Capstones Fall 2013 - page 43

ost student athletes strive
for an opportunity to win. With the
Darton State soccer teams, this is not
the case. When the men and women
take the pitch, they are not looking
for an opportunity to win; they are
taking on the responsibility to fulfill
an expectation for winning. When a
Darton soccer team loses, the opposing
team will take pictures and celebrate as
if it were victory from a championship
game. The reason is because very few
teams leave a match with Darton State
with a victory.
Nowhere is the expectation of
winning more present than with
women’s soccer coach Ken Veilands.
He is the winningest soccer coach in
the region, and one of the winningest
soccer coaches in the history of the
In his fourteen-year tenure, Coach
Veilands has had 60 First Team All-
Region Players, 27 All-Americans, and
10 Academic All-Americans along with
five players named as the Region Player
of the Year. He has won more than 220
games, with fewer than 40 losses and
11 ties. Perhaps more staggering is the
fact that his teams, over the past eight
years, have won more than 150 games
and have lost fewer than 20, and only
five of those losses have come during
the regular season. Only once in the
past 12 years have Coach Veilands’s
women not made it to the Regional
finals. That year they lost in the
semifinals, but in 2005, 2007, 2008,
2011 and 2012, his teams were region
champions. This year, Coach Veilands’s
women claimed another Region title
and made another run deep into the
National Championship playoffs.
With teams like this, it is no wonder
that Coach Veilands holds two other
records, both related to wins, holding
the title for most wins in a season (25)
and most consecutive wins in a season
(25). Coach Veilands started as the soccer
coach for both the men’s and women’s
teams in 2000. For six years, he had the
difficult task of coaching both teams
and did so long before the beautiful
soccer facilities Darton has now were
built. In 2006, he decided to take on
the women’s team solely, in a move that
some might consider surprising.
Two of his reasons reside at home
with him. His two daughters, Mattie,
who is 14, and Ansley, who is 11, hold a
place in his heart far above the passion
he has for the game. However, he also
has several other “daughters,” his
players. He encourages them, pushes
them, celebrates with them, and speaks
with them as if they were his own. This
kind of support is part of what makes
Coach Veilands so successful.
Dr. Gary Barnette, Vice President
for Academic and Student Affairs,
states that he is impressed with Coach
Veilands’s ability to not only spot talent
in prospective athletes and train them
to be successful on the field, but is also
amazed his abilities to adjust strategy
in the middle of a game to do whatever
it takes to win. “He is the epitome of
what people call a winning coach,”
Barnette said.
Winning As
Fall 2013
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