Vince Lombardi once said, “Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The coaches who win are the ones who can motivate their players.”
If that is true then Milwaukee Wave coach Keith Tozer can be regarded as one of the greatest motivators of all time.
After 27 seasons at the helm of indoor soccer clubs, Tozer sits at 700 all-time wins after the Wave’s win last night (regular season and playoff). The number on its own is impressive, but when compared to his peers it is downright breathtaking.
Tozer is by far the most successful soccer coach in North American indoor soccer history. His closest competitor is legendary MISL coach Kenny Cooper, father of current New York Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper Jr. Soccer historian Kenn Tomasch notes that Cooper coached for 26 years between 1979 and 1996 and tallied 465 victories, 233 less than Tozer’s current mark.
Even NCAA coaches who have been in the business for over 30 years don’t come close. Joe Bean won 591 games from 1962-2005 at Quinnipiac, Bridegeport and Wheaton College. Clifford McCrath won 578 from 1958-2005, with 35 of those years at Seattle Pacific University. Widely considered the greatest college coach of all time, Jerry Yeagley only won 544 at Indiana from 1973-2003.
Indeed Tozer is in a class of his own when it comes to soccer in North America. Measured against other titans of the sidelines in other major sports, Tozer proves he belongs in the conversation.
In pro-football Don Shula has the record for wins with 328, George Halas comes next with 318 and Tom Landry third with 250.
Only 16 NBA coaches have surpassed the 700 win mark, and that’s even with the NBA regular season playing at least twice as many games.
In the NHL, only Scotty Bowman (1244) and Al Arbour (782) surpassed the 700 win mark and like the NBA, they too coached twice as many regular season games.
With his seven “Coach of the Year” awards, five league titles, and 23 winning seasons, Keith Tozer has cemented himself as a titan not only of the sport of soccer, but of sports in general.
The Milwaukee Wave plays next at home at the US Cellular Arena on February 4th at 6 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 414.224.9283.
The Milwaukee Wave professional indoor soccer team is the longest-running professional soccer team in the country. The Wave completed their 27th season by winning their fifth Major Indoor Soccer League championship. Their summer camp program is the largest team-operated program in the country. For more information about the Milwaukee Wave, visit milwaukeewave.com or call 414-224-9283.
United Soccer Leagues
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, USL has become the largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America by building on the vision, commitment, and passion of players, fans and investors. Now in its third decade of operation, USL continues to be a driving force in the growth of soccer in the United States, Canada and Caribbean. USL provides a clearly defined path for the progression of male and female soccer players beginning at the youth level (Super Y-League/Super-20 League), continuing through the amateur level (PDL/W-League) and up to the professional level, both outdoor and indoor (USL PRO/MISL). A platform for countless players to reach for their dreams each year, USL is devoted to developing the sport at the grassroots level in every community across the region.