Coach Benware enters into his 3rd season at the helm of the Montreat College men's soccer program. He returns after a three year hiatus away from Montreat College and is eager to rejoin the Montreat College community. Benware previously spent three seasons as Head Men's Soccer Coach at University of the Cumberlands (2011-2014) and led the program to a 27-21-4 record.
Prior to Cumberlands, he served as Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Montreat College (2008-2011), where the program amassed an overall record of 31-21-2. He coached two NAIA All-Americans, a two-time Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Player of the Year, two AAC Freshmen of the Year, one AAC Golden Boot winner and 11 AAC All-Conference selections. Benware’s squad was also ranked as high as #11 in the Nation (NAIA) with wins over several top-25 programs.
He began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OWU) from 2004-2008. That experience of working to rebuild a struggling program stirred a passion to invest in the lives of collegiate student-athletes.
Benware was a four-year letterman at OWU where he garnered All-American, All-Region and All-Conference honors. He graduated from OWU with a B.S. in Business Administration (2002) and later completed his M.A. in Christian Leadership at Liberty University (2010). Benware has also earned the NSCAA National, Advanced National and Premier Diplomas. He currently serves as staff coach of NC ODP (Olympic Development Program) and has previously served as Director of Coaching for Kentucky Rush Soccer Club.
Above all else, he strives to instill a team culture where the Lord is honored and where those on the team find one another to be family away from home. It is also a priority for Coach Benware that his student-athletes strive towards academic excellence, and most of his teams have successfully earned a team GPA of 3.0(+) each year.
Benware lives in Black Mountain with his wife, Kelly, and their children, Riley, Micah and Jaxon.
Michael Bruce becomes the full time assistant after joining the coaching staff at his alma mater following his graduation in May 2013 with a degree in business administration with a concentration in sports management. Bruce also holds NSCAA National Diploma and NSCAA Goalkeeper Level 2 Diploma.
Prior to coming to the States, Bruce moved up through the ranks at Alloa Athletic Football Club, in the Scottish 2nd division, before signing his first professional contract for the 2007-2008 season, spending one year with the first team squad.
Bruce made nine starting appearances for the Cavaliers in 2010 before injuries cut his career short. In his lone season in a Cavalier uniform, the East Kilbride, Scotland, native allowed just 1.02 goals against, ranking him 41st in the NAIA.
Prior to Montreat, Bruce played two seasons at Shorter (Ga.) where he won 1 SSAC Regular Season Conference Championship and appeared in 19 career matches for the Hawks.
Bruce lives in Black Mountain with his wife Elizabeth.
Esgardo Arroyo joins the men's soccer staff to embark on his first journey as a coach. He plans to graduate in May of 2017 with his B.S. in Cybersecurity.
Esgardo was a student-athlete with the Montreat College Cavaliers soccer program for two seasons. He received 1st-Team AAC (2015), Montreat College Male Athlete of the Year (2015), Team's Most Valuable Player (2015) and Team's Newcomer of the Year (2014). Before transferring to Montreat College, Esgardo was a student-athlete at Andrew College for two years. Additionally, he played thirteen years at the club level with Alianza Soccer Club and Atlanta Fire United.