says. Given that the current juniors know nothing but national championships—and convincing ones at that—it may be a difficult concept for some to grasp.
But few of us, if any, can really know the inner workings of this mustached mastermind, whose four big inspirations are his father, H. David Brandt; his coach while a player at Messiah, Layton Shoemaker; famed University of North Carolina women’s coach Anson Dorrance; and the “whole Dutch vision for what soccer should look like.”
Add to the list, although perhaps not as prominently, Bono of the band U2. Brandt says he’s read a lot about U2 the past couple of years, and he quotes the words of Bono as an analogy for the team: “I judge success by how close I feel we are as a band to the melody I hear in my head.” For the soccer program, that melody is playing the game to perfection.
“When I took over as head coach I dreamt up a soccer program that was essentially Camelot on a soccer field,” says 44- year-old Brandt. “I wanted everything to be exactly as it ought to be for a team and a soccer program,” he continues decisively.
Read the full article...