BRUNSWICK — For Ben Dotson, Brunswick is not only his hometown, but it’s where he developed his love for soccer.
Now the Medina County resident and former Padua standout is getting a chance to leads its boys soccer program.
Dotson was named the replacement for Bruce Miller, who stepped down after four years at the helm.
“For me, it’s all come full circle,” Dotson said. “I grew up here, played here and even though I was I catholic school kid, I spent most of my time here, so I’m excited for the opportunity to take over for a guy like Bruce.”
The 30-year-old has spent the last three seasons as Miller’s lead assistant after spending the previous five years piloting Holy Name’s boys program. In that span, he led the Green Wave to back-to-back top-10 rankings in Greater Cleveland and is second on the school’s all-time wins list.
He also coached 19 All-North Coast League selections, 43 All-Greater Cleveland picks, one All-Ohioan and three Academic All-Americans.
When his tenure was up at the Parma Heights school, the decision was easy to come back home and learn from Miller, a former professional coach with the Cleveland Crunch.
“When I left Holy Name, my choices were to coach in college or to sit next to a legend like Bruce Miller,” Dotson said. “I learned a ton from him, and he can’t be replaced.”
After his playing days at Padua, Dotson was a standout forward at Baldwin Wallace, where his career was cut short due to a back injury.
Now he will look to help the Blue Devils go from the middle of the road in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division to a title contender. Brunswick went 7-8-4, 2-2-1 last season and returns one of the area’s top scorers in Jesse Marinaro (7 goals, 6 assists).
“It’s really a mentality thing,” he said. “What we need to do — and I already talked with the seniors about this — is overcome that and peak at the right time. We’re going to put an emphasis on conference games. That’s the big thing — improve that season-long mentality.
“The players take their cue from me. I’m dedicated and hard-working, and I hope that’s contagious.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.