Berson Announces Two New Assistant Coaches

March 27, 2017


COLUMBIA, S.C.  -- South Carolina men’s soccer coach Mark Berson announced the addition of two assistant coaches Monday to his staff in Justin Cook and Tyler Kettering. Cook joins the Gamecocks after 10 seasons as an assistant at Tulsa. Kettering joins the program after one season as assistant at Dayton, and seven as associate head coach at Gardner Webb.

"We are really pleased to add Justin Cook and Tyler Kettering to our staff as assistant coaches,” said Berson, “Both have extensive experience at the Division I level in recruiting and developing top-flight players.”

Cook most recently served as an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator for the Golden Hurricane. While with Tulsa, he was a part of eight NCAA Tournament teams, three American Athletic Conference Tournament Championships (2014-16), four C-USA Tournament Championships (2007-09) and three C-USA Regular Season Championships. In their eight NCAA berths with Cook, the Golden Hurricane advanced to the second round four times (2007-08, 10, 15), the third round once (2012) and the NCAA Quarterfinals once (2009). In 2010, the program received a school-best No. 2 national ranking. The program compiled a 117-60-25 (.683 pct) record overall during Cook’s time there.

While with Tulsa, Cook recruited three MAC Hermann Trophy candidates, three All-Americans, five academic All-Americans, three C-USA Players of the Year, two C-USA Defensive Players of the Year, 28 all-conference selections and one member of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Men’s Soccer Team.

Cook had a highly decorated career as a player as well. He was inducted into the 2015 Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame after earning Big Ten All-Conference honors four times. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2000 and the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2004. He was selected 51st overall in the 2005 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. Cook is a native of Orlando, Fla. He and his wife Stefanie have two daughters, Piper and Elizabeth.

“Justin joins us from the University of Tulsa where he has consistently brought in outstanding recruiting classes and assisted in helping TU put an outstanding team on the field each year,” said Berson, “He has an outstanding pedigree as a player at Ohio State, where he was one of only two players in history to earn both Big Ten freshman of the year honors and then Big Ten player of the Year honors as a senior.”

In his lone season with the Flyers, Kettering helped develop A-10 Defender of the Year Lalas Abubakar, who was selected No. 5 overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew. A native of Xenia, Ohio, Kettering came to Dayton after seven years as the Associate Head Coach for Gardner-Webb University. In his time at Gardner-Webb, Kettering served as the recruiting coordinator, ran day-to-day team operations, as well as developing and implementing practice sessions and overseeing the goalkeeper training throughout the season.

Kettering played his college soccer at Gardner-Webb as well where he had a standout career as a keeper for the Bulldogs. He led the nation in saves twice (2004, 2006), set school and conference records for career saves (446), and earned Atlantic Sun All-Conference honors twice. He finished second in school history with 15 career shutouts and earned A-Sun All-Freshman Team accolades in 2003.

After college he went on to play one season in the USL for the Wilmington Hammerheads (2006-07) and one season in the MLS for the Chicago Fire (2008-09). Kettering and his wife Ali have three children, Logan, Karis, and Charlie.

“Tyler has extensive experience as a player and coach, having competed in the MLS, and the USL as a goalkeeper,” said Berson, “As a goalkeeper at Gardner Webb University, he led the nation in saves for two seasons. As associate head coach at Gardner Webb, he was responsible for bringing in outstanding recruiting classes and helping develop the Gardner Webb program.”