Now in his 29th year on the Middlebury coaching staff, Saward has developed one of the most consistently successful soccer programs in the country. He has led the team to 24 postseason appearances in 28 years, including five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances ('94-'98).
The '07 season was a magical one for the Panthers, as they captured the program's first NCAA Championship. Middlebury set a new school record with 18 wins against just two losses and a pair of ties. The Panthers also won their second NESCAC Championship. Following the season, Saward was named the New England and National Coach of the Year.
Saward earned Regional Coach of the Year honors after leading the team to an NCAA Sectional Final. Saward was honored by the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) with the Mike Berticelli Excellence in Coaching Education Award, given annually for long-term service to soccer.
Saward has also guided the team to a pair of ECAC Championships in '86 and '99 and the inaugural NESCAC Championship in '00. He was named the New England Coach of the Year in 1985, 1986, 1996, 1998 and 2007. He also has more wins than any other coach in Middlebury soccer history with a career record of record of 300-94-43 over 26 seasons.
Before joining the Middlebury staff in 1985, Saward was an assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for two years. He has also coached or directed several soccer schools and summer camps. Saward, who is director of coaching for the State of Vermont and chair of the NCAA tournament committee for New England, is a Senior Staff Coach with the NSCAA national coaching staff. He is a certified soccer coach of both the British and Canadian Soccer associations and holds the NSCAA Advanced Coaching Diploma. Saward earned his bachelor's degree in education at the University of London and his master's at Springfield College.
John Werner recently retired after 40 years of coaching men's soccer at the high school and college level. Most recently, Werner piloted the Spartans to an undefeated North Atlantic Conference season in 2010, and earned his third NAC Coach of the Year award. He has led the Spartans to three North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championships – 2004, 2007, 2008 – and three NCAA Division III Tournament berths.
Werner has coached three NAC Players of the Year, and produced multiple all-conference players. In addition to conference honors, Werner's teams have consistently produced members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Region teams, as well as NSCAA Scholar-Athletes and NAC All-Academic recipients.
Along with all of those honors, Werner’s clubs have earned two Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Tournament bids and two NAC All-Sportsmanship awards.
Werner is the All-time winningest coach in Vermont high school history, earning a 346-108-31 mark in 31 seasons at Arlington Memorial High School.
Werner was named NFICA National Coach of the Year in 1995, NSCAA New England High School Coach of the Year four times, was a six-time VSCA Vermont High School Coach of the Year and five-time Marble Valley League Coach of the Year.
Finishing his third season as Green Mountain College women's soccer coach, Coach Benjamin returns for his second year with Vermont ODP. Since his arrival at Green Mountain College, Benjamin has helped develop the program and has played a significant role in player development as Green Mountain athletes have received multiple North Atlantic All-Conference Team honors.
Before coming to Green Mountain, Benjamin spent one year as the assistant coach for the women's soccer program at the University of Vermont. During his time at UVM, Benjamin aided in the day-to-day operations of the program including the creation and implementation of training sessions and academic monitoring.
Prior to his position at UVM, Seth served as the asistant coach for the University of New England's men's soccer program from 2006-2010. Coach Benjamin helped lead the Nor'easters to a pair of Commonwealth Coast Conference championship matches.
A graduate from Southern Maine University with a bachelors degree in History and a minor in coaching, Seth holds a USSF 'B' license, NSCAA Director of Coaching and NSCAA National Goalkeeper diplomas.
Nathan joins the Vermont ODP coaching group this year, moving from his native New Jersey.
Nate started his soccer career at the young age of 5 where he played two years above his age. Around the age of ten he made the move to a club called Centennial where he was the top scorer every season.
Upon high school, Nate made the move to Jersey Knights, as well as making JV as a freshman. Throughout high school Nate saw many interests in him from college coaches. He made the choice to play at Montclair State University. As a senior in high school he sustained a back injury and was forced to red shirt his first year at college. Nate then transferred to a Division 1 school, New Jersey Institute of Tecnology (NJIT). From there he was a four year starter at holding midfield.
Nate has coached full time for Total Soccer Academy, as well as Match Fit academy, both in New Jersey.
Nate majored in Communications and currently resides in Burlington Vt. His favorite soccer team is Real Madrid and favorite player is Xabi Alonso
Elias was a four-year member of the men's soccer team at Middlebury, leading the team to its first NCAA Championship in '07. The '08 graduate earned first-team All-American, All-New England and All-NESCAC honors as a senior. He was also selected as a District I Academic All-American. A Vermont native from Manchester, VT, Elias was an NSCAA High School All-American and Gatorade Player of the Year.
Alex Elias returns to Vermont this year as the Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at Middlebury College and as the Coach of the Vermont ODP U17 Boys. Elias spent the last three seasons as the lead assistant at Division I LIU Brooklyn. While at LIU Elias worked in all aspects of the program, including practice and conditioning, recruiting, video analysis, scouting, academic monitoring, alumni relations and community service projects.
Elias graduated from Middlebury with a B.A. in Economics and holds his NSCAA Advanced National Coaching Diploma. Following graduation, Elias has engaged in a wide array of non-profit service ventures. He spent a year living in Kimberley, South Africa, working with Grassroot Soccer, a non-profit organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Upon returning to the United States Elias moved to Brooklyn, New York, as a part of the Teach For America program, a national teacher corps of recent college graduates and professionals who commit to teach in under-resourced public schools.
Elias is very excited to be back in Vermont working in college and youth soccer.
Coach Haddox is entering his 4th season with the Vermont Olympic Development Program. While having lived and coached in Vermont since 2003, Coach Haddox was born and raised in Northeastern Ohio, playing his entire career with top programs in the soccer-rich area, including AC Puma, Falcon Elite and The Internationals. Following a college career that saw Coach Haddox both captain his squad and earn All-Conference honors, his career ended with a second torn ACL while playing semi-professionally for the now defunct Wadsworth ACE squad in Ohio.
After years spent with a whistle in hand refereeing matches around the country, Coach Haddox is currently the Head Coach of the Harwood Union High School boys program, leading the team to a State Championship in 2007 as well as multiple final four and state final games in subsequent years; most recently being name the Capital League’s Coach of the Year in 2011. Coach Haddox’s teams have the reputation as controlling possession and playing a simple, highly-skilled match that often dominates opponents. Each season that he has been at Harwood, Coach Haddox has helped several players develop the fundamental skills and match understanding that have placed them into college programs across the country. “More than anything else, I want my players to be able to understand and appreciate the game for a lifetime, not just win a single match because they were faster or bigger; the beauty of the game is in understanding it, seeing it flow and develop – I want my players to get that.”
Coach Haddox holds the National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches of America, the Advanced National Diploma from the NSCAA, as well as the National-D license from the United States Soccer Federation. Coach Haddox is also a Senior Staff Coach with Capital Soccer Club from Central Vermont working with the U16B and U16G teams. “ODP offers our kids such an amazing opportunity to play with and be seen by some of the best players and coaches in Region 1; honestly, it’s an opportunity that you just don’t see in “normal” competition in a state with our population density. Moreover, I really feel that Vermont has made, and continues to make, huge strides in its ODP teams with dedication from the Vermont Soccer Association, coaches and support from all levels of the program; I’m looking forward to another successful season.”
Stephanie Haddox (Mead)
Originally from Rochester, NY, Coach Haddox played her club ball with the Rochester Ravens Youth Premier Program. As former captain at UVM, she earned a starting spot in the Vermont defensive unit as a freshman and never left the lineup. She played in all 72-career games, earning 69 starts. As a senior, Haddox anchored a Catamount defense that posted a 1.35 goals against average as a team and allowed just 26 goals in 2004, the best mark since 1996. She was named to the America East All-Conference Second Team in 2004. Haddox also earned a spot on the Brown and Gold All-Tournament Team in Laramie, Wyoming after helping the Catamounts win the tournament championship.
Coach Haddox graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and was presented with the Seman’s Trophy by the UVM Athletic Department as a senior. The prestigious honor is presented to the senior male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated a high level of athletic achievement and who earned the respect and regard of fellow students for leadership, loyalty, and service to the university. The UVM Women’s Center and Women’s Studies Department named Haddox the Student-Athlete of the Year in 2005. The honor is presented annually to a female student-athlete who has made significant achievements in her sport, academic and service to the campus community.
Haddox served as the assistant coach with the University of Vermont division 1 women’s program from 2007-2009. For 3 seasons, Coach Haddox was responsible for the team's video analysis, recruiting, and assisting with travel accommodations, as well as on-the field defensive tactical play.
Coach Haddox holds the National Coaching Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). In 2011, Haddox was honored with the Capital Soccer
Club’s “Impact Award” for her hard work and dedication to the club’s youth players.
Coach Haddox begins her 5th season with ODP and her 10th year with the Capital Soccer Club out of central Vermont. In her time with the club, Coach Haddox has worked with nearly every age group from U10-U18, and on both the girls’ and boys’ sides. Coach Haddox led the U17 girls to a State Cup victory in 2008 and was on the sidelines when the U12 Boys team competed in the 2011 Regional Tournament in Pennsylvania. She is honored to coach for the Olympic Development program again in the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
Iain Manson is in his second year with Vermont ODP, coaching ’99/00 Boys this year. Manson is currently GM at GPS Vermont. On the field, Manson has coached throughout New England in State leagues, NEP, USYS Regionals and USL SYL at boys and girls, Club and High School programs. Manson is in his second year as Head men’s soccer coach at Division III Johnson State College and is also Head coach with Nordic Soccer Club U14 and U16 Premier Girls teams this season.
Iain currently holds a USSF License, NSCAA National Youth Diploma, NSCAA Advanced National, NSCAA Goalkeeping Level 2 and Scottish Football Association Level 3 License. Prior to joining GPS Vermont, Manson was the Academy director and Head Coach at GPS Maine and coach at GPS Massachusetts.
Originally from Shelburne, VT, Milbank played for Champlain Valley Union where she was selected to the All-New England team as a junior and was an All-American selection, NVAC Metro Player of the Year, and Gatorade player of the year as a senior. She played her club soccer with Nordic and was a four year member of Vermont ODP. She went on to play at UVM and was a key member of Vermont's defense and central midfield appearing in over 60 matches. She was a two-time captain, and named to the America East All-Academic team in 2010, identifying her as a key element to the team both on the field and in the classroom.
Entering her second year as a coach with Vermont ODP, Milbank began her club coaching career with Far Post and is beginning her third season there. She also was the assistant coach for the Lyndon State College women's team for the 2012 season, and is currently an assistant coach for the St. Michael's College women's team. Milbank holds a NSCA Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification.
John O'Connor is in his first year as the Castleton head men's soccer coach as well as his first year with the Olympic Development Program.
O'Connor owns an extensive coaching resume that has spanned over 20 years at both the Division I and Division III level. Most recently he served as the head coach for the University of Rhode Island from 2006-2012. During his tenure with the Rams he won an Atlantic 10 Tournament championship and reached the tournament semi-finals on two other occasions. Three of his former players went on to play in Major League Soccer.
In addition to his work at the Division I level, O'Connor also served as the head coach at Division III University of Chicago from 1995-2006. In just his second season, the team reached the national semi-final and he was named the NSCAA Division III National Coach of the Year. He reached the NCAA Tournament again in 2001 and his team was ranked in the top-15 nationally. While at chicago, he served as a professor in the Department of Physical Education.
O'Connor earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from the University of Maine - Orono in 1984 and two years later completed his Masters in Education. Following graduation he spent five seasons (1990-1995) working as an assistant coach at Dartmouth where he was a part of two Ivy League Championships with the Big Green and also reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.