Timbers formally introduce new head coach Caleb Porter at JELD-WEN Field

Former Univ. of Akron coach takes the reigns in Portland

Caleb Porter #1, press conference, 1.8.12

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today formally introduced new head coach Caleb Porter at a morning news conference held in the Community Room at JELD-WEN Field. Porter will lead the Timbers in 2013 after seven seasons as the head coach at the University of Akron, where he became one of the most successful coaches in the NCAA.

Appointed as the Timbers’ head coach Aug. 29, 2012, Porter coached Akron through the 2012 college season, guiding the Zips to an 18-1-3 record, a No. 1 national ranking, a conference championship and to the Round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. He finished his time at Akron (2006-12) with a career mark of 123-18-17 and owned the highest winning percentage (0.832) among current Division I coaches.

Porter, 37, built Akron into a perennial national championship contender, leading the Zips to five consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament’s Round of 16 (2008-12), back-to-back NCAA College Cup appearances in 2009 and 2010, and the school’s first national title in any sport in 2010. He recorded the 100th win of his career in 2011, reaching the century mark in fewer games (126) than collegiate Hall of Fame and current MLS coaches Bruce Arena and Sigi Schmid.

Additionally, Porter guided Akron to seven Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular-season championships and five MAC tournament titles. He was named the NSCAA National Coach of the Year in 2009 and was a three-time Division I All-Ohio Coach of the Year. He also won the MAC Coach of the Year award six consecutive times from 2007-12.

The Kalamazoo, Mich., native recruited and developed 17 Akron players who have been drafted into or signed by MLS over the past seven years, including a league-record five first-round selections and seven overall picks in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. Among those selected in 2011 was Timbers midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft. Under Porter’s guidance, Nagbe and former Akron standout Teal Bunbury were recipients of the MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top collegiate player.

In addition to his time at Akron, Porter served as the head coach of the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team during 2012 CONCACAF Olympic qualification and spent three years as an assistant coach on the U.S. U-18 National Team from 2009-11. Prior to joining Akron, Porter was an assistant coach for six years (2000-05) at Indiana University, helping the school win back-to-back national championships in 2003 and 2004 and five Big Ten Conference championships.

As a player, Porter was the 27th overall pick by the San Jose Clash in the 1998 MLS College Draft. He spent time with San Jose and the Tampa Bay Mutiny before a knee injury ended his career in 2000. Porter also played two seasons with the U.S. National B Team in 1996 and 1997 and earned a bronze medal at the 1997 World University Games.

He had a successful collegiate career at Indiana, where he was a four-year letter winner and a three-year captain for the Hoosiers. Porter led Indiana to four conference titles and two College Cup appearances, and was the runner-up for the 1997 Hermann Trophy.

Porter graduated from Indiana in 1998 with a degree in sports management. He and his wife, Andrea, have three children – two sons, Colin and Jake, and daughter, Stella Jane.