Binghamton men’s soccer head coach Paul Marco has been named the National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America (NSCAA) recipient of the Mike Berticelli Excellence in Teaching Award.
Marco — who is in his 14th season as head coach — has led the program to its highest number of wins since 2009.
This honor is awarded annually by the NSCAA to a member of the organization for his or her superiority in coaching education and significant contributions to the game. Mike Berticelli served as the NSCAA vice president of education and coached the University of Notre Dame’s men’s soccer team before passing away in 2000. Berticelli, who was highly regarded in the coaching community, led the Fighting Irish to two Midwestern Collegiate Conference Championships and their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
The gravity of the award is not lost on Coach Marco, who played against Berticelli’s Notre Dame squad when he was a midfielder at Division I West Virginia University from 1987-91.
“The Mike Berticelli award is a tremendous honor,” Marco said. “He was a fantastic coaching educator. He was a great friend, a mentor. So just in his honor, it’s been a pretty neat day today reflecting on what my time was like with him”
Marco joined the NSCAA as a staff coach in 1996, and has served on its Education Committee since 2008. He led the international subcommittee that assisted with the development of the first NSCAA international diploma, which provides certification to coaches across the world. He even traveled to the 2014 World Cup to instruct an on-site course for coaches.
The NSCAA recognition has allowed Marco to reflect on the impact that his involvement in the organization has had on his professional life.
“I kind of grew up as a professional in the NSCAA,” he said. “I was asked to join them as a national staff coach back in 1995, so I’d only been in coaching for a few years.
“Who I am as a coach is mostly because of the environment that I’ve been in with them, and I hope to just keep giving back to them.”
Before coming to Binghamton, he served as head coach at West Virginia from 1996-2001. He has led the Bearcats to two conference regular season titles (2006, 2007) and two America East conference titles (2003, 2006). This season, he has guided Binghamton to a 7-5-2, 2-1-1 record, its best in six seasons.
William Schwartz contributed reporting to this article.