Head Coach - Caleb Porter
Head coach Caleb Porter guided the Portland Timbers on a record-setting, turnaround season in 2013, his first season in MLS and as the club’s head coach. He was announced as the Timbers head coach on Aug. 29, 2012, and joined the club ahead of the 2013 MLS campaign.
Porter was named the 2013 MLS Coach of the Year after leading Portland to a 14-5-15 (57pts) record, finishing the regular season in first place in the Western Conference and with the third-best record in the league – just two points shy of MLS Supporters’ Shield-winners New York Red Bulls. In 2013, the Timbers set new single-season club marks in points, wins, goals (54), goal differential (+21), shutouts (15) and fewest goals allowed (33).
Under Porter, the Timbers assembled one of the biggest turnaround seasons in MLS history in 2013. In comparison to Portland’s 2012 totals, the Timbers assembled a 23-point improvement in points and an MLS-record 43-goal improvement in goal differential. Portland’s five losses during the 2013 regular season are tied for the fewest in MLS history in a 34-game season.
In 2013, the Timbers ranked third in MLS in goals scored and conceded the second-fewest goals at 33, giving the club a league-best, plus-21 goal differential. The club also led the league with 15 shutouts, tied for third-most in a single season in MLS history. During the regular season, the Timbers assembled one of the longest unbeaten streaks in MLS history at 15 games.
The Timbers recorded a 15-game, home unbeaten streak during the 2013 regular season, posting a league-best 11-1-5 home record at JELD-WEN Field. The club also set an MLS single-season record with 11 home shutouts.
Among Porter’s achievements during the 2013 season, the club’s 57 points accrued are the most earned by a first-year head coach in MLS since the league’s inaugural season in 1996. Porter’s winning percentage (.632) in 2013 ranked among the best in league history for first-year MLS head coaches, and the Timbers’ 15-game unbeaten streak is the longest by an MLS head coach in his first full season at the helm.
Under Porter in 2013, Portland qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since joining the league in 2011. By defeating rival Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Semifinal, the Timbers became just the fifth club in MLS history to reach the conference championship in their MLS Cup Playoff debut, and the first since Real Salt Lake in 2008.
Additionally, the Timbers made their deepest run in club history in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2013 under Porter’s guidance, reaching the semifinals of the tournament.
Prior to joining the Timbers, Porter was one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history during his tenure as head coach at the University of Akron from 2006-12. He compiled a career mark of 123-18-17 at Akron and owned the highest winning percentage (0.832) among all active Division I coaches. Porter garnered numerous honors while at Akron, including 2009 NSCAA National Coach of the Year.
From Kalamazoo, Mich., Porter led the Zips to back-to-back NCAA College Cup appearances in 2009 and 2010, and the school’s first national title in any sport in 2010. In all, he guided Akron to seven Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular-season championships, five MAC Tournament titles and five consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament’s Round of 16 (2008-12). Porter set multiple NCAA records while at Akron, including a 48-match, home unbeaten streak (44-0-4) from 2008-11 and a 47-match unbeaten streak (44-0-3) in conference play from 2006-12.
Porter’s coaching career also includes time as the head coach of the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team during 2012 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying and he spent three years as an assistant coach on the U.S. U-18 National Team from 2009-11. Prior to joining Akron, Porter was an assistant coach for six years (2000-05) at Indiana University.
As a player, Porter was the 27th overall pick by the San Jose Clash in the 1998 MLS College Draft. He spent time with San Jose and the Tampa Bay Mutiny before a knee injury ended his professional playing career in 2000. Porter also played for the U.S. National B Team from 1996-97, winning a bronze medal at the 1997 World University Games.
He had a successful collegiate playing career at Indiana, where he was a three-year captain, a three-time All-Big Ten honoree and a four-year letter winner. Porter led the Hoosiers to four conference titles, and four NCAA tournament appearances – twice advancing to the College Cup. As a senior, Porter captained IU to 23 consecutive wins before losing to eventual national champion UCLA in the national semifinals and was the runner-up for the 1997 Hermann Trophy.
Porter graduated from Indiana in 1998 with a degree in sports management. He and his wife, Andrea, have three children – two sons, Colin and Jake, and a daughter, Stella Jane.