By Logan Brandon • Sports Editor • 

Howard returns to his roots, leads Mac boys soccer program

After departing Linfield men’s soccer program in 2020, Adam Howard felt no urge to rush back into coaching. He led the Wildcats for four seasons, finding success in improving team culture and participation, but then stepped down early last year.

“When I left Linfield, I really didn’t look for any new coaching opportunities,” said Howard. “But there’s one position I’m always ready to accept.”

Howard, a 2002 McMinnville High School graduate, is returning to his alma mater to lead the Grizzly boys soccer program. He replaces Jose Milian, who took over the program in 2018 and accumulated an overall record of 12 wins, 24 losses and three draws in his three years.

When approached by Mac athletic director Ryan McIrvin, Howard couldn’t help but apply for the position. As a previous member of the Mac boys soccer team, he regularly looked for a chance to give back.

“Mac soccer had a lot of influence on my playing and coaching careers,” he noted. “I’ve always been interested in coming back to a program that I was involved with.

“I have blood in these bricks.”

Howard has also served as an assistant girls basketball coach the past few years. He credited head coach Sean Coste for teaching him valuable lessons about instructing high school athletes.

With his three-year playing career and four-year coaching tenure at Linfield, Howard said he’s learned what it takes to manage winning soccer teams.

“The college game is very difficult,” he explained. “The margin for error is minimal. I had an opportunity to learn from a lot of great coaches, and I feel like I grew a lot in four years.”

As a fan of Mac soccer, Howard aims to reignite an aggressive style of play in the program. “We will focus on a positional play approach. We need to dominate in the attacking half, which means we will be reliant on possession. Mac soccer has always been dominant when we control the ball,” he said.

As for expectations, Howard added, “We’ll first implement our culture and beliefs, which are to do the right things on the field and in the classroom.”

Howard concluded his interview by thanking McIrvin and the school district for giving him the coaching opportunity.


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