Head Men’s Coach Ben MacRae comes to the college position with a great deal of coaching and playing experience.
Starting as a participant, MacRae played for South of England School and Ardingly College in Sussex, England, where he competed in four National Cup Finals over two years. As a player growing up in the South of England, MacRae was invited to be part of the Southampton School of Excellence, the same academy that produced talents such as Alan Shearer, Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale. He has also played against international players such as Frank Lampard, while representing Ardingly.
In 1993 MacRae was part of the first ever school side to tour South America, playing in 5 countries including Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil for one whole month. While on tour, they played lots of games but ended with a victory against the prestigious Fluminense FC, beating them 1-0.
MacRae’s coaching career has been full of accomplishments thus far.
He has a current record of 166-53-1 at the helm of Spencer High School Soccer where the Tiger boys won the state title in 2009, finished third in 2008 and went undefeated in the regular season (15-0) last year.
He was named IHSAA Soccer Coach and NSCAA Small School Coach of the year in 2009; in 2010 he was one of eight up for National High School Coach of the year.
In his first year in charge of the Lakers (2014) MacRae produced their best ever season finishing 11-5-1. The transformation has been nothing short of remarkable, finishing runners up in the conference tournament to the #1 team in the nation. They had 6 players named to the all-conference teams, 3 players named as players of the week and MacRae capped it all off with the ICCAC Coach of the Year award.
He currently holds many coaching licenses including his NCAA Goalkeeping Diploma, UEFA ‘B’ license and USSF ‘B’ license.
When selected as the coach in February of 2014, MacRae had already set goals: “I’m absolutely delighted to be appointed the new Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Iowa Lakes. There is no doubt that it is going to be a huge challenge, but everything from the administration to the pitch has been set-up for success,” MacRae said.
And, he had an ambitious vision for the team.
“My goal is to elevate the program to the championship level, both on the field and in the classroom. We want to be proud of the student-athletes we produce and help them achieve their goals.”
MacRae is well on his way to accomplishing those goals.
The Men’s Soccer coaching staff includes Blake Viedenkamp who is in his first year as a Graduate Assistant for the Lakers. He is no stranger to Iowa Lakes as he chose to play for the Lakers in 2010. A soccer enthusiast since the age of three, he has played in championships in some of the biggest soccer tournaments in the country. In 2009, he was captain of the Spencer High School team that won the class 2A state title in Iowa.
He has been coaching for 11 years, seven of which he coached competitively for Northwest Iowa Soccer Club. At the young age of 17, Viedenkamp earned his U.S.S.F. National ‘D’ license. He has also coordinated and helped direct soccer camps all over the northwest corner of Iowa.
A graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, Viedenkamp played two years for the Knights. In May of 2014, he graduated with degrees in both mathematics and physics.