Lower Merion Soccer Alumni Association

Lower Merion Alumni Association  

Jim Koch

Jim played soccer for Lower Merion in the fall seasons of 1976, ’77, & ’78. He was a starting varsity midfielder at Lower Merion as a junior, and won The Most Improved Player Award as voted by his peers. That was validated next year when he was elected co-captain as a senior, and became the teams on & off the field leader. Playing out of the center midfield position he ended up as the team’s high scorer and was chosen to the All-Central League team. He was also voted the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player, and in addition, received the Doug Brown Memorial Award at graduation, which exemplified his devotion to the sport and his positive approach to life.

 

After graduating from Lower Merion Jim attended and played Division I soccer for the University of Delaware, where he earned a bachelors degree in psychology. When he graduated he continued playing soccer & promoting the game wherever his job took him. While still local he played in the Open Division of the Lower Merion Summer League, then in leagues in St. Louis (where he earned a doctorate from St. Louis University), New York (where he did a postdoc at Mt. Sinai Med Center), and, at the present time, Wisconsin, where he’s a member of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Psychology Dept.

 

During a year sabbatical in France in 2012-2013 Jim practiced with a top-tier club team in Montrouge, which he says “was an education on how to move the ball as well as surviving tough play, and made me a better player even this late in my career”. Now, In his mid-50’s, Jim still plays soccer in an over-35 men’s indoor league in Wisconsin, more than holding his own against players almost 20 years younger.

 

During his long soccer career Jim suffered some unfortunate injuries – 2 ACL reconstructions and 3 cartilage surgeries, and yet each time he persevered and was back on the field as soon as possible.

 

Jim is married to his lovely wife Dana and has two sons, James (25) & Alex (22) both of whom are in graduate programs abroad, James in Athens, Greece and Alex in Durham, England. When they were younger Jim was a coach with the local youth soccer league in Wisconsin where they both played.