Former Monmouth standout, two-time Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and New York Red Bull member, Hugh MacDonald, joined the Monmouth coaching staff for the 2007 season and was bumped up to top assistant in 2008. MacDonald was elevated to Associate Head Coach prior to the 2013 season.
He assists head coach Robert McCourt in all aspects of the Monmouth program, including practice and conditioning, recruiting, game operations and management, alumni relations and community service projects.
One of the best defenders in Monmouth University and conference history, MacDonald, a two-time captain during his playing days, also works closely with the Hawks' back line, which has been one of the most consistent and dynamic units in the nation.
MacDonald helped guide the Hawks to a 6-1-1 home record in 2017. The team played two nationally-ranked teams during the season, drawing #14 West Virginia, 0-0, and falling late to UMass Lowell, 3-2. Redshirt senior Colin Stripling and redshirt freshman John Antunes were both named to Third Team All-Region and Second Team All-MAAC, while holding defender George Akampeke was named to the All-MAAC Rookie Team. Following the season, senior Jake Areman signed with the USL's Charlotte Independence.
Included in the six Monmouth athletes to earn All-MAAC honors in 2016 were defender Zachary Pereira, who was named to Second Team All-MAAC, and defender Andy Martinez, who was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team. Goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky was named Co-Goalkeeper of the Year, Second Team All-MAAC, and NSCAA First Team All-Northeast Region Team for the second consecutive season. After four years under MacDonald's supervision, Klenofsky was selected 34th overall by D.C. United in the MLS Superdraft, becoming the sixth Monmouth student-athlete selected by an MLS team in the last seven years.
Under MacDonald's guidance, David Acuna Camacho successfully made the transition from a holding center midfield position to center back in 2015, earning MAAC Defensive Player of the Year. The accomplishment marked the third-consecutive season in which a Hawk won league Defensive Player of the Year under the watchful eye of MacDonald. In addition, goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky earned MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year. All-League selection Derek Luke also signed a professional contract with FC Cincinnati following the season.
MacDonald helped Matt Jeffery to MAAC Defensive Player of the Year recognition in both 2013 and 2014 to tie his own program record as a two-time conference defensive player of the year. Following the season, Jeffery was selected in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids. The Hawks earned National Statistical Championships in both goals-against average (0.48) and save percentage (.883) in 2014.
MacDonald coached Emmanuel Senyah Agyemang to all-conference honors in three-straight seasons, while Eric Klenofsky earned his second-straight all-conference nod in leading the nation in goals-against average (0.22, 0.48) in consecutive seasons under MacDonald's tutelage. Derek Luke was also named All-MAAC in 2014.
With MacDonald's guidance, the Hawks' defense finished seventh in the nation in team goals-against average (0.7) in 2012. Monmouth also finished 14th in shutout percentage (0.47). Individually, goalkeeper Alex Blackburn finished 10th in the nation in goals-against average (.699), 25th in save percentage (.823) and 93rd in total saves (65). Ryan Clark moved to the back line as a senior and became the first overall pick in the MLS Supplemental Draft by the New York Red Bulls.
The Hawks’ defense was once again one of the nation’s best in 2011, as Monmouth finished the season fifth in shutout percentage (.590) and eighth in goals-against average (0.61) among NCAA Division I programs. Under MacDonald’s guidance, right back RJ Allen was named an All-American and went on to be selected fifth overall in the MLS Supplemental Draft by Chivas USA. Goalkeeper Alex Blackburn also finished 10th national in goals-against average (.614).
In helping MU win its seventh-straight Northeast Conference Regular Season Title and third-consecutive league tournament title in 2011, MacDonald was recognized as the NSCAA North Atlantic Regional College Assistant Coach of the Year.
In 2010, Monmouth's defense, led by Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) second round draft pick Bryan Meredith, proved to be one of the most brilliant and consistent in the country.
The Hawks ranked eighth in the nation in 2010 in goals allowed, giving up 0.66 tallies per match, while placing seventh in Division I in shutting out 55% of their opponents. For his efforts, MacDonald was recognized as part of the NSCAA North Atlantic Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.
The Kearny, N.J. native helped lead the Hawks to an 18-2-2 record in 2009, the best mark in program history. The Blue and White defeated the 12th-ranked University of Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament First Round at home in one of the most emotional sporting events ever on campus, which also marked the furthest advancement any Monmouth team has ever made in its respective NCAA postseason.
For his efforts in helping to lead the Hawks on an unprecedented run in the NCAA Tournament in 2009, MacDonald was honored as the NSCAA North Atlantic College Assistant Coach of the Year.
MacDonald played two seasons for Monmouth after transferring from Virginia Commonwealth University. A two-time Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-league selection, as well as first-team All-Region, MacDonald led the Hawks to a combined 24-8-9 record in his two years on The Great Lawn. Monmouth won consecutive regular season championships in 2005 and 2006 and advanced to its first ever NCAA Tournament behind MacDonald in 2006 after winning the NEC Tournament title.
MacDonald signed a professional contract with Red Bull New York following his senior season in West Long Branch, in which the Hawks went 14-4-3 overall and undefeated in conference play for a second straight year. He was named to the Second-Team National Team of the Year by Top Drawer Soccer, and was invited as one of 52 collegiate standouts to the Major League Soccer (MLS) Combine.
The Kearny, N.J. native played his first two collegiate seasons at VCU, earning Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) regular season titles both years, and advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 in his rookie campaign. During his sophomore year, VCU advanced to the Elite 8.
MacDonald, who graduated from Monmouth with a degree in communication, resides in West Long Branch with his wife, Laura, and his daughter, Ellah.