Mike McNamee, a senior in civil and architectural engineering, has soccer in his blood.
Born into a soccer-loving family, he began playing on his first team at the age of 4.
Now the four-year Miner goalkeeper shares the team captain slot with fellow teammate Dan Gravlin, with whom he attended St. Louis University High School. McNamee’s love of soccer has paid off. He became a starter halfway through his first year at UMR and played in every minute of every game over the next two seasons. His six shutouts in 2005 earned him UMR’s single-season record. He recentlyvbroke the school’s all-time record for shutouts with his 15th when the Miners blanked Truman State on the last day of September.
Along with making school records, McNamee was voted the Miners’ most valuable player by his teammates following his sophomore year. He counts that vote and becoming co-captain with Gravlin as the two biggest honors he has received while playing soccer at UMR. “I feel like I have a bus full of amazing friends from the team,” he says. “Since we travel with the women’s team, we’ve all become good friends on the road and it really feels like one big extended family.”
McNamee chose UMR for its strong engineering program and the opportunity to play soccer competitively. Set to graduate in December 2008, he hopes to enter the construction management field. He currently works for McCarthy Building Companies Inc. in St. Louis.
For McNamee, though, it’s not all about what he has put into soccer. It’s also about what soccer has given back to him. “The sense of pride is the most rewarding part of playing soccer at UMR,” he says, “the pride in myself, in my teammates individually, in my team as a whole, in our work, and in my school. I will carry that feeling with me the rest of my life.”