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.
Men’s Soccer Graduate Assistant
Ricardo Pinto is in his first season a graduate assistant for the Men’s Soccer program.
Ricardo began his collegiate career as a goalkeeper at the University of Minnesota, Morris, an NCAA Division III institution. A regular starter as a freshman, Ricardo helped guide his team to second place in the UMAC standings as well as runner-up in the conference tournament. Upon completing his freshman year, Ricardo transferred to the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, an NCAA Division I institution competing in the Horizon League. Ricardo was a part of a Phoenix squad that in the 2013-14 season defeated #24 Milwaukee as well as battling to a tie against #8 Marquette. In his final season at Green Bay, he also was a part of defeating the University of Wisconsin, Madison for the first time in 10 years.
While at Green Bay, Ricardo spent every year as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in which he played an integral part in the communication between the athletic department and the student athletes.
Ricardo’s coaching experience began during the summer of 2014 in which he was a volunteer goalkeeper coach for his youth club, Westside Timbers, in Beaverton, OR. He was responsible for the development of youth goalkeepers between the U11 and U18 levels. He continues to help out at the club during his summer breaks. In addition, he also earned his USSF “E” Coaching License that same summer.
A native of Beaverton, Oregon, Ricardo received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay in 2016 and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from the University of South Dakota.