Mike Cannon will enter his 24th season at the helm of the Truman women’s soccer program in Fall 2016, serving as not only the top coach in Truman women’s soccer history, but also as one of the top coaches all-time at the NCAA Div. II level. With a career record of 305-109-49 (.712), Cannon is not only the winningest coach in program history, but he became just the eight NCAA Div. II coach to surpass the 300-win plateau for his career.
Throughout his tenure as head coach, Cannon has seen eight of his players named to the all-American squad by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). In total, 70 players have been named NSCAA all-region, with 25 landing on the first-team – including two recent graduates, Alexis Heffernan and Jessica Hanson.
Cannon has led the program to the NCAA postseason 11 times and was the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Coach of the Year eight times. He was also named the Central Region Coach of the Year in 2001.
During the program’s first three seasons of competition in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, Cannon guided the Bulldogs to a combined 31-6-8 (.778) record, including a conference tournament championship in 2015. The Bulldogs have been to the NCAA Div. II tournament two of the three (2013, 2015) seasons as GLVC members.
When it came to MIAA play, the Bulldogs were the most dominant team in the league’s history prior to shifting to the GLVC in 2013, having won more than 81% of their conference games with a combined 131-23-18 record in 14 seasons. Four players were named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player, while a league-high 129 players were named all-conference, an average of more than nine per season, since the league added women’s soccer as a conference sport in 1999. Cannon’s teams captured nine of the 14 MIAA titles offered from 1999-2012.
During the 2015 season, Cannon notched career win No. 300 in a 4-0 Bulldog rout of Illinois Springfield on October 23 in Kirksville. In that game, the team earned its 10th win of the, marking the 21st consecutive season that the Bulldogs won at least ten matches. Only one other program currently owns a streak longer than Truman's in all of NCAA Div. II.
He led the program to its fourth straight NCAA tournament in 2010, as the squad handled Midwestern (Texas) State in the first round, 3-1, before coming up short in the second round at Central Missouri. Just two seasons prior, Cannon eclipsed the 200-win mark en route to reaching the national quarterfinals before falling 1-0 to the eventual national champions – Seattle Pacific.
Cannon's on-field team success can be matched by his players’ performance in the classroom as well. Three Bulldogs have been named CoSIDA Academic all-Americans a total of five times, while countless players have earned all-MIAA and all-GLVC Academic Honor Roll accolades.
From 2001-04, the Bulldogs compiled a record of 71-9-5 (.865) – the second-best mark in Div. II during that period. In 1997, he led the Bulldogs to their first playoff appearance and advanced the team to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals. That year, Cannon became Truman's winningest coach with a 3-0 win over Baker University on Sept. 27. He posted his 100th career victory in 2001 in a 3-0 defeat of MIAA rival Northwest Missouri.
Cannon was named head coach of the Bulldogs in 1993 after serving as an assistant coach for the Truman men’s soccer team in 1992. From 1988-91, Cannon played for Truman as a marking back and midfielder and was named the team’s most valuable player his senior year. As a junior, he was selected as the Bulldogs' most improved player for his contribution during a campaign in which the men’s team qualified for the DII playoffs for the first time. During the summers of 1996 and 1997, Cannon spent time on the pitch as a defender for the Des Moines Menace of the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues (now called the United Soccer League). He was selected to play in the USISL all-star game in ‘96 and served as team captain in ‘97. Cannon’s efforts helped lead the Menace to the regional playoffs both years.
He graduated in 1992 from Truman with a bachelor’s degree in English.