Steve McCrath strives to bring joy to his Wheaton football team as head coach, which he accomplished successfully by leading them to win the 2021 Division III National Championship.
He has also earned numerous coaching accolades, such as four Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, he has mentored multiple All-SSC and All-South Region players, as well as two Scholar Athlete of the Year winners.
Early Life and Education
As a Michigan teenager, McCrath dreamed of playing hockey; however, an experience at a church revival convinced him otherwise. Instead he attended Wheaton College and discovered an aptitude for soccer.
McCrath’s team made significant strides after an initial struggle, qualifying for the NCAA post-season tournament an astounding eight times over the following years.
National power, the Bucs never fell outside of the top 25 under McCrath. He earned four SSC Coach of the Year honors and two All-South Region Coach awards before coaching seven SSC Players of the Year; many went on to professional soccer careers he facilitated as well as boasting an exceptional graduation rate among student athletes under him. Since his retirement he has received hundreds of e-mails of appreciation from fans and colleagues alike.
McCrath held on for 38 seasons at SPU, winning 521 games – second all-time among Division II coaches – which led to five national titles won and 9 second-place finishes.
McCrath was often harsh in his approach to the game. One story involves him lecturing record-setting striker Alen Marcina about his sideline behavior and that if he wanted to succeed as either an amateur player or coach he needed to pay closer attention to daily team routines.
At SPU, recruiting was often difficult due to limited scholarship funds and players paying full tuition. Yet McCrath managed to attract top talent, including Chris Henderson of the Sounders and Adrian Hanauer as manager, by promising extensive travel that created a sense of brotherhood within his program.
Achievement and Honors
McCrath holds the Division II coaching victory record with 241 wins – an extraordinary accomplishment! His outsize personality, indefatigable work ethic and unparalleled success make him one of the most well-known figures in collegiate soccer today.
McCrath began coaching at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida in 1998 and over 23 seasons his teams made eight NCAA Tournament appearances as well as 13 national rankings.
His players recognize McCrath for his discipline, dedication and grit as they develop into adults while contributing to society. He has won four SSC and All-South Region Coach of the Year honors as well as sending several players into professional basketball.
Steve McCrath is a long-standing American soccer coach currently leading Wheaton College men’s team. Prior to this appointment, he held this same role for 20 seasons at Barry University – compiling an outstanding record of 241-135-39 (65.3%) and leading them to eight NCAA Division II tournament appearances during that period.
At Seattle Pacific University he earned four-year letterwins as a player, helping lead them to victory in 1986 NCAA Division II championship and serving as captain during 1989. Additionally he received NCAA All-Region honors as a senior.
McCrath has been honored four times as the Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year and twice All-South Region Coach, producing over 20 All-Americans who have gone on to the professional ranks.
He is widely recognized for appearing as himself on various television programs such as Law and Order: SVU, Celebrity Big Brother and Killer Karaoke on truTV’s second season. Additionally he competed on Rock & Roll Jeopardy for its inaugural American edition and has appeared as guest stars on shows such as Neighbors, The Office and Workaholics as himself as well. Lastly he fronted Sugar Ray himself.
At his law firm, Ralph provides advice and counsel for private equity firms and high net-worth individuals on media, technology and entertainment issues. His clients include The Tom Clancy Literary Estate for film and TV rights transactions as well as New Republic Pictures in a slate funding transaction. In addition, Ralph successfully negotiated Blumhouse’s pact to develop The Exorcist trilogy of films. Ralph is married to former Seattle Pacific volleyball player Katie Ralph and they share two children: Kieran and Sienna.