By Seán McGlone – News Editor
Lasell welcomed veteran coach Michael Haynes as the new men’s soccer coach this season. Haynes, a former national team player for his native country of Barbados, brings experience both as a coach and a player to Lasell.
Haynes previously coached at Matignon High School in Cambridge where he led the team to three league titles. Before that he was the Head Coach at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, where he led the team to nine league championships, four New England Championships, had three perfect seasons and carried the team from Class D all the way up to Class B. Haynes was also an Assistant Coach for Emerson College, a head coach of FC Greater Boston Bolts (formerly known as the Eagles), a coaching director for South Shore Select and an Olympic Development coach.
Haynes first heard of Lasell while coaching at Beaver Country Day School. There he coached former Lasell College President Tom de Witt’s son. After seeing how Haynes turned Beaver Country Day from a struggling team to league title competitors, de Witt realized he would be a great fit for the Lasers’ team. However, Haynes did not apply for the job until the position opened up again this past year.
As a player, Haynes was highly recruited during his teenage years and eventually signed with Everton FC located in Bridgetown, Barbados. Haynes was later voted the second best player in Barbados in 1969 before entering the national pool in 1970. It was while playing at a national level that Haynes says he learned most of his knowledge about soccer.
“Soccer is not only a game for me, it’s a teaching tool,” said Haynes. “My goal is to teach these kids to be disciplined, hardworking and learn to overcome obstacles.”
Haynes expected his players to show up physically fit and prepared on the first day of preseason so during the season he and the players can focus on discipline and hard work in the classroom. Haynes enforces a weekly study hall for his players.
“He teaches us things that it’s more than just the soccer field, like discipline and really giving your all,” said senior captain Jonathan Sutton. “Being 100 percent committed to things, he explains that you really need those [traits] in the real world.”
Haynes described himself as a “tireless worker” and despite the team’s struggles this season, he is not discouraged. “I’ve taken a number of programs that were failing and I’ve turned them into winners, which is what I plan to do here as well,” Haynes said.
“He definitely has a great understanding and a mind for the game,” said Sutton. “He really knows what he’s talking about and he really knows what he’s doing.”
Haynes says he hopes to improve the recruiting process for Lasell athletics along with some big plans for the soccer team. “My goal is to bring a national championship to Lasell. A league title is okay but my real goal is always to be on the top. I’m not settling for second or third,” said Haynes.