[OBITUARY]Longtime University of Massachusetts men's coach Sam Koch died on Sunday at his home in Hadley, Mass., following a two-year battle with cancer.
Koch, 59, had taken over the program in 1991 for what was to be the final year of the program, but he not only saved the program but built into a respected national power. In 2007, the Minutemen reached the Men's College Cup.
“We have lost a great coach and friend with Sam's passing,” said UMass Director of Athletics John McCutcheon. “His wonderful spirit and caring way will be missed by all of us and we are grateful to have had Sam in our lives.”
Koch compiled a 222-182-45 record in 23 seasons at UMass. It went to the NCAA Tournament in 2001, 2007 and 2008 and won four Atlantic 10 regular-season titles and two Atlantic 10 Tournament titles. Koch was named the A-10 Coach of the Year four times.
He previously coached six seasons (1984-89) at Stanford University, where his record was 58-53-16. His 280 career victories placed him 21st among active Division I head coaches and 50th all-time in Division I history.
Koch, a four-year soccer letterwinner at Colby College, is survived by his wife, Suzanne, and their four children, Christopher, Jeffrey, Benjamin and Katherine.
Details on funeral arrangements are not immediately available at this time.