In a move that stunned the soccer world, Caleb Porter signed a new five-year contract with Akron.
The Zips coach had interest -- if not offers -- from some prestigious pro and college programs, such as Indiana, Clemson and D.C. United. Yet, he stayed at Akron with a lower salary and high school facilities (although both are likely to improve).
One soccer site put it this way:
That's right. The coach at Akron, a MAC school with a single-game record attendance mark of 2,369 heading into 2009 and facilities that a columnist for the Akron Beacon-Journal noted don't include “real locker rooms,” told D.C. United that he wasn't interested in their open gig.
Porter, a former MLS short-timer with San Jose and Tampa and one of the youngest coaches in the nation at 34, showed the loyalty and maturity even experienced coaches tend to lack by rejecting United's overtures and staying in a spot where he can have consistent success. Porter could have hopped to United or the prime college jobs available at Clemson and Indiana (where he starred in college and spent six years as an assistant) without anyone holding much of a grudge. Instead, he decided to stay put. Maybe he didn't think he was ready for the pro game or maybe, like he's said every time he's been asked, he really likes it in Akron. Either way, he's going to keep pulling in impressive recruiting classes and winning games at the college level while United moves in another direction.