Super Coaches: Mike Washington

Mike Washington

Whitman’s men’s soccer coach is part philosopher, part psychologist and part tactician.

“Getting at what makes the players tick. That’s what makes the job so much fun,” said Mike Washington, now in his 17th season as Whitman’s men’s soccer coach.

Washington lives for the game. He played professionally and worked as a scout and coach in his native England before moving to the U.S. in 1981. In addition to coaching Whitman, he also helms the boy’s varsity soccer team at Walla Walla High School. In 2010, he accomplished what few coaches around the country have ever done – he won coach of the year at both the college and high school level.

“It has nothing to do with me. I might make two or three decisions or substitutions all season that make a difference to a match. I prepare the kids for the match, but those awards are a measure of my players, not a measure of me,” Washington said.

Washington enjoys coaching at Whitman, because his athletes are competing for the pure pleasure of the sport, rather than for money. However, don’t for a second think this coach is a softy who sugarcoats his criticism so as not to hurt a player’s feelings.

“I’m brutally honest,” he said. “I don’t fluff.”

Career highlights

  • 2010 NWC Coach of the Year
  • First men’s soccer coach at Whitman to reach 100 victories
  • Coached 2008 NWC Defensive Player of the Year, Brett Axelrod ’09