Mike Petke naturally shines on and off the field. In his second season as manager of the New York Red Bull, he led them to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Fire, nabbing the Supporters’ Shield.
Speaking of on the field, he’s a stylish dude on the sidelines coaching the 22-6 Red Bulls team. Rocking an array of cardigan sweaters, suits, blazers and ties—folks have paid attention to his fashion sense. Think we’re lying? A Red Bulls fan became so enamored with homeboy’s style that they made a twitter page of both his sweaters and his suits.
Is that a momma I’ve made it moment or what?
“It’s cool because a lot of them appreciate fashion,” Petke tells The Source.
Check Out The Many Sweaters Of Petke
With his fashion sense shining brighter than a diamond, Petke was recently named the face of the 2014 Schuyler 4 Ltd ad campaign. Rocking Codice sweaters—the brand that he proudly wears on game days, Petke compliments that with Alberto pants, Haupt shirts and Carl Gross sport jackets. Pardon my French, but one could argue that this attire is the envy of Carlton Banks of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and his Alagaroos glee club.
But that’s none of our business!
The Source: Where did you develop such a love for fashion?
Mike Petke: Growing up, we weren’t poor, but we didn’t have a lot of money. I remember in the summer leading up to every school year, my mom taking my brother and sister to go shopping at Marshalls and JC Penny. I remember looking around and not letting my mom pick things out, but I’d say ‘I like that and I don’t like that.’ I judge things that I wear based on what I feel first and then it goes to style.
The Source: What was your style on game days when you played professionally?
Mike Petke: I always like to look respectable and nice, while wearing something that represents me. I think a lot of people wear things because it looks cool or it is a certain trend instead of it being a part of you. I don’t care how crazy it looks or how simple it looks; some days it’s a suit, some days it’s a suit without a tie, some days it’s jeans with a t-shirt. It’s just how I felt that day and what felt comfortable on me.
The Source: Speaking of taking off ties, you’re young and had no prior coaching experience before you took over as head coach of the New York Red Bull—kind of like former Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd. He ditched the tie look and the Nets won about 13 straight games. The cardigan sweater is your thing. How did that come about?
Mike Petke: I remember being in college and Diddy’s Mo Money Mo Problems video came out. My roommates and I were into hip hop and still are and I remember Puffy and Mase wearing that yellow sweater vest. The only other time I saw a sweater vest being worn was when my grandfather was wearing one. I remember looking at that and liking it, but not confident enough to pull it off then. Then when I got the coaching job, I remember saying, ‘This is who I’m going to be comfortable wearing this sweater.’ I can pull it off now!
Check Out Mo Money Mo Problems Video
The Source: Who in sports stands out, fashion-wise?
Mike Petke: I’ll go with Jason Kidd. I like how he did without the tie and he looks nice with the fitted suits. You’ve got to go with Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. I don’t like the bright colors that a lot of these guys wear—it’s not the style for me. It works for me down in the Islands in Jamaica for the summer, though. Cristiano Ronaldo, as well, Tom Brady and Drew Brees wear pretty nice stuff too.
The Source: Give us your top five songs on your playlist before and after a game.
Mike Petke: Gimme the Loot by Biggie, Know Your Enemy by Rage Against the Machines, The Rottweiler by Redman and Method Man, All I Need by Mary J. Blige and Method Man and anything performed by Pink Floyd.
The Source: Last question, you coach the Red Bull and they play in Newark, NJ. Where’s the best spot to grab a bite to eat after the game?
Mike Petke: Oh God! Forno’s of Spain Restaurant is a winner!