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New coach, new era for Scots men’s soccer

April 12, 2013

Courtesy of Dan Nolan - This week MC named WIU standout Kooten Johnson men's head coach.

Monmouth College athletics has tagged Kooten Johnson as the 12th head men’s soccer coach in program history after one season as an assistant.

Johnson coached under Barry McNamara, who last year juggled coaching duties for both the men’s and women’s squads. McNamara will remain at the helm of the women’s team.

Johnson is a 2010 graduate of Western Illinois University, where as a four-year starter, he netted All-Conference honors in 2010. Johnson’s father, Dr. Eric Johnson, is the head coach of the Leathernecks.

Johnson was given hefty responsibilities in his first year as an assistant, running daily practice sessions and recruiting on the road due to McNamara’s divided time between programs. It is thought that fellow first year assistant and former MC goalkeeper Nick Vyncke will stay on staff for the upcoming season.

Monmouth Athletic Director Roger Haynes cited Johnson’s appreciation of balancing academics and athletics. While at Western, Johnson earned two Summit League Fall All-Academic honors.

“I’m looking for hard-working, high-quality players. They have to show ability on the field and in the classroom,” said Johnson. “The team’s academic performance is just as important as the athletic performance. I feel that players with good character who balance the athletic and academic rigors will be a good fit for our program.”

Confidence in Johnson reads high from the onset.

“Simply put, we couldn’t have done it without him last year, and now I know he’s ready to take on the head coaching position,” said his predecessor, McNamara. “It will be a seamless transition, and that’s very important when it comes to collegiate athletics.”

Players also seem to be welcoming Johnson’s promotion. “He knows the game well,” said junior Isaac Hernandez. “His interest in making the team better is apparent which not only satisfies myself, but the team as a whole.”

As Johnson takes the stage, the curtain closes on the careers of six seniors, most notably Logan Simpson, who in two years was twice a MWC first-team honoree and tied the team lead in scoring with Hernandez in 2012.

The Scots hope the changing of the guard will signal momentum for a team who went 3-13-1 in 2012, ending the campaign on a seven game slide. In its 42-year history, MC men’s soccer has never won a regular season conference championship.

Cameron Line
Contributing Writer

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