Michael Casper, the head coach at Saint Francis University (Pennsylvania) from 2007-14, joined the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer staff as an assistant coach in 2015. Casper enters his third season on the Irish sideline.
Notre Dame Highlights:
- 2 NCAA Championship Appearances in 2 Seasons
- 2015 ACC Championship Runner-Up
- 1 NSCAA All-America Selection
- 6 All-Conference Selections
- 1 Conference Player of the Year
- 2 Academic All-Americans
- 1 United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America Selection
- 3 MLS SuperDraft Picks
- Patrick Hodan – 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year
CASPER AT NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame ascended to the top spot in the NSCAA poll during Casper’s second season in 2016, ultimately reaching the third round of the NCAA Championship after posting a 12-7-2 mark. Brandon Aubrey was a first-round draft pick of Toronto FC (21st overall) in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft after being named an NSCAA All-America third team choice, while Jon Gallagher was recognized as the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.
Notre Dame was the seventh overall national seed in Casper’s first campaign with the Irish in 2015, posting an 11-5-6 record that was highlighted by a runner-up finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship. The Irish returned to the NCAA Championship Round of 16 for the fourth straight season, while fifth-year senior tri-captain Max Lachowecki (Real Salt Lake) and senior tri-captain Patrick Hodan (San Jose Earthquakes) were each selected in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft.
BEFORE ARRIVING AT NOTRE DAME
Prior to his arrival at Notre Dame, Casper guided Saint Francis to the Northeast Conference (NEC) regular-season title in 2014 and was named the league’s coach of the year. The Red Flash established a program record for wins by registering a 13-6-1 mark.
Over his eight seasons as head coach, Casper led Saint Francis to a 71-61-21 record, including a 36-26-9 mark in NEC play. The 71 total victories and the 36 league wins are the most in school history. The Red Flash was the NEC finalist four times with Casper at the helm.
Casper mentored 24 all-NEC players, 15 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) all-region performers and an NSCAA All-American during his time as head coach at Saint Francis. Eight of his players have gone on to the professional ranks.
In addition to the success on the field, the Red Flash produced three academic all-Americans and 10 academic all-district players during his tenure. The program also received the NSCAA Team Academic Award four times (2011-14).
Overall Casper was with the Red Flash for the last 12 seasons. Prior to taking over the head coaching position, he spent four seasons under Notre Dame associate head coach BJ Craig as an assistant coach in charge of the team’s goalkeepers.
“Michael is someone we’ve gotten to know very well,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “He’s been at our camps for about a dozen years. That’s the great thing about our ID camps, we look for good players, but we also pride ourselves in the staff that we take in. When we get somebody who’s a good coach, we try to keep them coming back and we’ve been able to do that with Michael. This gives us one of the best coaching staffs in the business. We are very experienced because all three coaches are head coaches or have been head coaches. That gives me great sounding boards to bounce ideas off and share ideas.”
PLAYING CAREER/THE CASPER FAMILY
A four-year member of the UMBC men’s soccer team, Casper helped lead the Retrievers to a NEC championship in 1999. During Casper's four-year career at UMBC, the Retrievers posted a composite record of 54-19-11 (30-7-3 NEC).
Following his collegiate career, Casper served as head junior varsity and assistant varsity coach at Timothy Christian High School (N.J.) for two seasons (2001-02). In 2000, Casper served as head coach of the Central Jersey Riptide in the Professional Development League.
He holds an A License from the United States Soccer Federation and an advanced regional diploma from the NSCAA.
Casper received his master’s degree in education leadership from Saint Francis in 2005 and is a 2000 graduate of UMBC with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Casper’s wife, Kerri, is the program coordinator for Notre Dame’s Student Welfare & Development office in athletics.