Davidson College

Davidson College Athletics
209 Ridge Rd. Davidson, NC 28036
Division 1 North Carolina Southeast
Private Small National competitor


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Mike Babst

Mike Babst is in his fifth season as the head coach of the Davidson men's soccer program.

In 2022, Davidson’s youth showed early, but the ‘Cats concluded the regular season 6-4-3 over their last 13 contests highlighted by a 3-1 win over Virginia Tech and consecutive league win’s to close out the campaign, including 2-0 at Rhode Island.

On the individual side, first-year phenom Denis Krioutchenkov was as good as advertised earning Freshman All-American honors and a spot on the league’s second-team. The striker finished his first collegiate season ranked among A-10 leaders in goals (9 / 2nd), total points (20 / 3rd), game-winning goals (3 / T-1st), shots (57 / 2nd) and shots on goal (32 / 1st).

Year three for Babst and his club was another step forward as the Wildcats posted a 9-7-2 overall mark, which included two wins over then-nationally-ranked foes. In addition, Davidson finished 3-3-2 in league play earning its second berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament in the last three seasons.

Another highlight to the 2021 campaign was the Wildcats' 2-1 victory over Radford, which was the 100th win of Babst's brief nine-year coaching career.

In his first year on the Wildcat sideline, Babst led the program to just their third A-10 Tournament trip since joining the league in 2014.

Since taking over in 2019, Davidson has had six all-conference performers, including Henry Howell and Vincent Bennage in 2021.

Despite his second year on the bench shifting to the spring and being abbreviated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Davidson finished 3-4-2 overall and 2-2-2 in conference play.

After dropping their first two contests, the Wildcats went 3-1-2 over the next six, which included back-to-back shutouts over league foes George Washington and VCU.

Babst came to Davidson after a successful six-year stint at the University of Chicago, where he led the Division III program to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the national semifinals the last two seasons.

His teams won four conference championships and went 87-23-12, including 54-6-5 the last three years.

“Coach Babst brings a wealth of experience and a foundation of success to Davidson,” said Director of Athletics Chris Clunie. “He understands an environment with high academic standards that competes to win at the highest level athletically – he exemplifies athletics done right. We are thrilled that he has joined us and we are confident he will lead the men’s soccer program to the next level.”

In Chicago, Babst coached seven of the program’s eight All-Americans, three conference players of the year, four conference rookies of the year and 30 all-conference selections.

He spent 2012-13 as an assistant coach at Northwestern, where he helped Northwestern earn its second straight Big Ten title and reach the NCAA postseason for the seventh time. While there he coached goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who is the current starting keeper for Los Angeles FC (MLS).

Babst spent the previous five years as an assistant at the University of South Carolina, where the Gamecocks reached the NCAA Tournament his final two seasons. He made other coaching stops at Duquesne and Washington & Lee.

“I have been fortunate to work at a number of great institutions, and if I could take my favorite piece of each place it would come together to look exactly like Davidson. My family is so excited to be a part of this community and this amazing educational experience. I hope to lead a team that makes everyone associated with Davidson proud,” Babst commented.

Babst graduated from Boston College in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and marketing. On the pitch, he joined the Eagles as a walk-on during his sophomore campaign and competed as a junior and senior.

In 2007, he earned a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Jesse DiLuzio

Jesse DiLuzio is in his second season as an assistant coach on Mike Babst's staff.

DiLuzio, the older brother of former Wildcat standout Jamie DiLuzio ’21, came to Davidson after almost two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Louisville.

“It's funny how things work out- with Jamie Diluzio graduating and moving to Louisville for his fifth year of eligibility, we are able to bring in Jesse from Louisville where he was a Graduate Assistant for the past two seasons. He already has really valuable experience as a young coach and has an energy and ambition to help drive our program to a new level. And the familiarity he has with our program from his brother playing here for four years will really help him to transition into making an impact right away,” Babst said.

Along with assisting in a number of areas with the Louisville program, DiLuzio helped the Cardinals to an appearance in the 2019 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

During his time in Kentucky, DiLuzio also served as a head coach of the Louisville City Academy.

As a standout player at Centre College, where he graduated from in 2018, DiLuzio guided the Colonels to their first SAA Championship in program history.

DiLuzio, who holds a USSF C License, is set to receive his Masters of Science Degree in Sports Administration from Louisville in May of 2021.

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Max Lichtenstein

Max Lichtenstein joined the Davidson Men's Soccer staff as the assistant coach in June of 2023. He will work primarily with goalkeepers.

Lichtenstein joins Davidson from Tufts University where he served as the assistant coach from 2020 through 2022.

During the 2022 campaign, Tufts went 8-3-7 and made it to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Goalkeeper Eric Lauta ended the season ranked top 25 in Division III in both goals against average and shutouts under Lichtenstein's direction.

In 2021 during the team's first season of game action with Coach Lichtenstein on the sideline, the Jumbos earned a 15-2-4 overall record, won the NESCAC championship and made an NCAA Tournament "Elite 8" appearance. Under his guidance, Lauta was a United Soccer Coaches All-Region selection and was tied for the fourth-most shutouts in DIII with ten.

As a player, Lichtenstein was a three-year starter at Ithaca College after playing his freshman year at the University of Memphis. Prior to college, he played for the Chicago Fire in the Development Academy where he recorded six shutouts in eight games his final season.

At Ithaca, Lichtenstein served as a two-year captain, was a two-time first team All-Liberty League recipient, and a two-time first team All-East Region recipient, as well as the 2019 Liberty League Player of the Year and a 2018 United Soccer Coaches Second Team All American. He led the Ithaca program to a 27-8-6 record over his final two seasons and helped the Bombers reach as high as #8 in the country in 2019. He graduated from Ithaca in 2020 with a degree in sports media.

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