At just 23-years-old, Shaun Green had accomplished more on a football pitch than many would hope to achieve in a lifetime.
The native of England had already played two years with Wallsend Boys and Girls Club, a professional development team in North Tyneside, and had come to America where he latched on with the New England Tea Men of the North American Soccer League, a professional team based out on Foxboro, Mass., in the late 1970s.
But Green, now 52, wasn’t satisfied. He wanted more — an opportunity to share his passion for soccer. He found that at Central Connecticut State University.
Green, a Southington resident for 11 years now, is among one of the longest reigning Division 1 coaches in the country and in leading the CCSU Blue Devils from last place to sharing a Northeast Conference regular season crown in 2011, earned his second “Coach of the Year” honors in the past eight years.
“I’ve always had just a passion for the game. It’s something I love and coaching has been a dream come true for me,” said Green, who also works as an associate professor at CCSU. “It’s been a lot of fun because I’ve been surrounded by good players and dedicated coaches my entire life.”
A dedicated, hard working individual, Green possesses a strong knowledge of the game and commitment to team effort in order to succeed, according to his assistant coaches Christian Benjamin and Paul Wright.
Benjamin said in a phone message that it has been a pleasure to work alongside Green and has always felt like a peer and member of his team, not just his assistant. He said the ability of everyone to focus on their talents – Benjamin is a goalkeeper coach – helped spark the quick turnaround.
“He’s got it together. He’s in tune to his coaching staff and players on and off the field. Is a phenomenal motivator, know which buttons to push on which players and certain times. His motivational skills are fantastic,” Wright said.
Growing up in England, it was always a goal of Green’s to find a job in soccer – or football as it is known on the pitches, or fields, there – and he was willing to do what it took to make that happen. After graduating high school at 16 years old, Green latched on with Wellsand where he also worked daytimes in a local shipyard.
By the time he was 18, he was ready for something bigger. Green came to America and received scholarships to 20 schools before deciding to play at Virginia Tech. He would go on to play for the New England Tea Men and by the age of 23, realized he wanted to be a coach.
Green got an offer to become and assistant coach at Brown University and just two years later, was named the youngest head coach in Division 1 Men’s Soccer history when he took over the program at CCSU.
“It’s been 27 years and I’m still happy to be here,” Green said.
In 2011, the Blue Devils were able to secure a share of the divisional regular season championship – and he was able to secure Coach of the Year - thanks in part to a strong recruitment class. But he said the efforts were really a credit to the hard work displayed by his coaching staff in the off-season.
Determined to climb from last place, Green worked closely with Benjamin and Wright to rebuild the team in essentially one off-season, gathering top talent from across Connecticut, New York and from as far away as England.
“It was an honor to have been selected (as Coach of the Year), just knowing the fact that your peers and profession, your fellow coaches are recognizing you, but I don’t see as an individual honor,” Green said. “This was an award for team. It’s a great staff that have got. We worked hard and had a great recruiting class. Their work helped us turn things around.”
Green has also made a name for himself in recent years with the development of his websites, including the most recent success being SoccerCoachTV.com, which in the past year had 27 episodes with videos of soccer coaches and personalities across the nation. The website has gathered 42,000 viewers.
He is also the founder of the first soccer coaching website, SoccerClinics.com, and in 14 years has been able to use the website to provide techniques to coaches across the nation.
“It’s all about a love of the game,” Green said.
Access the websites by clicking on the links provided.
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