UMass men's soccer coach Sam Koch passed away on Sunday evening at the age of 59 following a two-year battle with sinus cancer. He was an excellent coach and an even better human being. Remembrances from across the nation have been posted on Twitter and Facebook. Below are some news articles covering his life and some very nice commentaries from area writers Matt Vautour, Dan Malone, Mark Chiarelli and Bob McGovern. Many have similar stories of cutting their teeth on the soccer beat for the Daily Collegian, as do countless others who have gone on to other jobs and professions away from sports. But they all come back to what a great person Sam was. And he was.
Funeral services will be held at Noon on Sunday, Aug. 3 in the Memorial Chapel at Northfield Mount Hermon.
Despite having to go through a second round of chemotherapy relating to the sinus cancer that arrived initially last summer, UMass men's soccer coach Sam Koch has continued to battle through and put a premium on family life and relationships. Koch spent an afternoon with Daily Hampshire Gazette writer Matt Vautour (@GazetteUMass) last week as the two discussed the past year and what lies ahead.
Sam Koch's legs hurt and he couldn't have been much happier about it.
After spending the majority of the last 13 months in varying states of discomfort battling sinus cancer, the fact that the origin of his soreness is the natural result of a 58-year-old returning to running is reason to embrace the pain.
"I went for a run yesterday. My legs are sore today, which is the best feeling ever," the longtime University of Massachusetts men's soccer coach said Monday, sitting in his Boyden office.
The UMass men's soccer team split a pair of contests over the weekend and now stand at 4-6-2 overall and 1-2 in Atlantic 10 play. The three points with six games remaining in the schedule place the Minutemen tied for 11th place in the 16-team league. The top eight teams with the highest point totals in conference games will qualify for the postseason tournament, held Nov. 8-11 in Charlotte.
Here is a recap of both contests from Dan Malone of the Daily Collegian.
The website Soccer Banter recently conducted a Q&A with head men's soccer coach Sam Koch about his 30 years of coaching soccer and his current battle with sinus cancer.
Sometimes fate helps you meet great people. Sam Koch, the University of Massachusetts Head Men's Soccer Coach, is one of those great people that I've been fortunate to meet. Though I am finally officially interviewing him, it seems like over the past two years I have been interviewing him on a daily basis: whether it's in his office, or over lunch, or when we are really lucky with a pint in our hand. Sam can tell a story unlike many others, and he has plenty of stories to tell (sometimes you're real lucky and hear them for a 2nd or 3rd time). He has been coaching college soccer for over 30 years, serving as the head coach at Stanford for six years, and currently in his 22nd year at UMass. In August, Koch was diagnosed with sinus cancer. Not surprisingly, he's approaching this battle head on, and with the same resilient attitude he brings to work everyday.
The men's soccer team suffered its first home loss on Tuesday, 2-0 at the hands of a very good Syracuse team. The Minutemen had four shots in the contest, including a close-in header by Matt Keys that went just high of the crossbar late in the second half.
The Minutemen will play an exhibition game at Montreal on Sunday before opening Atlantic 10 play next weekend at Rhode Island.
Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican has an in-depth article with longtime UMass men's soccer coach Sam Koch and his ongoing battle with sinus cancer, which has included daily trips to Boston for treatments.
By Brian Henry on August 28, 2012 8:25 AM
The UMass men's soccer team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 1-0 win over Vermont on Monday. That's back-to-back shutouts for head coach Sam Koch's boys so far, with a doubleheader at Rudd Field against Harvard on Friday. The women get things started at 1:30 p.m., followed by the men at 4 p.m. Admission is free.
Check out some recaps, photo galleries and post-game interviews below.
Stephen Hewitt looks at the beginning of the Atlantic 10 schedule for the UMass men's soccer team this Friday and Sunday. The Minutemen will host No. 14 Charlotte at Rudd Field on Friday afternoon and Saint Louis on Sunday.
It was a wild one on Saturday at Rudd Field as the UMass men's soccer team defeated No. 19 Bradley thanks to a late game-winning goal from sophomore Brett Canepa. The match was the non-conference finale for the Minutemen who will open Atlantic 10 play this weekend against Charlotte and Saint Louis at Rudd Field on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The UMass men's soccer team will head to Harvard tonight for a 7 PM kick-off before returning home on Sunday to host Boston University at Rudd Field. The Daily Collegian has a pair of stories to preview the weekend.
Massachusetts men's soccer coach Sam Koch doesn't like to predict.
He doesn't like to gaze too far ahead into the future and would rather focus on what he can control now. But if he had to guess who the team's offense would revolve around and who the Minutemen's leading goal producer would be by season's end, he would be hard pressed not to choose his senior captain and star striker, Bryant Craft.
"It's the 20th year at the University of Massachusetts for men's soccer coach Sam Koch, and most of the changes have been off the field.
"I wasn't married then, I didn't have kids and my hair is a lot grayer now," said Koch, who has four children. "But as far as soccer goes, I'm old school. We had blue collar kids then and we have blue collar kids now."
And it's almost been forgotten that Koch was the head coach at Stanford for six years before taking the top spot at UMass. Overall, he has recorded 262 wins against 192 losses and 51 ties. At UMass, he's 204-139-56, including a trip to the NCAA Division I semifinals in 2007, so here's a guy that has some perspective on the game.
The men's soccer team heads to Charlotte tonight and then Saint Louis on Sunday afternoon to finish the regular-season schedule. A trip to the A-10 Tournament is on the line as the Minutemen need at least one win to secure a spot in the field of six. UMass currently ranks third in the league, while Charlotte is No. 1. The Daily Collegian has a complete preview of the weekend.
Tough weekend for the UMass men's soccer team as they fell to Fordham 1-0 on Friday and forced a 1-1 draw against La Salle on Sunday. The Minutemen, however, are still in the top six of the A-10 standings and remain a viable threat for both a spot in the tournament and a No. 1 seed with a huge weekend against No. 1 Charlotte and Saint Louis upcoming.
With two weeks left in the Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer season, things are starting to heat up. The Minutemen, currently in 2nd place, host Fordham who is log-jammed in a six-way tie for fourth today at Rudd Field (2:30 PM). La Salle, who is also tied with Fordham, visits Rudd Field on Sunday (1 PM) which will be Senior Day for the Minutemen.
DeVivo hasn't had much playing time with the Minutemen this season, so one must wonder if this recent string of success will have any impact on him playing more often.
"It's tough, we've got to come out and practice everyday and that's how we base our playing time," DeVivo said. "I just come in and do my role. Coach talks about playing your role and if everyone does that, we'll be successful. So I'm just going come in and do what I have to do when I come in and see how it plays out."
The men's soccer team continues its march to the Atlantic 10 Tournament this weekend with a pair of games down in Philly starting today at Temple (2:30 PM). The Minutemen will then face Saint Joseph's on Sunday at 1 PM.
With the 1-0 win at Rhode Island on Saturday night, UMass remains unbeaten in the Atlantic 10 (2-0-1) and sits in third place in the league standings. UMass is two points out of second (Xavier) and and five out of first (unbeaten Charlotte) - both teams have played one more game than the Minutemen.
The Daily Collegian's Steve Levine recapped the Atlantic 10 opener for the UMass Men's Soccer team last weekend. The Minutemen shutout Xavier 2-0, which saw Morgan Brandso net his first collegiate goal last Friday before battling to a 1-1 draw with Dayton on Sunday.
Herb Scribner has a sidebar in Tuesday's Collegian regarding corner kicks last weekend. "Thus far in the 2010 campaign, the Minutemen have given up 59 corner kicks, with 15 of them coming in the first two A-10 matches alone."
After falling behind 2-0, Bryant Craft and Stuart Amick each tallied 2nd half goals and the UMass men's soccer defense settled in forcing a 2-2 draw with Siena to wrap up the non-conference portion of the schedule. Here are the recaps from the game:
The men's soccer team will host Dartmouth this afternoon (3 PM) at Rudd Field in the second-to-last non-conference match of the season. Steve Levine of the Daily Collegian previews the match and the Big Green's top-two scoring threats.
Despite scoring some timely goals and having several multi-goal games, the Minutemen haven't finished a lot of prime scoring chances. Herb Scribner of the Daily Collegian looks at the UMass offensive production and what UMass can do to put a few more goals in the back of the net.
Be sure to support the Minutemen at Rudd Field this afternoon. Admission is free to all!
Herb Scribner of the Daily Collegian wrote a sidebar today following the draw with Vermont about the offensive production the Minutemen have been able to accomplish after starting the season with that goal in mind.
Since day one of the 2010 campaign, Massachusetts soccer coach Sam Koch has stressed the importance of incorporating offense into the Minutemen's game plan. Thursday afternoon's match against Vermont saw the culmination of that idea. Despite drawing, 2-2 against the Catamounts, the Minutemen played aggressively on the offensive side of the pitch throughout the entire match, taking 17 shots, four of which were on target.
Join us at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday for the UMass Sports Luncheon at the Campus Center's Massachusetts Room 1009. The guest speakers today are Athletic Director John McCutcheon, football coach Kevin Morris and men's soccer coach Sam Koch.
Also, the Co-Athletes of the Week from the football team, Tyler Holmes and Jonathan Hernandez will be honored for their big games in the 27-23 win over William & Mary on Saturday.
The men's soccer team will kick-off the 2010 season tonight at Boston University. The match is slated for a 7 PM start at Nickerson Field. Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a season preview out today. Vautour writes "The University of Massachusetts men's soccer team features an experienced defense, two battle-tested goalies and one of the best players in the country in Ben Arikian. If the Minutemen can find a way to score some goals here and there, they might be pretty good." BU head coach Neil Roberts gives his thoughts of the Terriers and the Minutemen in this video interview.
Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican previews the upcoming season for the UMass men's soccer team. The Minutemen return the entire defensive unit, along with both goalkeepers, which led the A-10 last year and Hermann Trophy candidate midfielder Ben Arikian. The goal for this year, according to head coach Sam Koch, is to increase goal productivity. Thomas writes "The way the Minutemen play defense, just the smallest turnaround on offense could spell a return to the NCAA Tournament."