David Saward, Head Coach - Middlebury College
Saward enters his 33rd and final season at the helm of one of New England’s most well-respected soccer programs. He has led the team to 28 postseason appearances in 32 years, including five-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1994-98) and 10 overall. He has more wins than any other coach in Middlebury soccer history with a career record of 347-119-59 over 32 seasons.
The 2007 season was a magical one for the Panthers, as they captured the program's first NCAA Championship. Middlebury set a school record with 18 wins against just two losses and a pair of ties. The Panthers earned a program all-time best 17 shutouts while not allowing a goal during five NCAA Tournament games. Middlebury also won its second NESCAC Championship. Following the season, Saward was named both the New England and National Coach of the Year. The following season, Saward earned Regional Coach of the Year honors after leading the team to the NCAA quarterfinals.
Saward has also guided the team to a pair of ECAC Championships in 1986 and 1999 and the inaugural NESCAC Championship in 2000. He was named the New England Coach of the Year in 1985, 1986, 1996, 1998 and 2007. Saward has also guided the team to NESCAC Championships in 2000, 2007 and 2010, being named the NESCAC Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2015.
In the fall of 2009, Saward was honored by the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) with the Mike Berticelli Excellence in Coaching Education Award, given annually for long-term service to soccer.
Saward completed his final season at the helm of the women's squash program in 2005-06. His 1995 squad enjoyed its best season ever, winning flight "C" of the prestigious Howe Cup tournament held at Yale University. In 2005, his squash team rose to the top once again, winning the Walker Cup. Saward is a three-time recipient of the Clarence C. Chaffee Award, given to "the coach whose team has demonstrated the qualities and court demeanor that characterized Clarence C. Chaffee."
Before joining the Middlebury staff in 1985, Saward was an assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for two years. He has also coached or directed several soccer schools and summer camps.
Saward, who is director of coaching for the State of Vermont and chair of the NCAA tournament committee for New England, is a Senior Staff Coach with the NSCAA national coaching staff. He is a certified soccer coach of both the British and Canadian Soccer associations and holds the NSCAA Advanced Coaching Diploma. Saward earned his bachelor's degree in education at the University of London and his Master's degree at Springfield College.
Alex Elias, Assistant Coach - Middlebury College
Elias begins his fifth year as the assistant men’s soccer coach at Middlebury. He will take over the helm of the program at the conclusion of the 2017 season. The Panthers reached the NESCAC semifinals in two of his four seasons back with the program. He has helped develop 19 All-NESCAC players, the 2014 NESCAC Player of the Year, three All-Americans and four Academic All-Americans. In the classroom over the past four years, the Panthers have earned the NSCAA Team Academic award each year, achieving the 10th highest GPA in the nation across all divisions in 2014.
Away from Middlebury, Elias works with the Vermont Olympic Development Program, and in 2014 coached the U17 team to Vermont’s first ever Region 1 title for any age group. Prior to working at Middlebury, Elias spent three seasons as the lead assistant and Recruiting Coordinator at Division I LIU Brooklyn. While at LIU, Elias helped mentor a member of the Canadian National Team, an Academic All-American, an All-Northeast Region Player and three All-NEC Players. During his tenure, the team saw high levels of academic success, receiving the NSCAA No. 1 Team Academic Award for achieving the highest team GPA in the nation for all Division I men's soccer programs in 2012.
During his four-year playing career at Middlebury, Elias played in three NESCAC Championships and captained the 2007 team to a NESCAC title and to the program’s first NCAA Championship. Elias received First Team All-American, First-Team All-New England and First-Team All-NESCAC honors. He was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-Distric 1 honoree with a 3.71 grade point average, landing on the All-NESCAC Academic team in both 2006 and 2007, and received the NESCAC Sportsmanship Award in 2007.
Prior to his arrival to Middlebury, Elias was an NSCAA High School All-American, Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year and he has been inducted into his high school athletic hall of fame.
Following his playing career, Elias engaged in a wide array of non-profit service ventures. He spent a year living in Kimberley, South Africa, working with Grassroot Soccer, a non-profit organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Upon returning to the United States, Elias moved to Brooklyn, New York, to teach middle school math as a part of the Teach For America program, a national teacher corps committed to teaching in under-resourced public schools.
Elias graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Middlebury in 2008, earned an M.A. in Psychology from LIU Brooklyn in 2013, and holds his NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
Adam Batista, Assistant Coach - Brandeis University
Adam Batista joined the Brandeis men's soccer coaching staff in early 2017.
Batista comes to Brandeis after two years at Wheaton College, where he helped the Lyons reach the NEWMAC championship game in 2016. At Wheaton, he was an assistant under legendary coach Matt Cushing.
Prior to that, he spent the 2014 season as the assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at the University of Vermont. A 2014 graduate of Middlebury College, Batista was a three-year starter for the Panthers and a captain in 2013. He won the NESCAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2010.
Batista spent the previous two years as a Director of Coaching for LFC International Academy of Massachusetts. He also received an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and NSCAA Goalkeeper Level 1 Diploma.
Presently, he coaches for FC Boston Bolts.
Batista earned a master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration at Concordia University Irvine.
Brandon Jackson, Head Coach - Bard College
Brandon Jackson joined the coaching staff at Bard in 2015 after having run an attacking clinic for the team the season prior.
He became the Head Coach in 2016, shortly after the passing of former Head Coach Andy McCabe.
Coach Jackson was a striker on the 2007 Middlebury College soccer team that won the NCAA Div. III National Championships. He scored the winning penalty kick that sealed the historic victory in the final against Trinity, Texas.
Coach Jackson is the recruiting director of the Bard program off the pitch and chief architect of Bard's attack on it. He shared the Coaching Staff of the Year Award from the Liberty League with Coach McCabe after the 2015 season.
David Lindholm, Assistant Coach - Bard College
David Lindholm arrived at Bard in the summer of 2016.
He came to Annandale after one year as an assistant coach on the men's soccer team at Western New England University; in 2014, he was the top assistant at the University of Massachusetts. He was responsible for training, recruiting, budget management, scouting, travel, and day-to-day operations.
From 2008 through 2014, Lindholm served in the front office for Major League Soccer clubs Chivas USA and Colorado Rapids. In his role as Director of Media Relations for the Rapids, he was part of the first team staff, attending all practices and matches and working closely with the club's president and technical director. During his MLS career, Lindholm worked alongside head coaches such as Preki, Martín Vásquez, Robin Fraser, Gary Smith, Oscar Pareja and Pablo Mastroeni.
Lindholm, who graduated from Middlebury College in 2005 with a B.A. in American Civilization, was an assistant coach with the Panthers when they won the NCAA Div. III National Championship in 2007. Bard head coach Brandon Jackson was a senior on that team. Lindholm coached the goalkeepers, and he mentored Brian Bush to a 0.32 goals-against-average as the Panthers earned shutouts in 17 of 22 matches and went 18-2-2.
As a player, Lindholm was a goalkeeper for Middlebury from 2001-04, earning 11 shutouts in 20 matches (17 starts). He played two seasons with the semi-pro Vermont Voltage of the Premier Development League, helping the club to consecutive regular-season division championships and postseason appearances.
Lindholm completed his Master's Degree in Sport Management at UMass in the spring of 2016.