May 19, 2024

Dawson-Brenton_14_EPThis season, Wittenberg has a new name in the position of head coach for men’s soccer. As the son of the program’s previous head coach, Steve Dawson, and a former assistant coach, Brenton Dawson has risen to the role of head coach for the fall 2015 soccer season.
Dawson is no newcomer to Wittenberg’s soccer programs, having been part of the coaching staff for the men’s team from 2008-2010 and 2013 through the present season, as well as with the women’s team in the 2013-2014 season. He is assisted this year by 2012 Wittenberg graduate Mike Lambeck.
Brenton Dawson’s connection to the sport runs deep. In his collegiate career as a player, Dawson had two seasons at Capital University (‘04 and ’05 seasons) and one with American University of Rome in Italy (’06). After graduating from Capital in 2008, he started his collegiate coaching experience with Wittenberg before going on to assist coach for Heidelberg University while attaining his masters there. He also assistant coached at Tiffin University for a season before returning to the coaching staff for Wittenberg soccer.
Though only nominally considered the men’s soccer team’s head coach this year, Dawson’s leadership role has increased gradually over the past couple of seasons.
Dawson said of the transition “It’s been pretty simple honestly, besides things on the administrative side I had been transitioning into that role over the past two years. I did all the recruiting and began taking over training sessions and game management more each year. It’s something I’ve been watching my father do since I was born so it becomes second nature at that point.”
His continuity with the program has eliminated many of the challenges that other new head coaches might face in an unfamiliar program.
“We graduated seven seniors and lost a top class international exchange student, but we also brought in 14 freshmen,” Dawson said. “We brought in way more than we lost, and nine of them have already seen significant playing time.”
Despite the turnover in roster from last season to this one, Dawson is confident in the team’s potential moving forward. The team consists of 34 players; 14 freshmen and 12 sophomores in addition to the other returning upperclassmen. Dawson believes that each one of his players has the talent to start on the varsity level at some point.
“We are stronger, as a whole, I believe, and in all positions, than we have been in many years. Goal scorers will start to stand out in time, but we have a lot of very important players that play their role at a high level.”
Dawson highlighted two big rivals that the team will face this season: Wesleyan and Kenyon. In particular, the Wesleyan men’s soccer team has been dominant in Wittenberg’s conference for the past 50 years.
The season has already begun with a narrow loss to Thomas More and a tie, undecided in two overtimes, at home against Heidelberg.
Their next match ended in a tie with Wittenberg and Otterbein scoring two goals apiece.
Be sure to look out for the young and talented men’s soccer team as the season heats up through September and into October. Conference play will begin Sept. 26 at Kenyon.

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