Drew StaceyHead Coach
Office Phone: 863-667-5142
In fall 2012, Drew Stacey will enter his ninth season as the men's soccer coach at Southeastern University.
In 2009, Stacey led Southeastern to the 2009 NCCAA D-II National Championship game, where the Fire lost a heartbreaking game, 2-1, in overtime.
The Fire ended its season with an 11-12 overall record. The team's second place finish in 2009 gives the Fire four straight top-five finishes within the NCCAA D-II.
Stacey has compiled a 95-66-5 record at Southeastern over eight seasons. In 2006, he helped capture the program's first national championship in men's soccer. Over his tenure, Stacey and the Fire have won four South Region Championships and have made three appearances within the NCCAA D-II National Championship game.
In his first season, Stacey led Southeastern to its first South Region Championship in 13 years and took the team to the NCCAA II National Tournament, where the Fire finished fourth in the nation.
He has twice been named the NCCAA D-II South Region Coach of the Year, and in 2006 he was named the NCCAA II National Coach of the Year.
Stacey grew up in the youth leagues of north Lakeland, starting his soccer career at the age of seven on pre-club teams. His soccer skills grew to the point that he was often asked to play on club teams that traveled throughout Florida.
Stacey is the son of a coach. His father, Bill Stacey, launched the men's soccer program at Lake Gibson High School. He is a graduate of Lake Gibson High School, where he started at the mid-field position as a sophomore, and moved to center-mid as a senior.
After graduation, Stacey attended Polk Community College, before answering his country's call to join the Marine Corps, and serve in the first Gulf War.
"It was hard to find time to play soccer for the Marines," he said. "They're not really known for their sports."
Stacey finished his four years in the Marines and came home looking to play soccer again. He found the Lakeland Lions, a local men's soccer team that competed in the largest amateur league in Florida, the Florida Sun Coast League. He gained priceless knowledge and unforgettable memories with the Lions, retiring in 2000 after the team reached the finals of the men's Florida Cup.
In 2001, Stacey was introduced to Southeastern as an assistant coach. While in that role, he helped Southeastern reach the NCCAA South Region Championship game in 2002 and 2003.
"I feel very blessed in the directions the Lord has taken me in my life. I've been playing soccer for the better part of 24 years, and I believe I have a lot to give back to the community and to the game," added Stacey.
Stacey believes all his soccer experiences have led him to this point. From foreign coaches who taught him newer techniques to local coaches who taught him to "never quit," Stacey has gained a wealth of skill, knowledge, and character that will help him bring steady progress to the Fire's already up-and-coming program.
"I see the younger players becoming more technical and sharp these days," he said. "Their vision is getting better, and I attribute a lot of that to TV shows like Fox Sports World, where they have a chance to watch the best of the best play. As children we learn a lot by mimicking our sports heroes on TV, whether it's the quick release throw like Dan Marino, or bending the ball like David Beckham."
"I look forward to growing with our youth and this [university]," he said. "I feel privileged to add what I have learned in the past toward the amazing possibilities and future of each [player]."
"Coach Stacey brings a wealth of knowledge and a strong passion to recruit both locally and nationally. Drew's desire to integrate his faith into a college campus is a perfect fit for Southeastern soccer," said Athletic Director Duane Aagaard.
Stacey and his wife Becky reside in Lakeland. The two have a six year old son named Sebastian.