Coach Bios for Men's Soccer
Mark Dennis returns in 2012 for his third season at the helm of Chesapeake College’s men’s soccer program. Posting 3-10 records in each of his first two seasons, Dennis feels he is slowly building his program.
"You only get these guys for two seasons maximum, but we’ve had full rosters both seasons and that can often be a challenge at rural community colleges," said Dennis. "We are fortunate to have some excellent high school soccer programs in the Mid-Shore region that feed Chesapeake College with soccer players with a good understanding of the game."
Dennis brings a wealth of experience to his position as head coach. He holds a coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation and spent five seasons as head boys’ soccer coach at Cambridge-South Dorchester High. His coaching resume also includes extensive experience with some of the top regional soccer travel leagues, including the Mid-Atlantic Soccer League, Baltimore Beltway Soccer League, and National Capital Soccer League.
"We’re fortunate to have such a knowledgeable, experienced coach who is committed to helping student athletes grow athletically and academically," said Chesapeake College Athletic Director Frank Szymanski. "Mark definitely has the program moving in the right direction."
Dennis said Chesapeake offers potential recruits the opportunity to play strong state and regional competition while obtaining a solid academic foundation at a college that features small class sizes at an affordable price. Future players will also benefit from a recently approved $36 million construction project that includes renovation of the college’s Physical Education Building, which houses the program’s locker rooms, training facilities and study hall.
Dennis said the key to improving the soccer program is retaining student athletes who can provide experience for each season’s incoming freshmen.
"The goal is to have a core of players returning each season to help build a stable program," said Dennis, whose 2011 Skipjacks were increasingly competitive thanks to a group of returning sophomores who started with Dennis in 2010.
Recruiting is a year-round project with Dennis, although he said many players make their decision to play relatively late in the recruiting process. That is something Dennis hopes to change over time.
"I am always suggesting to local high school coaches that they encourage their players that plan on attending Chesapeake to get in contact with me as soon as they make that decision," said Dennis. "However, historically, they tend to wait until the summer to call and find out when tryouts and practices are scheduled. I’d like to encourage student athletes who are considering playing for our program to please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible."
Dennis said he enjoys the parent-student recruiting visits.
"I love to talk soccer and share thoughts about that important decision on choosing a college with the parents and prospective players," said Dennis. "Chesapeake College is such a friendly, wonderful environment that it is a joy for me to take them on a tour of our college."
Dennis said he still has roster spots open for the 2012 season and interested student athletes should contact him as soon as possible. Practices will start Monday, August 6 at 4:30 p.m.
"The sooner players contact me, the sooner we can get them ready for the fall," noted Dennis.
Dennis, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Salisbury University, is the assistant supervisor for the Department of Assessments and Taxation in Dorchester County. He has spent 33 years working for the State of Maryland.
Dennis lives in Cambridge with his wife, Becky. They have four sons: Brad and Kane Dennis, and Brian and Eric Mahon.
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