Sept. 4, 2020 | By Kevin Peterson | Photo courtesy of Colorado College website
Scott Palguta, head coach of the men’s soccer program, began his journey with the Colorado College Tigers in 2015, replacing Horst Richardson as head coach following Richardson’s retirement after over 50 years leading the program. Replacing a coach with a legendary reputation within the program may seem intimidating, but Palguta wasted no time building the program around his athletic and academic expectations while keeping the traditions of the men’s soccer program alive.
“I had big shoes to fill, but I’ve also been very comfortable in my own shoes as well,” Palguta said. “Even though I was only there as an assistant with Horst for two years, I did feel really prepared and I thank Horst for that.”
Palguta’s stellar athletic achievements were first established during his time playing at Cornell University, where he was a two-time all-Ivy League selection and four-year starter. Following an illustrious career at Cornell, Palguta was drafted to the Rochester Rhinos in the United Soccer League First Division. As if it wasn’t enough to be playing soccer at the highest collegiate level, Palguta commuted back and forth from Ithaca to Rochester, launching his professional career even before the end of his four years at Cornell. He then signed with the Colorado Rapids in 2009, where he would go on to win the Major League Soccer Cup in 2010.
“I never envisioned myself walking away from soccer when I stopped playing,” said Palguta. “Whether it was going to be coaching or staying involved in the professional level on the business side, soccer has been one of the biggest passions of my life since I was five years old. I always thought that I never worked a day in my life while I was playing professionally and I still kind of look at it that way now.”
Upon arriving at Colorado College, Palguta has led the Tigers to rank twenty-second in the United Soccer Coaches Division III Rankings, and earned his debut in the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament this past season. It seems that the head coach of the Tigers has hit his stride after building the program with strict athletic and academic expectations.
“One of the reasons I chose CC was my ability to relate to the players,” said Palguta. “I know that there’s times when they are under high pressure with finals and it’s like, been there done that, you know. Being able to relate to players and have that connection and bond lends itself to building good relationships, but also maintaining expectations that we can and will get through this. We can keep a high standard on the field while also doing wonderful things in the classroom.”
Palguta will be entering his fifth year as head coach of the men’s soccer program and is looking forward to more successful seasons to come.