Damian Houlden enters his fifth season as head coach of the men's soccer program in 2019-20. He previously served as head coach of the women's soccer program at Mitchell for nine seasons.
Houlden is coming off a season in which he led the Mariners to a second straight appearance in the NECC Championship title game. Mitchell went 6-2-0 in conference action and earned the second seed for the tournament.
In 2018 Houlden led the Mariners to their first-ever New England Collegiate Conference title and NCAA Championship appearance. Mitchell posted a 6-1 record in league play to earn the top seed in the conference tournament, and 1-0 win over Elms College in the title game earned an automatic NCAA berth. For his efforts, Houlden was selected as NECC Coach of the Year.
Since taking over the men's program in 2015, Houlden has kept the Mariners competitive in NECC play. Mitchell has posted a 50-27-3 record in league action over the past 11 years and has qualified for the NECC Championship in each season. The Mariners have produced a total of 50 all-conference selections during that time span, including 17 during Houlden's tenure.
Houlden built the women's program into a NECC contender, leading his teams to the NECC Championship five times as well as back-to-back finals appearances in 2009 and 2010. The Mariners captured the title in 2010 with a 2-1 victory over Lesley University and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship for the first time in school history. Over the course of seven years he produced a total of 20 all-conference selections, including a NECC Player, Rookie and Goalkeeper of the Year.
Houlden hails from Louth, England and has a wealth of experience coaching at the club level and developing soccer players. He currently coaches the Southeast Connecticut Premier soccer team and was an ODP staff coach from 2004-06. Houlden also gained valuable coaching experience while on the staff for the New England Revolution Academy from 2005-06.
Houlden has completed the English certification UEFA B License, FA Coaching License, and he has also earned a Regional Goalkeeper Diploma. He most recently completed the training program from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and received the Primier National Diploma with distinction.
Houlden played for Mitchell College and was a letterwinner on the men's soccer team. He was honored as a New England All-Conference First Team selection for his efforts from his central defense position.
Houlden received his degree in sport management from Mitchell College and earned a Master's in exercise science and sports psychology from the California University of Pennsylvania.
Jarice Manson enters his third season with the Mitchell College men's soccer program in 2018-19.
Manson is in his fifth season with Sporting CT, a club program based out of Middletown, Conn. In 2015 he led the girl's U15 team to the Connecticut State Cup semifinals, the first team in the club's history to reach that level. His squad won every tournament/college showcase in his second season with the team.
Manson has a wealth of soccer experience as both a coach and a player. He holds a National “D” license and was 2008 Connecticut Junior Soccer Association Boys Coach of the Year.
Manson spent seven years at Oakwood Soccer Club as a head coach and an assistant under Directors Rick Derella and Dave Farrell. He has coached players into the US National Team Development Program pool and has seen some of his players go on to the New England Revolution Academy, New York Red Bulls Academy and various college programs. Manson led both his teams at Oakwood Soccer Club -- which competes in the US Soccer Developmental Academy League, US Club Soccer Pre-Academy League and National Premier League -- to number one rankings in the state of Connecticut.
Prior to joining the Oakwood Soccer Club, Manson led one of the Northeast United Premier Soccer Club boy's teams to a state semifinals appearance as an assistant coach in his first season with the team. He also helped Glastonbury High School to a conference championship (2008) and appearances in the state finals (2008) and semifinals (2009).
In 2012, Manson led Windsor High School to the state quarterfinals, the farthest the school had advanced in 36 years. In the process his squad knocked off top-seeded Watertown High School.
Manson has also worked with West Hartford Travel (2008 state finalist), East Hartford Travel Soccer Club, Select Soccer Academy and Soccer Extreme.
As a player, Manson was an All-Central Conference First Team selection (2002) at East Hartford High School and a two-time NJCAA All-New England First Team player at Manchester Community College. He led Manchester to a NJCAA Region III championship in 2004 before moving on to study at University of Hartford.
"Coach Manson brings a wealth of experience to our program and has already outlined his desire to develop and expand our program throughout the soccer communities," said head coach Damian Houlden. "Educationally gifted, he is able to highlight and fine tune the technical nuances needed to succeed at the college level."