Michael Middleton


Head Men's Soccer Coach in Athletics and Instructor in Health and Exercise Science

In the third year under the direction of head coach Mike Middleton, the Gustavus men’s soccer team reemerged on the national stage after claiming MIAC regular season and playoff titles. 

Gustavus earned 25 points after going 8-1-1 in league play to share the league title with Carleton.  After defeating St. Thomas 1-0 in the opening round of the MIAC Playoffs, Gustavus secured a place in the NCAA Tournament by way of a thrilling 7-6 penalty kick shootout victory after playing Carleton to a 0-0 tie in the MIAC Playoff Championship.  In their first NCAA Tournament showing since 2007, the Gusties saw their run come to an end against UW-Platteville in the first round.  After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Pioneers bested the Gusties 3-2 in the penalty shootout. 

Gustavus completed its 2012 campaign with an overall record of 15-2-3.  Senior Lucas Thompson (Sioux Falls, S.D.), and sophomores Zach Brown (Eau Claire, Wis.), David Lilly (Maple Grove, Minn.), and Brett Ylonen (Lake Elmo, Minn.) all earned a spot on the All-Conference and NSCAA All-Region teams following the season.  Thompson was named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division III Men’s All-America Third Team and D3soccer.com Men’s All-America Second Team, while Ylonen earned a spot on the D3soccer.com All-America Third Team. 

Following the 2011 season, senior Justin Eglseder was elected to the D3soccer.com All-America First Team – the only All-American representative from the MIAC.  Senior Ben Ceder was elected as a CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-American and also received a prestigious Post-Graduate Scholarship from the NCAA. 

In Middleton’s three years at the head of the Gustavus men’s soccer program, the Gusties compiled a 39-9-9 record overall and a 19-6-6 record in the MIAC.  He has coached seven All-Conference players and two NSCAA All-Americans.

Middleton is a 1983 graduate of Leeds Carnegie College of Physical Education and Recreation in the United Kingdom.

A native of Birmingham, England, Middleton brings an impressive coaching resume to Gustavus that includes very successful coaching tenures at NCAA Division III institutions Fredonia State and Cortland State in New York, and professional coaching experience with English Premier League and English First Division clubs.

A recipient of the prestigious English Football Association Full License (FA Full Badge), for a long-time considered the holy grail for English soccer coaches, and notoriously difficult to attain. Middleton additionally holds hold the UEFA Advance License, the top examined international license in world soccer. Middleton holds the senior/professional level course award.

Middleton came to the USA full-time in 1990, and was one of only four FA Full License coaches permanently in the USA at that time. He coached at West Virginia University from 1990-1992. Despite being the assistant coach, he had complete responsibility for all team coaching, team selection, and recruiting. The team broke the school record for regular season wins, and the school record for goals scored in a season. Middleton also recruited a future NCAA Division I First Team All-American.

Middleton served as an assistant coach at Wittenberg for the 1992 season. Wittenberg’s team also recorded the most wins in a season, broke the school goal-scoring record for a season and reached the NCAA tournament. 

Middleton was appointed as Head Coach at Fredonia State in 1993, taking over a program that had been struggling.  The team qualified for post-season play for the first time in nearly a decade in 1994, and went on to win State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Titles in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998. The team was selected for the NCAA tournament in 1995, 1996, and 1997, and won the post-season ECAC tournament in 1998 and 1999. The team also broke the school record for regular season wins, and the school record for goals scored in a season.

Fredonia State was ranked number one nationally for part of the season in 1996, as well as number two in 1995, and 1997. Middleton recruited the first ever High school All-American in any sport to attend the College, as well as number of Junior College All-Americans. Middleton produced two First Team All-American, and six All-Americans in total, as well as four Conference MVP’s, and a number of All-Region players. He was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year in 1995.

In 2000 Middleton was appointed the Head Coach at Cortland State University, also in the SUNYAC Conference, and once again took over a program that had under achieved. Middleton proceeded to direct the Dragons to SUNYAC titles in 2001 (the first since 1993), and repeated in 2002, and 2003. The team also appeared in the NCAA tournament 2001, 2002, 2003, and broke the school record for season wins, and the school goal-scoring record.  He recruited the NJCAA Division I Junior College Player of the Year, as well as a USA U23 International player.  Middleton coached two-all-Americans, and three Conference MVP’s, and a number of All-Region players. He was named SUNYAC Coach of the Year in 2001.

Middleton coached in the Centre of Excellence at Leyton Orient FC from 2004-5, an English Professional First Division club in London.  He was the Associate Director of Coaching for a club program in Charlotte in 2006-07.  He was then appointed as Head Coach for Buffalo’s  (NY) semi-professional soccer franchise, Queen’s City FC, in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) in 2007, its inaugural season.

The Queens City FC team won the regular season NPSL Eastern USA Conference title, as well as the Play-Off Title and advanced to the NPSL National Final Four, and National Championship game. Middleton accepted a position in the Academy of English Premier League Club Birmingham City FC from 2007-09, as a year-group Head Coach. Middleton returned to the USA permanently at the start of 2010.

In addition to coaching the men’s soccer team, Middleton also teaches 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 Fredonia State and Cortland State teaching sports psychology, stress management, and advanced coaching methodology.

Courses Taught


HES-100 (Physical Fitness: Conditioning), HES-116 (Weight Training), HES-151 (Men's Soccer), and HES-269 (Men's Soccer Practicum)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HES-100Physical Fitness: Conditioning152015/SP, 2014/FA, 2014/SP, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2012/SP, 2011/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/FA
HES-116Weight Training102015/SP, 2014/FA, 2014/SP, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2012/SP, 2011/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/FA
HES-151Men's Soccer102014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA
HES-269Men's Soccer Practicum42014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, and 2011/FA
NDL-228Spanish Sport & Cultr12014/JN