Catching Up With . . . Steve Ginsberg, Needham High/Williams College men’s soccer

Before his Noble and Greenough School boys’ soccer team takes the field, head coach Steve Ginsberg delivers the same message.

“Run for yourself and run for your mates,’’ is his reminder to have each other’s backs and play with passion.

The words have poignant meaning for Ginsberg, a former team captain at both Needham High and Williams College.

In addition to his coaching position, Ginsberg is the chief financial and operating officer for the private school in Dedham.

The quote is carved on a stone marker at the top of a hill overlooking the athletic fields at Williams. The mark memorializes Ginsberg’s former college teammate, Matt Stauffer, who died of leukemia in 1998.


A 1995 Williams graduate, the 42-year-old Ginsberg visits the site every January with players and family, along with retired Williams coach Mike Russo.

As a junior, Ginsberg led Williams in scoring when the Ephs hosted the NCAA Division 3 national championship game, a 1-0 loss to UC-San Diego. The following season, he captained an undefeated regular-season team.

“When I was graduating college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I realized how much I loved being part of a team,’’ said Ginsberg, who resides in Natick with his wife, Sara, a school counselor, and their sons, Caleb, 4, and Jordan, 2.

“Coach Russo had high expectations for us as individuals and teammates, and our success had a powerful influence on me.’’

A political science and history major, Ginsberg was an assistant men’s soccer coach at Hobart College for two years, then received a master’s in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.

Prior to his 16 years at Nobles, Ginsberg was assistant director of admissions and assistant boys’ soccer coach at Northfield Mount Hermon.

He coached the girls’ varsity team at Nobles for five years, winning a New England Class A title. His boys’ squad has won three Independent School League championships.


Ginsberg directs the summertime Eastern Massachusetts Soccer Clinic, which he took over from his former coach at Needham High, Don Brock.

“I had been a counselor at the camp, which Mr. Brock cofounded 1982,’’ said Ginsberg, who will teach a pilot senior elective course next spring, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“It has a similarity to coaching. Students will take on roles as part of a team,’’ he said.

Ginsberg also captained the varsity basketball team at Needham High and played varsity lacrosse. He was a Bay State Conference All-Star in basketball and soccer and an All-Eastern Mass. soccer selection.

He still likes to participate in his Nobles soccer team warm-up and possession drills; Ginsberg has played in the Over the Hill Soccer League since he turned 30, most of those years with Needham United.

“Competition and athletics has carried over for me,’’ he said. “I’m part of a team, working with board members, parents, teachers, and other administrators, whether meeting a budget or building a library.’’

Marvin Pave can be reached at marvin.pave@rcn.com