April 13, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - After serving the last 10 years as head coach of traditional region power Amherst College, Assistant Athletic Director John Benedick announced that Milton Gooding has been tabbed to take over the reins of the resurging MIT men's soccer team. Gooding's appointment marks the program's first coaching change in over 30 years, as Walter Alessi has stepped down after beginning a tremendous career with the Engineers in 1975. Alessi is retiring from coaching soccer, but will continue to lead the men's lacrosse program.
"It is a great honor to succeed a coach and educator like Walter Alessi and become the next head men's soccer coach at MIT," said Gooding. "I would like to thank John Benedick, the team and the entire search committee for presenting me with this opportunity. I hope to bring the same amount of success we as a team achieved on and off the field at Amherst to MIT."
Gooding is widely considered one of the region's top coaches and his career winning percentage of .697 ranks among the highest active winning percentages in the nation. Gooding guided Amherst to the NCAA regional finals three times since 1997, while adding trips to the Elite Eight and NCAA Final Four. Along with his father and co-head coach, Peter, Gooding compiled a record of 106-46-14 in his tenure with the Lord Jeffs.
"We're incredibly excited to have Milton lead our program," noted Benedick. "Walter is truly one of the Institute's legendary head coaches and his commitment toward the growth of men's soccer at MIT could never be overstated. Although it will be unfamiliar having a new face on the sidelines next fall, we are in great anticipation of what the future holds for our men's soccer program."
Gooding, who matched his best record at Amherst in 2006 (13-3-1), has guided the Lord Jeffs to numerous top-20 national rankings while Amherst's non-conference record during his tenure was a staggering 42-9.
For the last five years, Gooding has also been heavily involved with the Adidas Elite Soccer Program which is designed to identify the top 150 high school soccer players around the country. Before arriving at Amherst, Gooding served as the head assistant coach at Kenyon College, helping to lead the Lords to an undefeated season, a No. 1 national ranking and a trip to the NCAA Final Four. In two years with the Kenyon program, the Lords amassed a record of 32-3.