A top 10 with Chris Apple ’92
A top 10 with Chris Apple ’92
Head Coach, Men’s Soccer
Chris Apple is no stranger to soccer success. In his 17 years at the University of Rochester, his teams have won four Eastern College Athletic Conference championships, five University Athletic Association championships, and made 11 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) appearances. This past fall, the team advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament for the second time in school history while earning the program’s third top 10 final national ranking.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from the University, Apple played soccer overseas for a year and then spent a year as a volunteer assistant at Harvard University. He then coached for two seasons at North Carolina Wesleyan College before spending five years coaching at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to his coaching role at the University, Apple is a coach educator for the United States Soccer Federation and serves as Academy Director for Empire United, a local soccer club.
1. What’s the best thing about coaching at your alma mater? I consider myself very fortunate to combine my passions for teaching and soccer at the school I love. That I get to play a role in a student’s development from young man to adult is extremely rewarding. To witness that process play out over four years is remarkable, and probably the thing I enjoy most about the job.
2. What’s a favorite moment from the last season? Beating #6 Oneonta in the NCAA tournament on the road was especially memorable. There were so many highs and lows. It all culminated late in the match when senior Alex DiPerna scored a great go-ahead goal. Then with a minute left in the game, senior goalkeeper Redd Brown made a fingertip save of a penalty kick to earn the dramatic victory and propel the squad to the Sweet 16.
3. How would you describe the Rochester athlete? Rochester attracts serious, self-directed, high-achieving students and our athletes are no different. They are passionate about pursuing excellence in their studies and their sport. They also take time to be college kids and enjoy friendships and college life.
4. What’s something about you that people would be surprised to know? I was a German major and I studied in Germany for a semester and played soccer there for a year after graduation. I worked in a lead crystal factory to support my soccer habit! Even today, Germany remains my home away from home—zweite Heimat*.
5. Who/what inspires you? When a person or group of people deliver something exceptional, that inspires me.
6. Right now I’m reading . . . “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doer
7. You are most proud of . . . the life-long friendships that are forged within the context of the soccer program. When alumni return to campus and talk about their experiences, the most rewarding part is to hear that teammates have remained best friends for life.
8. One thing you’d love to do but haven’t? Write a novel.
9. Your favorite quote and who said it? I have a quote on my desk that I read every day from Abraham Lincoln: “I do the very best I know how—the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”
10. What’s your favorite place in the world? Why? It has to be Canandaigua Lake. My wife, Melissa Sturge-Apple ’92, a psychology professor and dean of graduate studies here, introduced me to the lake 25 years ago. Now we get to watch our two boys swim, kayak, and build bonfires each summer right in Rochester’s backyard.
*Translates to “second home”
—Kristine Thompson, January 2018