After announcing his intentions last January, Middlebury College men's soccer coach David Saward will officially retire as of December 31. Alex Elias '08, who has served as the team's assistant coach for the past four seasons, will take over the program in January of 2018.
"I have had a wonderful time working with all the students and my colleagues for the past 33 years," said Saward. "This feels like the right time to hand the reigns over to a young man who I believe will take the program to new heights of success. Alex is a talented, astute coach who is highly motivated to move the program forward."
"David has been a model coach at Middlebury," said Director of Athletics Erin Quinn. "He is a master teacher to other coaches within Middlebury Athletics and to soccer coaches across the country. He has been an exemplary mentor to generations of soccer players, as evidenced in part by the success of his former players as coaches, in addition to the success of his program–he will be sorely missed."
Saward arrived at Middlebury in the summer of 1985, taking over the men's soccer and women's squash programs. He led the soccer squad to 28 postseason appearances in 33 years, including five-consecutive NCAA Tournament bids (1994-98) and 11 overall. He has more wins than any other coach in Middlebury soccer history with a career record of 359-126-59. Saward has coached 19 different All-Americans on the soccer field.
The 2007 season was a magical one for the Panthers, capturing the program's first NCAA Championship. Middlebury set a school record with 18 wins against just two losses and a pair of ties. Following the season, Saward was named both the New England and National Coach of the Year. In his final season this fall, he led the team to an NCAA bid after a run to the NESCAC title match as the tournament's sixth seed.
Saward's teams have also captured two ECAC titles (1986, 1989) and three NESCAC Championships (2000, 2007, 2010). He earned New England Coach of the Year six times, NESCAC Coach of the Year twice and the National Coach of the Year in 2007.
Saward completed his final season at the helm of the women's squash program in 2005-06 after serving 21 years as the team's head coach. In that time, his team won nearly 200 matches, coaching All-Americans Cathy Abrams '86, Vic Hoyt '90 (four-time) and Kelly Rivers '93. His squads captured three-straight Walker Cups from 2004-06, while winning again in 1995.