Clags The Comet

Soccer coach Doug McLagan has been immersed in the soccer world his whole life and played for the Kansas City Comets.


Doug McLagan’s trading card for the Kansas City Comets shows him defending in action.

Lauren Smith, Managing Editor

Head soccer coach and assistant athletic director, Douglas McLagan has been surrounded by soccer his entire

Doug McLagan holds up his orange Wichita Wings jersey on the field.

life. Growing up in the small village of St. George’s, England, he played sports all year long. He and his friends spent all their spare time playing soccer, rugby, and cricket. His favorite being soccer, which he played on the St. George’s village team from when he was four until he was sixteen.

“You just play for your local village,” McLagan said. “So, it’s different here (in the U.S.) because you go to club teams and you travel to play club teams. We just walked up the street to the village field where we played soccer.”

McLagan played throughout his teenage years upgrading from his village team to his county team, the equivalent to a state team here in America. Then he went on to college where he would play soccer on the weekends.

“It’s kind of what you do in Britain,” McLagan said. “I guess in America when you grow up if you are a guy you play baseball, and you play football. I played soccer.”

He continued his soccer career when he moved to Kansas City where he played for a team called Waters Construction. He really enjoyed it because as he referred to it: everyone knew everybody on the team. He liked the competitive aspect of the team, so much so that his friend who had previously played for the Kansas City Comets, the professional indoor soccer team, suggested that he try out. He was in between jobs, so he decided to give it a try.

Doug McLagan is seen on the sidelines on one of his Kansas City Comet’s trading card.

“He said: ‘You should go try out for the comets,’ and I laughed at him. ‘I said are you kidding me?’ And I thought well I’ll give it a crack, and I went for it and made it. And then I was like ‘Oh I guess I’ll play,” McLagan said.

McLagan played professionally for The Comets from 1989 until 1991, then played for the Wichita Wings team from 1991 until 1992. When he played on these teams he was always surrounded by his teammates. They would practice for an hour and a half every day, and would go out for lunch and would go out at night together.

“The thing about playing is it’s more than just playing the game, ” McLagan said. “It’s just hanging out with the people you play with, and so it was just so much fun.”

After he played in Wichita, he got married and then looked for what he calls a ‘real job.’ He doesn’t miss waking up every day limping and injured, but he misses the game to this day, especially the team aspect. He officially retired about 15 years ago, but has continued to pass on his knowledge through coaching numerous teams and still does today. His experience playing has helped to explain to players how to play at a higher level; a lesson that not all coaches can give to their players.

“I always watch soccer on TV, and I think I wish I could still be doing that. But at my age it’s just not possible,” McLagan said.