After leading his team to the conference championship game at home, John Miglarese is headed home.
Miglarese, the John Brown University’s men’s soccer head coach, resigned and took the head coaching job at King College after leading the Golden Eagles to its most successful season in recent memory.
Women’s soccer head coach Scott Marksberry will replace Miglarese, and the school is in the process of finding a replacement for the women’s team.
Miglarese said one main factor drove his decision to leave JBU for King: location.
Miglarese’s extended family lives in South Carolina, and the distance had an especially big effect last season. During the regular season, in one week, his wife’s grandmother passed away and his son Joseph was born.
“Because of the distance, we were not able to attend the funeral, and my wife’s mother was barely able to make it [here] to help with my newborn son,” said Miglarese. “That is when I decided that I was going to consider other opportunities further east when the season ended.”
King College is located in Bristol, Tenn., in the eastern part of the state.
“We are now a short drive from family compared to a two-day trek across the country,” Miglarese said.
Miglarese’s last season was a successful one. The team went 11-5-2, and after two conference tournament wins, JBU hosted Oklahoma Baptist in the SAC Conference Championship game at Alumni Field. In front of a packed house, the Eagles fell to OBU in penalty kicks.
During Miglarese’s four-year tenure at JBU, he changed the dynamic of the men’s soccer team.
Senior midfielder and future assistant coach David Castagne said Miglarese turned the team around and “put us back on the map.”
“When he took over, we were languishing in mid table,” Castagne said. “Over the four years John has made this team a serious contender in the SAC.”
It was not just the on-field performance that changed during his tenure.
“My first year happened to be the same as John’s and so we experienced the change in the team together,” Castagne said. “He brought about new standards and a new style of play that all of the players responded to and loved.”
By changing the culture and beginning to win consistently, Miglarese said he fulfilled the plans he had for the program.“
When I arrived at JBU, my goals were to change the perception of the program on campus, redefine what the internal JBU soccer culture is, and get the program competitive again,” explained Miglarese. “I think we have done this.”
Those culture changes left the soccer team primed for continued success during Marksberry’s tenure.“
John has built a solid foundation and there is no reason why we do not expect the team to improve further next season,” Castagne said. “Scott brings great knowledge of the game and a similar philosophy so there will not be any major changes to style of play and I think this will suit the players that we have.”
Marksberry said that his goal is to continue the success that Miglarese’s tenure engendered.
“We want to continue to grow the community of the team, continue to build on the culture that he started to build and continue to train hard and try and take that next step,” Marksberry said.
Having a coach who is already familiar with the players, coaches and school will make the transition easier.
“Scott worked with us quite a bit at the back end of last season,” Castagne said. “He was on the bench and we were familiar with him.”
Leaving JBU will not be easy for Miglarese since he was so invested in the development of the culture of the team and in the players themselves.
“It was so hard to leave such a special group of guys,” Miglarese said. “I love them dearly and the idea of not coaching them anymore is difficult. I was extremely happy and satisfied [at JBU].”