The below story appeared in our June 2018 magazine, which explored the Top 50 most influential people in soccer in New England.
▪ Men’s head coach | Tufts
The Tufts men’s soccer head coach opening wasn’t the first or the only posting that Josh Shapiro targeted in his quest to move into the head coaching ranks. But when 2010 rolled around, the then-Georgetown assistant felt it was the perfect fit — from the Division 3 environment to the location just outside Boston to the balance of academics and athletics.
“I really sensed that Tufts was a sleeping monster in college soccer,” Shapiro said.
His intuition was correct, as Shapiro has since guided the Jumbos to two national championships (2014 and 2016) and cemented the program as a perennial NESCAC powerhouse. Those achievements arrived after Tufts was stuck in .500 play for the better part of the 2000s.
Double-digit wins and deep NCAA tournament runs now are commonplace for the Jumbos. The standards are so high that this past season’s loss to Brandeis in the Elite Eight weighed heavily.
“It’s dangerous when guys are frustrated when you win the NESCAC and lose the Elite Eight,” Shapiro said. “I want them to be hungry, but there are other things that mean success beyond that.”
It’s an outlook that’s commonplace in Div. 3 soccer, but Shapiro made clear where he wants his program to be year in and year out. He wants to compete for a national title, and keeping that hunger alive is no easy task.
But with players fully committed to the Tufts experience in Medford, Mass., the rest tends to fall into place.
“Those kids will be happier to do the work and aren’t grumpy that they didn’t get into Yale or Harvard,” Shapiro said. “Let’s make sure we enjoy every opportunity to work out, to lift weights, to play futsal, to train, to be in the classroom.”
Along the way, Shapiro has enticed high-level recruits that the vast majority of Div. 3 programs can’t. They often compete with Div. 1 schools for commits, and that reality leads to losing out on some battles.
However, recruiting above grade — from the Development Academy and top-level club programs — has laid a foundation for long-term success.
“There are enough soccer players with ambition and quality here that players train in an environment that mirrors a D1 one,” Shapiro said. “But there’s more flexibility with timing and school. We don’t want to limit their experience.”
On the youth side, Shapiro also works as the technical director for SFC New England, a youth club based out of Winchester, Mass.
▪ Women’s head coach | Boston College
Foley’s imprint is all over soccer in New England, far beyond bringing Boston College’s women’s team to 14 NCAA berths. She’s the senior director of coaching for South Shore Select, runs the Lady Eagles Soccer School and serves on the Region 1 ODP staff. Beyond her soccer duties, Foley recently coauthored a book called “How to Coach Girls.”
▪ Men’s head coach | UMass Boston
Under Beverlin, UMass Boston has compiled five consecutive winning seasons, largely thanks to inner-city recruits and players from underprivileged backgrounds. Beverlin, who also is the boys director for Bostonarea youth club Valeo FC, has made the Beacons one of the region’s top Division 3 teams and a routine challenger for the Little East title.
▪ Women’s head coach | Boston University
With 13 NCAA tournament appearances, Feldman boasts a legacy at Boston University that writes itself. The Needham, Mass., native has made the Terriers into a coveted a Division 1 women’s program, one that competes for the Patriot League title year in and year out. She’s coming up on a quarter-century in charge of BU, which used to compete in the America East conference.
▪ Men’s head coach | UConn
Reid has 21 seasons as UConn’s men’s coach in the books with 287 wins and a national title (2000). The Huskies are a perennial top-25 program with MLS stalwarts goalkeeper Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union), striker Cyle Larin (formerly Orlando City SC) and defender Chris Gbandi (current Northeastern men’s coach) all playing their parts along the way. Reid played and coached at Division 2 Southern Connecticut. He also runs the Ray Reid Soccer Schools during the spring and summer.
▪ Men’s head coach | Amherst
Amherst is a small, liberal arts college in Western Mass., but those realities didn’t stop Serpone from leading it to the 2015 Division 3 men’s national title. His teams are among some of the stingiest in the country. They used their miserly approach to win five NESCAC titles from 2008 to 2016. Serpone’s teams typically include a blend of New England natives, domestic players from throughout the country and internationals. This Winchester, Mass., native also runs the Peak Performance camps on Amherst’s campus during the summer.
▪ Men’s head coach | Boston College
Kelly just passed a remarkable three decades as Boston College’s men’s coach, molding professionals such as Charlie Davies (Manchester, N.H.), Alejandro Bedoya, Zeiko Lewis and Kyle Bekker along the way. At BC, he’s inching toward 300 career wins and has guided the Eagles to 13 NCAA tournament appearances, including 10 since 2000. On the youth side, Kelly also is the boys technical adviser for NEFC, one of the region’s largest clubs.
▪ Women’s head coach | Williams
Winning has defined Pinard’s tenure as Williams, a powerhouse women’s program in the NESCAC, which arguably is the country’s toughest Division 3 soccer conference. Under Pinard, the Ephs have won two national titles (2015 and 2017) and eight NESCAC titles. Along the way, she has produced 12 All-Americans. She played collegiately at Dartmouth and also has coached for Middlebury.
▪ Men’s head coach | Providence
After earning his keep at Division 2 Franklin Pierce, Stewart was rewarded with the Providence College men’s job in 2012. He’s since led the Friars to three NCAA tournaments, reaching the Elite Eight in 2014 and 2016. That cemented PC as a premier Division 1 program in New England, one that has recently produced Mac Steeves (Needham, Mass.) of the Houston Dynamo and Atlanta United’s Julian Gressel, the MLS 2017 Rookie of the Year. With those accomplishments, Providence is a premier destination for local Development Academy players, routinely recruiting out of Oakwood, the Boston Bolts and the New England Revolution.