The winningest active coach in Division One men’s college soccer; South Carolina’s Mark Berson is retiring at the end of this season, following forty-three seasons at the helm of the Gamecock program.
According to his USC bio, Berson started the varsity program in 1978 and promptly posted a 13-3-1 mark in his inaugural season with the Gamecocks. A year later, South Carolina finished with a 14-5-0 record and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.His winning ways have spanned decades and in 2017, he became just the fourth coach in NCAA Division I men’s soccer history to hit the 500-win plateau when the Gamecocks beat UAB 1-0 on the road in the regular season finale to punch their ticket to the Conference USA Tournament. His 2019 squad notably gave him his 500th win at Carolina with a 3-0 victory over Furman on September 18th.
Over 60 Gamecocks have either been drafted or signed to play professional soccer. Two-time First Team All-C-USA pick Danny Deakin, Carolina’s most recent draftee into Major League Soccer, was selected in the third round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City SC. Guzan, the highest ever draft pick in program history, was selected second overall in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by CD Chivas USA. The Gamecocks have had 12 MLS Draft selections total during Berson’s tenure. In 2019, Clint Mathis became the first player in program history to have his jersey retired by the University of South Carolina.
On Thursday, Berson reminisced on his career, including the “Gone Fishing” sign he expects to hang outside his home after Saturday’s regular season finale versus the University of Kentucky.