Coach Mike Middleton enters his sixth season at the head of the Gustavus Adolphus men's soccer program in 2015. After going 7-2-1 in conference play and finishing second in the league standings with 22 points in 2014, Gustavus entered the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the MIAC playoffs. There, the Gusties defeated Carleton 1-0 in the semifinals before claiming the MIAC playoff championship with a 2-0 victory over Saint John's. With its win over the Johnnies, Middleton's team not only claimed an MIAC-best sixth playoff title, but it also earned a trip to the NCAA tournament for the third straight season and 11th time in program history.
Gustavus was sent to Dubuque, Iowa, for the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament in mid-November. Following a 1-0 victory over Dominican University in the first round thanks to a late goal by David Lilly '15 in the 79th minute, the Gusties saw their season come to an end with a 2-0 loss to host Loras College in the second round. Gustavus completed its 2014 campaign ranked No. 25 in the final national rankings with an overall record of 16-5-1. Following the season, Lilly, Zach Brown '15 and Charlie Adams (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) were named to the 2014 all-conference team. Lilly headlined the MIAC's postseason awards by being named Player-of-the-Year - the sixth in the history of the Gustavus program. He and Brown were later named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-North Region Team for the third consecutive year. The accolades continued for Lilly, as he earned a place on the 2014 NSCAA Division III Men's All-America Team and was later voted Gustavus' 2014 Male Athlete-of-the-Year.
In Middleton’s five years at the head of the Gustavus men’s soccer program, the Gusties have compiled a 69-18-10 record overall (.711) and a 36-8-7 (.705) record in the MIAC, including a perfect 10-0 conference mark in 2013. He has coached 10 All-Conference players, two MIAC MVPs in Brown (2013) and Lilly (2014), four All-Americans in Justin Eglseder (2011), Lucas Thompson (2012), Zach Brown (2013), and David Lilly (2014), and three Capital One Academic All-American selections in Ben Ceder (2011), Sean Sendelbach (2013), and Braden Schmid (2014). Ceder was also the recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Middleton, a native of Birmingham, England, is a 1983 graduate of Leeds Carnegie College of Physical Education and Recreation in the United Kingdom. He brings an impressive coaching resume to Gustavus that includes 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. Middleton has also earned 10 conference titles during the last 14 seasons that he's been a head coach at Division III institutions.
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 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 head coach at Cortland State University, also in the SUNYAC Conference, and once again took over a program that had underachieved. 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.
|Synonym||Title||Times Taught||Terms Taught|
|HES-100||Physical Fitness: Conditioning||18||2016/SP, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, 2014/FA, 2014/SP, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2012/SP, 2011/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/FA|
|HES-116||Weight Training||12||2016/SP, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, 2014/FA, 2014/SP, 2013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2012/SP, 2011/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/FA|
|HES-151||Men's Soccer||12||2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA|
|HES-269||Men's Soccer Practicum||5||2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, and 2011/FA|
|NDL-228||Spanish Sport & Cultr||1||2014/JN|