Coaches are often widely known around campus, but head soccer coach Kevin Gray is not. But, students may see him quietly walking through the halls after school or coaching on the sidelines during the games.
“I have always had a calm personality and it just carries over to my coaching. It takes a lot to rile me up and when others do, I try to be understanding and stay out of the heat of the moment,” Gray said.
This calm attitude could be the reason why Mount Michael became a competitive soccer team in Class B when he became the head coach. His personality gives him a strategic edge to help his team have the best chance of winning.
“Coach Gray is very good at picking up what the other teams’ tactics are during the game, and makes changes on the fly to help our team.” Assistant Coach JT Cronin ‘13 said.
Gray and Cronin have also adopted a style of upbeat and encouraging practices to emphasize the trust that they have in their players.
“His calmness makes practices very enjoyable, and he knows that running practices as a ‘boot camp’ will burn us out quickly,” forward Sebastian Esquivel ‘19 said. “Coach Gray instead stresses accountability among ourselves. He is never a coach that yells negatively, this all builds a great relationship between players and himself.”
In Gray’s 9th season as head coach, the team is filled with optimism as they try to build off of a 10-9 season last year. He wants to improve the speed of play in the midfield and finish chances on offense to increase the goal count. This new strategy has been a challenge to implement though due to weather conditions lately.
“In these wintery conditions and limited environment, I want to put the best product we can with the resources we have right now.” Gray said.
Gray has been coaching soccer at Mount Michael for 13 years. He started playing soccer in 2nd grade. He played until he cracked a vertebrae in his back and was unable to play anymore. Gray immediately found a passion in coaching to stay involved in soccer.
He has also, recently, made an improvement to his health by going on a diet at Profile by Sanford on October 1. The diet incorporated more salads and vegetables which helped him lose 70 pounds as of February 26.
“I first just wanted to feel better,” Gray said. “But, I also did not want my players to think of me as the old fat guy, I instead wanted to be able to demonstrate and play soccer with them.”
In the end, current and former players attest to Gray’s positive nature, calmness, and friendliness as their reasons for playing soccer.
“Coach Gray is someone that I really want to play for. If you make a mistake, he’s going to be there to help make you better, which makes me feel confident in practices and games.” midfielder Jurgen Beller ‘22 said.
The Mount is produced by the students of Mount Michael Benedictine School.