Jeffery, 30, looking to continue growth of OLSM soccer program

By: Mike Moore | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 8, 2017

 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s soccer coach Keith Jeffery is in his fourth stop in the past four years. He hopes to be a fixture with the Eaglets for seasons to come.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s soccer coach Keith Jeffery is in his fourth stop in the past four years. He hopes to be a fixture with the Eaglets for seasons to come.

Photo by Donna Agusti

ORCHARD LAKE — It’s his fourth coaching stop in the past four years.

If Keith Jeffery has his way, it will be his last stop for a while.

That was the refrain of the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s soccer coach last week, with the first-year leader of the Eaglets now four games into his career with the program.

“I feel like I couldn’t be in a better spot right now,” Jeffery said. “This has been a great thing for me.”

Jeffery, 30, served as the coach at Madison Heights Lamphere last fall.

He spent the 2015 season as an assistant with Madison Heights Bishop Foley, and in 2014, he was an assistant with Garden City High.

His journey to St. Mary’s began shortly after last year’s district tournament ended.

“I met and spoke with (former Eaglets coach) Joe (Ruffolo) at the All-District meeting, and he made it known to me he was going to be retiring,” Jeffery said. “I got my résumé ready and applied.”

In November he was officially introduced as the Eaglets coach, one of the youngest in the Catholic High School League.

“It’s different; it really is,” he said of his short stay so far at St. Mary’s. “The facilities here are outstanding. We have two fields, and we can train based on who we’re playing that day or that week. …  The administration has been great, too. To work for someone like (athletic director/football coach) George Porritt is awesome. Lastly, the all-boys school is something I’ve enjoyed. They are great competitors. We have some great athletes here.”

Jeffery is no stranger to the game of soccer.

A 2005 graduate of Lamphere, he earned All-State honors as a senior in 2004, the same year he helped guide the Rams to their first league and district titles in program history.

After high school, he played at Concordia University in Ann Arbor.

He began coaching shortly after college, and he is currently working toward a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration.

His focus right now, though, is on the 2017 Eaglets.

His team was 2-2-0 at press time.

“The short term for us is that we want to compete and get better every single day,” Jeffery said. He is also a full-time teacher at St. Mary’s. “Being in my first year, I really want to take a run at the Catholic League. Secondly, we’ve never won a district title. That would be huge for this program this year.”

As for the long term?

“I’d really like to settle down and continue to build this program,” Jeffery added. “I’ve had a great progression for four years, and I’ve worked hard to get to this point. I want to make the most of it. This is a passion of mine, and I couldn’t ask to be in a better spot.”