|Organization:||Men's Soccer Contributor|
Malcolm MacPherson enjoyed a successful 22 years as the men’s soccer head coach with a 198-146-19 (.572) record, including a 22-10-1 ledger in his final two campaigns, and 18 winning seasons.
“Long before ‘Do your job’ became a mantra, Malcolm would tell our players to ‘Play within yourself,’” recalled icon assistant coach Evan Holmes. “Do the things that got you here. Do simple things well and learn to do them at speed. Learning to focus and keep that focus throughout a tough game was always important. Malcolm has that big personality and big voice that fills the room or stadium. In the chaos of a game, ‘play within yourself’ would quickly get everyone back on track.”
The 1992 season featured the third NCAA tournament berth in program history and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America second teamer Ryan Burke. The Engineers also concluded the campaign as the 19th-ranked team by the Intercollegiate Soccer Coaches Association of America.
A year later the Engineers won the Constitution Athletic Conference Championship—the program’s only conference crown. In 1998 WPI earned an ECAC tournament berth and advanced to the finals.
“When Coach MacPherson started at WPI my sophomore year, the WPI men's soccer program immediately became stronger,” remembered Matt Dawson ’95. “With an outstanding crop of players and his right-hand man Evan Holmes, Coach brought the team to the NCAA tournament his first year and turned a sometimes competitive D3 soccer program into a consistently competitive program throughout his tenure.”
During the NEWMAC era, the Crimson and Gray garnered 32 All-Conference nods and boasted 2013 Rookie of the Year Matt Farrell to go along with the sportsmanship award from 2007 to 2010.
“Malcolm was more than just a coach, which we always called him and still do to this day,” recalled 2004 graduate Sergio Cherenzia. “He had a definite passion for the game of soccer, but more important, he was a mentor that imparted the importance of responsibility, integrity, hard work, and respect to young men in their formative years becoming men—he always referred to us as men. He knew the importance of education, which always came first, and understood and embraced what it meant to be part of the WPI community.”
Academically, WPI amassed All-Conference accolades, including 28 student-athletes and six three-time selections. Nationally, Ben Gilde was three-time CoSIDA Academic All-America while Jarrod Alston and PJ Moan collected one each.
Prior to his arrival on Boynton Hill, Malcolm put together a jaw-dropping 108-36-15 record from 1983–91 at Fitchburg State—by far the most wins by any coach in program history—for an overall record of 306-184-34. His success at Fitchburg State was not limited to the soccer field, as he just recently wrapped up a 27-year stint as an assistant hockey coach under legendary head coach Dean Fuller.
Malcolm retired nearly a decade ago after teaching health and physical education for 33 years in the city of Leominster. He and his wife, Sandi, recently relocated from Holden to Cape Cod where he grew up. They have two children, Christopher and Jennifer, and six grandchildren, Hailey, Walter, Cameron, Charlotte, Charlie, and Kelsey.