Feb. 1, 2013
"Mike will do a fantastic job as a head coach. He had a great brain as a player when he played for me," said UConn Head Coach Ray Reid. "He had an outstanding career in college and at the professional level. It's a great hire for that franchise."
Petke was recruited by Reid at SCSU and the duo combined for the 1995 NCAA Championship and a trip to the 1994 and 1996 NCAA Semifinals. Together from 1994-96, Reid and Petke combined to go 58-2-6.
"Until I played under Coach Reid, I had raw talent and a decent understanding of the tactical game," said Petke. "Coach Reid elevated my knowledge of the game to the point that everything that I've done as a player, and now as a coach, is traced back to the days under his guidance. All that he taught me more than prepared me for the next level."
"Coach Reid's tireless work ethic and attention to detail are keys to his success," added Petke. "His knowledge of the game and ability to translate it to his players is what sets him apart. Partner that with his incredible eye for talent as the secret to his success."
Petke was named head coach for the Red Bulls leading up to the 2013 season after serving as an assistant for two seasons. He joined the coaching staff after an 11-year professional career including two stints with the club from 1998-2002 and 2008-10. The Bohemia, N.Y. native holds the current club record for games played, with 169 (196 in all competitions), games started (158 regular season) and minutes played (14,060 regular season).
Two former UConn stars will learn first-hand from the Reid disciple this season as Toni Stahl '09 and Stephane Diop `13 are both currently training with the Red Bulls looking for a spot on the opening day roster. Stahl earned a tryout with the Red Bulls after competing in the USL the past few seasons. Stahl was previously selected by the Philadelphia Union with the 17th pick of the 2010 MLS Draft. Diop was selected by Petke in the 2013 MLS Draft in the fifth round with the 89th overall pick (51st pick in the Supplemental Draft).