Mark Recker, a three-time MIAA MVP in men's soccer, heads into his 12th year as head women's soccer coach at Calvin. Recker has compiled a won-loss record of 165-47-17 (.765) at Calvin which includes MIAA titles in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and appearances in the NCAA III Tournament in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2006 and 2009, Calvin reached the national quarterfinals. Calvin's 2006 team posted a final season record of 22-0-1. Recker's 2006 team also allowed just six goals on the season, setting a new Calvin single-season record in the process. Calvin's victory total (22) in 2006 was also a new single-season record. For his coaching efforts, Recker was named the 2006 Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year. In addition, Recker was named the MIAA Women's Soccer Coach of the Year in 2006 after also receiving the award in 2005.
Recker's 2005 Calvin team finished fourth nationally in scoring average (4.14 goals-per-game) while also establishing a Calvin and MIAA single-season scoring records. The 2005 team also established new MIAA single-season records for shutouts and fewest goals allowed.
During his eight prior years as Calvin women's soccer coach, Recker has coached eight MIAA MVPs and eight MIAA scoring champions. He has also coached three NSCAA Division III All-Americans and two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.
A 1981 Calvin graduate, Recker was a four-time 1st team All-MIAA selection and a two-time MIAA MVP in men's soccer between 1976-1979. Recker was named the MIAA's MVP in 1978 and 1979. During that span, Recker helped lead Calvin to three MIAA titles in men's soccer including unblemished marks of 10-0-0 in 1976 and 1979. Recker served as a co-captain in 1978 and 1979 and earned All-Mideast region honors in 1978 and 1979. A four-year starter at the forward/striker position, Recker is the all-time MIAA leader in career assists. He is also tied for seventh on the all-time MIAA list for career goals and is fifth in career points.
Recker's interest in soccer began as a youth at the Hillcrest Academy in Nigeria where he was the youngest of six boys in a family of missionary parents. "All of my brothers played soccer and school recess was always a soccer game," recalled Recker. "I was constantly engaged with the game and found out that the game came naturally to me. Playing soccer as a young boy was a lot of fun." Recker later spent a year in the Netherlands while his father was completing post-graduate work and then moved to Grand Rapids where he graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School and then Calvin.
After earning a Calvin degree in sociology, he went on to earn master's degree in therapeutic recreation in 1983 from Indiana University and has worked as a social worker in the Grand Rapids area for several years.
Recker began his coaching career as a student assistant coach for the Calvin men's soccer team under the direction of head coach Marv Zuidema in 1980 and 1981. In 1993, he returned to coaching, serving as the assistant coach of a U-11 boys team. Recker has continued to coach at the GRASA level including serving as head coach of a U-18 girls team in the fall of 1998. In addition, he has coached in the Grand Valley Soccer Association, serving as the head coach of a Premier Little Caesars Club boys team from 1996 to the present and as the head coach of GVSA girls U-13, U-14, U-15 and U-16 teams from 1998 to the present. In 1996, Recker earned a Level "D" coaching license from the Illinois Youth Soccer Association.
Recker is the father of three children, Christina, Brian and Carrie. All three children are active soccer players and have been instrumental in leading Recker into coaching. "I encouraged my son to try out for a travel team when he was 11 years old and when he made the team, I found out that I had a difficult time being a spectator and volunteered to be an assistant coach," he said. "The coaching bug really got me at that point and led me to coach both of my daughters later on."