Soccer Spotlight: Bill McDonald, head coach for Strake Jesuit
By James Mueller ’19
Every high school sports team dreams of being successful in creating a winning culture, but few actually achieve this goal. Strake Jesuit’s soccer team has succeeded in creating a winning culture due in large part to their coach, Bill McDonald.
Soccer has been part of McDonald’s blood his whole life. He played college soccer at Penn State University and helped his team reach the Final Four. He then moved to Houston to play professionally for the Houston Dynamos (which is different from the current MLS team, the Houston Dynamo). After retiring professionally, McDonald became a high school soccer coach.
“After finishing playing professionally, I felt that my experience and the coaches I had had greatly impacted me,” said McDonald. “I felt like I wanted to be able to impact other young players in the same way.”
McDonald has now been a high school soccer coach for 32 years, of which 29 have been at Strake Jesuit, and has over 500 wins in his career, including two TCIL State Championships.
When asked about his two state champion teams, McDonald said “We had players who weren’t only talented soccer players but they understood what it looked like to be a united team with one goal and what it took to reach that goal.”
Recently, McDonald was inducted into the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Organization (TASCO) Hall of Honor, a glowing accolade. McDonald feels very grateful to be part of such a special group of some of the most legendary coaches in Texas high school history.
“It’s great honor mainly,” said McDonald, “because when I first started coaching I looked up to a lot of coaches, like Allen Baker of Klein and Kevin Johnson of Kingwood, who had coached for a long time and been very successful. They were inducted into the Hall of Honor, so it is an honor to be included as a part of that group.”
This year, the Crusaders are trying to repeat the success they had last year in going all the way to the regional finals, which they lost to the eventual state champions, Alief Elsik. This season, the Crusaders have a lot of experienced seniors and have started off district play with a record of 5-2-1. McDonald believes that this team has the talent to win the district and go a long way in the playoffs if they all work together and commit themselves to achieving their goal of winning the state championship
“It is a very talented group and they have proven on the field that they can play well together,” said McDonald. “I think how far we go will depend on how committed they are to each other and what they will ultimately do to achieve that goal.”