It’s Called Football

British history teacher pursues coaching over playing soccer


Zach Mirviss and Alex Randle

In 1983, Keith Mainland, a competitive soccer player at Georgia State University, walked off of the soccer field with his head held high. While he didn’t win, he felt like a champion.

Over two years, he scored 28 goals and made 17 assists. He was well known for his ferocious behavior. Even though his team lost the national championship game, he was thrown into the spotlight.

“It was an ego boost when kids asked for my autograph,” Mainland said. “I was signing soccer balls and shirts, it was a big deal.”

Over a decade after graduating from GSU, Mainland coached for Monarch in the school’s inaugural year, 1998. This presented a unique problem.

“The school opened with just freshmen and sophomores,” Mainland said. “I had to play a varsity schedule with no upperclassmen.”

Despite the fact Mainland’s team was missing two grade levels worth of players, he pushed ahead.

In the Alexander Dawson tournament, Monarch was up 1-0 against powerhouse Niwot High School at halftime.

“Their coach was going nuts,” Mainland said. “We were a team of freshmen and sophomores holding our own against a 4A state championship team.”

Although the score eventually flipped, and the team lost 3-1, the experience stuck with Mainland.

Twenty-four years later, varsity head coach Katy Wood encountered Mainland’s unique coaching style.

“He’s very tactical while also having a great sense of humor,” Katy Wood said.

During the soccer season of 2022, Emma Eichinger ‘25 enjoyed playing for Mainland.

“He isn’t afraid, to be honest with us,” Eichinger said. “He doesn’t sugarcoat words, which is really helpful in the long run. That’s one of the best things about his coaching.”