The Keene State men’s soccer team tore it up this season, finishing the season with an overall record of 15-7 and an impressive conference record of 6-2. Head coach Rick Scott recently led the team in his fifth season for the Owls since taking over for Ron Butcher in 2014.
He finished his first season coaching the Owls with a respectable 12-7-1 record and grabbed the number three seed in the LEC tournament in 2014. The Owls also managed to make it to the LEC Championship game for the first time since 2010, capping off an impressive first season to say the least. The Owls would return to the LEC tournament in 2017 before falling to the eventual champions Western Connecticut State, losing on a penalty kick after having it tied up 1-1. In 2019, all the hard work Coach Scott and his team put in paid off as they hoisted up the LEC Championship plaque, the first championship with Coach Scott at the helm.
Coach Scott also played soccer for the Owls during his collegiate years, earning All-Conference and All New-England Honors; he was even the team captain in his last two seasons with the team. During his stint at Keene State, his teams posted a 57-12-6 record and grabbed three NESCAC Championships. They advanced to the NAIA District 32 Northern Championship, sharing the NESCAC title in 1975, and earned a berth in the ECAC Tournament. Scott finished his career in 1976 and went out with a bang as he lead KSC to a 2-0 win over Castleton State in the championship game of the NESCAC tournament.
Coach Scott noted that the success of the Keene State soccer team was built on a strong foundation back in the 70s and 80s. Scott said, “The 70s and 80s were when we started to build a strong tradition of winning here.” He reflected on his time he spent on the Keene State soccer team, saying, “It was fun. It was fun to build a legacy here, build a tradition of good teams; even after, I was an assistant coach for this team over 20 years.” Coach Scott also talked about what motivates him to come back every year and coach for this team, saying, “Number one: it’s my love for the game. Number two: the kids are awesome. You get really close with these kids and spend a lot of time with them; it’s just a really great experience.” Coach Scott also talked to the fact that it’s a different challenge every year with kids graduating and meeting the incoming freshman.
As a collegiate coach, Scott just wants to prepare his players for their world after college: the “real world.” Coach Scott said, “I want to make sure they get their degree, make sure they’re headed down a very good career path. That’s the most important part of coaching for me.”Coach Scott just wants to put his players in the best position to be successful. He also brought up the fact that what he preaches on the practice field can translate to the classroom, saying, “We talk about it all the time. It’s outworking everybody that we play. That contributes to life off the field as well, ask yourself: Are you going to work hard in the classroom? Are you going to work harder than everybody in that classroom?”
Jack Dey can be contacted