When Real Salt Lake legend Kyle Beckerman retired last December after 21 seasons in the professional soccer ranks, he indicated that he’d be interested in getting into coaching.
Many wondered if he’d rejoin RSL in some capacity, and he even said himself at the time, “I definitely want to help in any way I can help get Salt Lake back up to fighting for everything for sure.”
At least for now, Beckerman won’t be going back to RSL, but he will be starting his coaching career in Utah, where he has called home since 2007, as he on Monday was named the head coach of the UVU men’s soccer program. He replaces Greg Maas, who resigned two weeks ago.
“I’m very excited to be joining Utah Valley University and can’t wait to get started coaching this team,” Beckerman said in a statement. “This program already has a solid foundation and I know we can accomplish big things with the support of President (Astrid) Tuminez, (athletic director) Jared Sumsion, and our 12th Wolverines.”
Beckerman finished his professional career as Major League Soccer’s all-time leader in regular-season games played (498), games started (461) and minutes played (41,164) among field players.
“One of the most rewarding parts of my career was when I had the opportunity to help mentor my teammates in leading by example and sharing the knowledge I’ve gained over the years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to stepping into that role full time and dedicating myself to developing these young student-athletes into better players and people.”
Less than two weeks prior to his retirement, Beckerman received a spot on The 25 Greatest, a list of the best players in MLS history as the league celebrated a quarter century of existence.
“Kyle Beckerman knows what passion and excellence in soccer mean,” Tuminez said in a statement. “His experience as a professional player and his outstanding character make me so excited to have him as a leader at UVU. I believe that he will inspire our entire community— student-athletes, staff and faculty. And he will, for sure, bring men’s soccer to the next level.”
A native of Crofton, Maryland, the 38-year-old Beckerman met his wife Kate in Salt Lake City and the couple has a young son, Constantine. His brother Todd is the head wrestling coach at Brown University and both of his parents were teachers.
“We’ve watched Kyle Beckerman for many years and knew he had a bright future in coaching,” Sumsion said in a statement. “His reputation in the locker room, on the pitch, and in the community are second to none.
“His leadership, tenacity and grit as a player and captain are attributes that I’m excited to see manifest in our program with our student-athletes — both on the pitch and in the classroom. He’s beloved in the soccer world and in the state of Utah. He’s the perfect fit for our program now and into the future. We’re elated to welcome Kyle, Kate and Constantine to the Wolverine family.”
Beckerman becomes the second coach in program history. Maas tallied a record of 67-44-10 in six seasons.