Find out the background information and qualifications of some of the prominent presenters who will lead education sessions at the 2015 US Youth Soccer Workshop in Philadelphia.
Libby Anderl, ACSM Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer & TOPSoccer Coach – St. Francis SC
A former Division II soccer player and CoSIDA Academic All-American, Anderl has continued to stay involved in the game, combining her love for soccer with her passion for working with individuals with disabilities. Anderl earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Indianapolis in 2012 and is currently in her third year of UIndy’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. As a physical therapy student with foundational knowledge in movement science, promotion of health and wellness, and clinical medicine, Anderl aims to translate this knowledge to coaches to help them better meet the needs of their players and maximize the inclusive youth sport experience.
In 2013, Anderl became an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer (CIFT) with expertise in safely adapting exercise for individuals with disabilities. Anderl’s applied professional development project for her doctorate has immersed her in research for developing successful community programs for individuals with disabilities and applying this to developing adapted youth sports programs, like TOPSoccer. In addition to her professional certification, Anderl also holds a USSF ‘E’ License. Anderl has served as head coach and coordinator for St. Francis TOPSoccer for five seasons and has also coached high-school aged girls at USF Real and Carmel United Soccer Clubs in Indianapolis.
Dr. Lew Atkinson, Instructor – U.S. Soccer
Lew Atkinson holds a Doctorate in Education and previously served as the Assistant Secretary of Education for the State of Delaware. Presently, he is an Associate Professor for Doctoral Studies in the College of Education at Wilmington University.
He served, on a volunteer basis, as the Director of Coaching for the Delaware Youth Soccer Association for 19 years and is serving his 12th year as a U.S. Soccer National Instructor. Lew is an instructor for US Youth Soccer and a frequent clinician at the annual Workshop. He is also on the NSCAA National Instructional Staff and serves as a Mentor in the Master Coach Program.
Lew is currently the head coach for the US Youth Soccer ODP Region I Under-14 Boys, a role he’s held since 2005. In recent years, he has been published twice in Success in Soccer magazine and was recognized by his peers as the Boy’s Coach of the Year for Delaware Youth Soccer and noted for Outstanding Contribution to Delaware Soccer, recognized by Delaware High School Soccer Coaches Association.
A holder of USSF ‘A’ and ‘Y’ Licenses, Lew is leading the committee that is revising the ‘D’ course for U.S. Soccer and is one of only 30 coaches invited by U.S. Soccer to take part in the FIFA Futuro Course.
Mike Barr, Director of Coaching – Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer
Mike has been the full-time Director of Coaching for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer for the past four years. Prior to taking the Director of Coaching position, Mike was a special education teacher in the Wallingford Swarthmore School District.
Mike played collegiate soccer at Millersville University, where he is a member of the Millersville Sports Hall of Fame. He has coached at the professional level, collegiate level and club, but is best known for his success coaching at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pa. In his 22 years at Strath Haven, Mike’s teams won an unprecedented 409 games, as well as five State Championships, six District Championships and 15 Central League Titles.
Mike holds a USSF 'A' License, NSCAA Premier License and a UEFA 'B' License, as well as a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology. He and Assistant Director of Coaching Gary Stephenson publish a monthly electronic magazine for coaches called The Evolving Game for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. The Evolving Game is read in more 60 countries. He is well known for his strong opinions in numerous articles regarding youth soccer and player development in this country.
Michel Bruyninckx, Soccer Educator and Consultant
Michel is a renowned soccer educator who has worked with clubs all around the world in various positions. In the past few years, he has worked as a consultant for several clubs in Europe, including the AC Milan Youth Academy in Italy.
Bruyninckx holds a UEFA ‘A’ License and a UEFA Youth Elite License. He has also acquired certificates as a K.B.V.B. certified youth trainer, assistant trainer and trainer-coach with great distinction, among many others. From 1972-2000, he worked as a teacher and also coached at several professional soccer clubs and national clubs. In 2002, he led UEFA Referees’ Courses in Monaco and was responsible for running and coordinating training for 54 elite referees in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Michel has taught dozens of courses and lectures on soccer and sports and has also authored several published articles. He has presented at workshops all around the world, including work with U.S. Soccer, MLS and the NSCAA.
Scott Craig, Assistant Director of Coaching – New York State West Youth Soccer
Scott Craig was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he started his lifelong love of soccer at the tender age of 5. Scott played for many regional clubs and was selected to play for his state team, represented his region (equivalent to US Youth Soccer ODP Regionals), and also played with the South African National Indoor Soccer Team.
At 21, Scott was recruited to play Division I Men’s Soccer at SUNY Oneonta College, where he graduated with bachelor’s degree in economics and minors in marketing and sports management. After college, Scott worked as an assistant coach at Binghamton University, helping the team to an American East Championship and the school’s most successful NCAA tournament appearance to date.
Scott has coached varying levels of youth, travel and premier soccer for over 15 years, most recently as Director of Coaching Boys, Youth Academy Director and Goalkeeper Director at United FC in Binghamton, N.Y. He was recently recruited to start a new role with New York State West Youth Soccer Association as assistant technical director. His primary roles are to work with youth development (recreational), coaching education and TOPSoccer. Scott’s focus is primarily working with players, ages 6 through 12, and their coaches through various training and coaching education programs.
Zac Crawford, Technical Director – Alabama Soccer Association
Zac has been the full-time Technical Director for the Alabama Soccer Association since September 2013. Prior to taking the Technical Director of Coaching position, Zac was the General Manager of Stingers Soccer Club in Evergreen, Colo.
Zac played collegiate soccer at Bethel College in McKenzie, Tenn., and graduated with honors. He has coached at all levels of the youth game, including coaching high school, being Developmental Director of Coaching, and serving as a member of the US Youth Soccer ODP Region III Boys coaching staff. He has also served as a Girls Director of Coaching and worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee during the 2008 Beijing Games.
Zac holds a USSF 'A' License, NSCAA Premier Diploma and the National Youth License, as well as two Master’s Degrees, one in Cognitive Psychology and another in Human Performance with an emphasis in Sport Management. Zac is an instructor for U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth Soccer, and the NSCAA.
Dr. Stuart Currie, Assistant Professor of Health and Human Performance – University of Tennessee at Martin
Dr. Stuart Currie is an Assistant Professor of Health and Human Performance at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Stuart studies physical education and sport pedagogy with research interests in motor learning and development. He has presented his research on tennis, golf, and soccer at national and international conferences. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Physical Education and a Ph.D. in Human Performance.
Stuart played soccer in England and at college in the United States. He holds a USSF ‘C’ License and has coached soccer at the youth and college levels and for the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program in Tennessee.
John Curtis, Director of Coaching and Player Development – Minnesota Youth Soccer Association
John Curtis has been the Director of Coaching and Player Development for the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association since January 2008.
He has coached at all levels of the youth game, including coaching high school and college, and has served as a member of the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program Region II Boys coaching staff.
John holds a USSF 'A' License, NSCAA Premier Diploma and the National Youth License. He is an instructor for U.S. Soccer, US Youth Soccer, and the NSCAA.
Beau Dure, Author – Single-Digit Soccer
Beau Dure covered soccer, along with a few other things, at USA TODAY from 1999 to 2010. One of the reasons he left: He wanted to focus on books such as Long-Range Goals: The Success Story of Major League Soccer and Enduring Spirit: Restoring Professional Women's Soccer to Washington. Another reason: He wanted to coach his kids' soccer teams. Now he's combining the experience of writing about soccer development and the experience of being a parent coach into a book full of anecdotes, explorations of the issues, and a plea for sanity.
An alumnus of Duke University's undergraduate and master's degree programs, Dure has written for USA TODAY, ESPN, Fox Soccer, OZY, Popdose, The Huffington Post, Our Game, Knight Ridder Tribune, the News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) and the Morning Star (Wilmington, N.C.). He holds a U.S. Soccer/VYSA ‘E’ License and has eagerly attended Positive Coaching workshops and NSCAA webinars. He also keeps a general sports blog at SportsMyriad.com.
Tony DiCicco, Former World Cup-winning Coach – U.S. Soccer
Tony DiCicco is the President, Technical Director and Founder of SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School and SoccerPlus Field Player Academy. He is the former head coach of the U.S. Women's National and Olympic Soccer Teams and the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team.
In 2008, in his return to international soccer, he coached the U.S. to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Championship in Chile. He previously led the Senior National Team to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Championship, the largest women's sporting event in history. And in 1996, he coached the U.S. Women's Olympic Team to the first ever Gold Medal in Women's Soccer. Tony is the only American coach to have guided teams to an Olympic Gold Medal; a FIFA World Cup Championship and a FIFA Under-20 World Cup Championship.
Tony is currently the Director of the NSCAA Goalkeeping Academy. He has also served as a consultant for international federations, must recently, the Turkish Football Federation. He also serves as a TV soccer analyst with ESPN and Fox Sports.
John Ellinger, Technical Director – Soccer Association of Columbia (Md.)
John is in his third year as Technical Director of the Soccer Association of Columbia (Maryland). He previously served as an FC Dallas assistant coach for five seasons (2008-12). Before joining Dallas, Ellinger spent time as technical director for US Youth Soccer (2007-08), head coach at Real Salt Lake (2004-07), and head coach of the U.S. Under-17 National Team (1997-04).
Ellinger became a member of the U.S. Soccer National team coaching and instructional staff in 1992, and then was also an assistant coach for the Columbus Crew during the inaugural 1996 MLS season.
In 1997, Ellinger was hired as U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 head coach and the organization’s Director of Youth Development. After eight years with U.S. Soccer, Ellinger became the first head coach in Real Salt Lake history in late 2004. He remained in that role until early in the 2007 season, when he then became the team’s Technical Director before moving to US Youth Soccer.
A native of Maryland, he earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in health and physical education from Frostburg State University. He and his wife, Tami, have three children: daughters Leigh and Brooke, and son Matt.
Tom Farrey, Executive Director – Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program
Farrey leads the Sports & Society Program, whose mission is to convene leaders, facilitate dialogue and inspire solutions that help sport serve the public interest. With the support of the Aspen Institute, he founded the program in 2011 and in April 2013 launched Project Play, a multi-year, multi-stage effort that provides the thought leadership for sport to build healthy communities, starting with universal access to an early positive experience in sports.
Farrey is also a veteran journalist whose work has been recognized among the nation's best and most innovative. With ESPN, his television stories have won the 2014 Alfred I. duPont/Columbia University Award, 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award, two Emmy Awards. His reports have appeared on Outside the Lines, SportsCenter, E:60, ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America and This Week with George Stephanopolous.
At both the Aspen Institute and ESPN, he has explored the connections between sport and the largest themes in society education, globalization, technology, race and ethics, among others. He is seen as a thought leader on topics including youth and college sports. He is author of Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of Our Children (2008, ESPN Books), an investigation of modern youth sports used as a text on many college campuses.
Stephanie Gabbert, Executive Director – Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club
Stephanie is currently the Executive Director of the Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club and provides extensive experience in soccer coaching and development as well as non-profit management. Stephanie’s soccer experience spans all levels of coaching from developing recreational programs for Native American communities, to a successful collegiate coaching career, and coaching the U.S. Women’s Youth National Teams. Spanning a 20-year coaching career, as a collegiate coach she started the women’s soccer program at the University of Iowa in 1997 and was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1999, and also coached at the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, The Ohio State University, and Smith College. From 2003-07 Stephanie was a National Staff Coach for the U.S. Soccer Federation and also served as head coach of the U.S. U15 Girls National Team and Director of the U.S. U14 Girls National Team program.
From 2011-14 Stephanie worked for the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) in New Mexico where she served as the Chief Physical Activity Officer as well as the Associate Director of NB3F’s Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures initiative. In these roles she directed national soccer outreach programs for Native American youth as well as NB3F’s funding and grantmaking priorities for programs in Native American communities focused on combating childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Vince Ganzberg, Coaching Education Consultant – U.S. Soccer
Vince Ganzberg has more than 25 years of youth soccer coaching experience, including a decade as the director of coaching education for Indiana Soccer. He has been a member of the U.S. Soccer National Staff, NSCAA Academy Staff and a presenter at the NSCAA Convention since 1999.
Vince is currently a Coaching Education consultant for U.S. Soccer and the Director of Education for the Indy Premier Soccer Club. He holds a USSF ‘A’ License, NSCAA Premier Diploma, US Youth Soccer National Youth License and has a certified teacher’s license for business education.
An All-American at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind., Vince was inducted into the Bethel College Hall of Fame and is a member of the 2015 Indiana Soccer Hall of Fame class. He resided in Brownsburg, Ind., with his wife, Amy, his son, Zach, and two stepdaughters, Emma and Ellie.
John Gregg, Coach – Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association and US Youth Soccer ODP Region I
John is currently a coach for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association and US Youth Soccer ODP Region 1 Olympic Development Program. He coaches goalkeepers and grew up attending, coaching and directing for Joe Machnik at the No. 1 Goalkeeper and Sticker Camps. He currently is a Regional Director for No. 1 Soccer Camps and owns and operates Elite Socker Academy, working to develop youth players all across Pennsylvania.
John is the holder of a USSF National 'C' License, an NSCAA National Goalkeeper Diploma, the US Youth Soccer National Youth ‘Y’ License, and the NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma. He is an active coaching instructor for the NSCAA and USSF in their coaching education departments. He is also on the NSCAA National Goalkeeping staff and is licensed to teach the NSCAA Goalkeeping Courses.
As a player, John was part of the Southern Connecticut State Division II National Championship team in 1992. Following college, he returned home to play professionally for the Harrisburg Heat of the NPSL from 1995 to 2001.
Dr. Andrew Guest, Associate Professor – University of Portland
Andrew Guest is an associate professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Portland (OR), and chairperson of the Department of Psychological Sciences. He played both college and semi-professional soccer, and has coached players at levels from pre-school to college. His work focuses on cultures of sports and youth development, drawing on experiences with soccer as a player, coach and scholar in locales ranging from inner-city Chicago and suburban Portland to coastal Ireland and rural Malawi.
Andrew played college soccer at Kenyon College, where he earned a degree in psychology. He then earned a Master’s Degree in Sport Studies at Miami of Ohio, and a PhD in Human Development from the University of Chicago. He has a USSF ‘B’ License and ‘Y’ License, and worked with the Illinois Youth Soccer Associate as a US Youth Soccer ODP coach and coaching education instructor.
He has written a range of academic articles related to youth development, is the editor of four editions of the textbook Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Lifespan Development, and has written popular articles for outlets, including pitchinvasion.net and theallrounder.co.
Dr. Lee Hancock, Professor – Cal State Dominguez Hills
Lee Hancock, PhD, is a consultant and professor at California State University Dominguez Hills dedicated to improving the performance of athletes, students, parents and organizations. His applied work, research and professional writing range from maximizing performance and learning of elite athletes to creating and implementing programs for youth sport organizations in order to maximize the youth sport experience. Lee consults with professional, college, and youth athletes and teams, in order to help improve how they learn, develop and perform. Lee also conducts programs for student-athletes; ranging from Wonderlic preparation for prospective NFL players to programs for high school aged student-athletes such as college and professional readiness programs and SAT preparation programs.
Lee played both college and semi-professional soccer. In addition, Lee has coached competitive youth soccer for almost 20 years and has a USSF ‘A’ license. He is a tenured Professor in the Division of Kinesiology at Cal State - Dominguez Hills. His courses include motor development, teacher preparation and sport psychology.
Hans Hobson, Executive Director – Tennessee State Soccer Association
Hans has been the Executive Director for Tennessee State Soccer Association for the past three years. Prior to this, Hans was the Director of Coaching for the Tennessee Soccer Club and Brentwood Soccer Club.
Hans served as an assistant soccer coach at Milligan College and Carson-Newman College. He holds an NSCAA Premier Diploma and has coached competitive youth soccer for 20 years in the state of Tennessee. During his years in Tennessee, he has also been a member of the Coaching Education Staff and US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program. He is a graduate of Emory and Henry College, where he played soccer and earned his bachelor's degree in exercise science. Hans lives in Franklin, Tenn., and is married to Erin Hobson. They have two energetic young boys, Landon and Isaac, who have just started playing recreational soccer.
Dr. Sheri Huckleberry, State Director – NSCAA
Huckleberry is the NSCAA State Director in Ohio. She has taught many NSCAA coaching courses, including the National Diploma. Her desire to educate coaches arose from witnessing poor coaching and being given opportunity to be the NSCAA State Director for Iowa in the early 90s.
She is the currently working at Ohio University as a program coordinator for their coaching education masters program. Sheri is responsible for advising and teaching a variety of classes to graduate students at Ohio University. As a doctoral candidate, her area of study is in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Educational Studies and emphasis in Coaching Education.
Sheri’s coaching career began in 1997 when she helped develop the women’s soccer program at Ohio University. During their second season in 1998, the Bobcats were crowned MAC champions. Over the next 10 years, Sheri continued coaching as an assistant at Ball State University and the University of Iowa before coming the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Marist College.
Huckleberry played collegiate soccer at the University of Connecticut, helping the team to a Top-5 ranking, one Final Four appearance, three Elite 8 appearances and a Big East Championships. After college, she played in the English premiership league for Wembly FC, which competed in the FA Cup Final in the spring of 1997, and also played semi-professionally in the United States.
Philip Ishmael, Trainer and Former Pro Athlete – Positive Coaching Alliance
Having played youth and professional sports in England, Philip has now taken his focus to coaching young people to compete and learn life lessons. In 2008, Philip was the first coach to win back-to-back division titles with two different aged teams in New York's Westchester Youth Soccer League, while also receving the organization's Positive Coaching Award.
For his many hours of dedication, Philip has received distinctions and citations from: U.S. House of Representatives/U.S. Congress; New York State Senate; New York State Assembly; Westchester County Board of Legislators; Village of Ossining; Yeshiva University; AYSO National
Working with players from all over the world, of a wide variety of ages and abilities, Philip continues to strive to get the best out of every individual he serves.
Steve Kehm, Technical Director – South Dakota State Soccer Association
Kehm is currently the technical director for the South Dakota State Soccer Association and the director of coaching for the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program in both North Dakota and South Dakota.
Kehm has been the head coach of the NSU soccer team since its inaugural season in 1998, where he has helped produce 48 all-conference performers, as well as 15 ADIDAS All-Region players and three NSIC MVPs.
In the summer of 2013, Kehm was named the chair of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's NCAA Division II weekly rankings. As the Division II national chair, Kehm oversees eight regional rankings chairs, which are responsible for submitting a ranking of the top ten teams by record in their geographic region. He is also a member of the college soccer academy camp staff and holds several national coaching licenses and endorsements.
Alyssa Koomas, Regional Project Manager – Healthy Kids Out of School
Megan Halmo, Project Manager – Healthy Kids Out of School
Megan and Alyssa are part of dynamic team leading Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University. Healthy Kids Out of School helps youth sports and extracurricular organizations create healthy programs for the children who participate.
Alyssa, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, works closely with state and local leaders to develop outreach and training materials that will facilitate adoption of healthy principles in their programs. Megan, a Social Worker, works with the national leadership of youth sports and other extracurricular organizations to scale up these effective healthy programming strategies across the country.
The Healthy Kids Out of School team worked closely with Massachusetts Youth Soccer and US Youth Soccer to create the Coaching Healthy Habits training, which helps youth sports coaches get their athletes to Drink Right, Move More and Snack Smart. Megan grew up playing soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse, and is an advocate for positive youth sports development for all kids. Alyssa grew up playing soccer, tennis, and riding bicycles and is dedicated to helping children establish healthy habits so they can live long, healthy, and happy lives.
Dr. Ajit Korgaokar, Assistant Professor – University of Tennessee at Martin
Ajit Korgaokar, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Health & Human Performance department at the University of Tennessee at Martin and the Director of Coaching for Jackson Futbol Club in Tennessee. He has presented and published research on dynamic stretching, caffeine supplementation and agility, and the relative age effect among youth soccer players. He is the Chair of Coaching Education of the Sport & Leisure Division of Southern District AAHPERD. In addition, Ajit has worked in the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program for Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama, is a previous member of the US Youth Soccer ODP Region III staff, and is a former state Director of Coaching for Tennessee. He is currently a member of the Tennessee Soccer Coaching Education staff and teaches the ‘E’ and ‘D’ licenses.
Ajit played at Rollins College and also played for the Orlando Lions (ASL) and Colorado Comets (USISL). He has also been a former college assistant coach and a head coach in the PDL. He holds the USSF ‘A’, NSCAA Premier, NSCAA Director of Coaching and the USSF Youth National License coaching qualifications.
Eric Landon, Director of Coaching – Utah Youth Soccer Association
Eric has been the full-time Director of Coaching for the Utah Youth Soccer Association since April 2013. Prior to taking the Director of Coaching position, Eric was the Technical Director for the Utah Rush and Forza Futbol Club.
Eric played professional soccer in the USL for Arizona Sahuaros, San Francisco Bay Seals, Sacramento Gekos and the Utah Blitzz. He has coached at all levels of the youth game, including coaching high school soccer, the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program in Utah, and he served as a member of the US Youth Soccer ODP Region IV Boys Coaching Staff. He has also served as the Real Salt Lake Under-17 Assistant Coach.
Eric holds a USSF ‘A’ License, USSF Goalkeeper License, National Youth License and the NSCAA Premier Diploma.
Bobby Lennox, Manager of Grassroots Soccer Development – Ontario Soccer Association
Bobby has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of many technical Initiatives and resources to help improve the grassroots game in Ontario. Working with District Associations and Clubs, Bobby is responsible for communicating and education on a new “player first” approach to grassroots soccer. Working within the Canadian Soccer Associations Long Term Player Development (LTPD) philosophy, many structural and technical improvements have been made to the Under-12 and younger game. The holistic approach to total “person” development has seen a major shift in training programs and philosophy for many organizations.
Ontario Soccer has been identified as a leader in the implementation of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) initiatives and Bobby regular consults with various other Canadian sports on their own LTAD program creation and delivery. Prior to this role, Lennox was the Technical Director with York Region Soccer Association and worked with member clubs on best practice coach education programs and structural improvements with in the youth game.
Bobby is the holder of both CSA and USSF ‘A’ Licenses, the USSF Youth Licence and is a Master Learning Facilitator (MLF) with the Ontario Soccer Association, conducting numerous coach education courses and coach assessments around the province. He is also recognized as a Chartered Professional Coach with the Coaches Association of Canada.
Rick Meana, Director of Coaching – New Jersey Youth Soccer
Rick has been the New Jersey Youth Soccer Director of Coaching for over 16 years and in that time he has directly impacted the education and development of thousands of players and coaches from all levels. He has been responsible for overseeing the technical direction and the development of the game in New Jersey, and he has also developed the NJYS Coaching Education Curriculum to meet the State of New Jersey's Volunteer Coaches Minimum Standards for coaching education. He also was instrumental in developing and implementing Recreational Soccer Events which served hundreds of children in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Camden, Atlantic City, Lakewood, and Newark, N.J.
He has been involved as an instructor on U.S. Soccer Federation and US Youth Soccer National Coaching Courses and is a vocal proponent of the importance of coaching education. Rick has served on both the US Youth Soccer ODP Region I Boys and Girls Coaching Staffs for more than 18 years and currently is the director of the Under-12 Boys South Development Camp. He holds the USSF ‘A’ License and National Youth License, as well as the NSCAA Premier Diploma.
Carlos Menjivar, Director of Coaching – California Youth Soccer Association North
Carlos has been the director of coaching for Cal North since 2010, while also holding roles as a national instructor for US Youth Soccer and the NSCAA. From 2007 to 2008, Carlos was the director of player development for the South Texas Youth Soccer Association, where he oversaw 101,000 players and 12,000 coaches and managers. He also worked as a scout and technical group member for the El Salvador National Team and contributed to its qualification for the Gold Cup.
From 1997 to 2002, Carlos was a national staff instructor and coach for U.S. Soccer, as he conducted numerous coaching courses to approximately 2,000 coaches across the country and recruited some players for the Under-17 Men’s National Team. During that time, he also worked on the US Youth Soccer ODP staff for Region IV and Region II.
Through the years, Carlos has attended numerous coaching courses and he holds several coaching licenses. He received his USSF ‘A’ License in 1987, his NSCAA Premier License in 2005 and his US Youth Soccer National Youth License in 2007. He has also taken courses in the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, England and Scotland.
Carlos was an NSCAA at Large Board Member from 2001-06, representing diversity groups, and he also acted as the president of the Latin America Soccer Coaches Association from 1998-2005.
Lou Mignone, Director of Coaching – West Orange United FC
A dedicated youth soccer coach for more than two decades, Lou currently serves as the Director of Coaching and Player Development at West Orange United FC and is the Girls Varsity Head Coach at West Orange High School. In addition, he plays a leading role for New Jersey Youth Soccer by serving as a TOPSoccer Area Coordinator and Coaching School Instructor.
Lou's tireless commitment to improving the performance and education of athletes, students, coaches, parents and organizations has earned him numerous awards and recognitions, including being honored as the 2012 New Jersey Youth Soccer Bob McNulty Coach of the Year. Lou's knowledge and expertise are highlighted in several of his published articles, including “The Substitute Coach,” “The Car Ride Home,” and “The Misunderstood Takeover.”
Lou played college soccer at Rutgers University - Newark. He has earned a USSF ‘A’ License, USSF ‘Y’ License and an NSCAA Premier Diploma.
A native of West Orange, Lou is a New Jersey Police Detective with over 27 years of service. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice and Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies. Lou and his wife, Patricia, have two boys, Louie and Joe.
Ian Mulliner, Technical Director – Massachusetts Youth Soccer
Before coming to Massachusetts Youth Soccer, Ian Mulliner served as the Director of Coaching of Illinois Youth Soccer Association for more than 10 years. Originally from Manchester, England, Ian has been coaching in the United States since 1992. He coached at St. Charles Soccer Club, Wheaton Whigs SC, and founded and was Director of Coaching for Northwest United Soccer Club.
As the Illinois Youth Soccer Director of Coaching, Ian was responsible for growth in the association’s Coaching Education Program and developed the coaching curriculum for the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program in Illinois. He was also responsible for developing a coaching curriculum for Illinois Youth Soccer’s Inner-city program.
He has been involved as an instructor on US Youth Soccer and U.S. Soccer national coaching courses and is a vocal proponent of professional coaching development. Ian has served as the US Youth Soccer Region II Coaching Committee Chairman and a member of the National Coaching Committee for US Youth Soccer. He has served as the US Youth Soccer ODP Region II Development Age Head Coach and also as a Staff Coach on both the Boys’ and the Girls’ programs. He holds the USSF ‘A’ License and National Youth License, FIFA Futuro III certificate, F.A. Preliminary Coaching Award, as well as the Dutch KNVB Coach’s License.
Kaylin Olivas, Director of Coaching – Wyoming Youth Soccer
As the Director of Coaching and Olympic Development Program Technical Director for Wyoming Youth Soccer, Kaylin is responsible for educating club coaches through evaluation, coaching courses, and clinics, while also focusing on player development in the state. This requires spending time with the different clubs educating them on player development and leadership.
Outside of her state duties, Kaylin spends time as the Assistant Men’s and Women’s Coach at Laramie County Community College. Her primary responsibility is coaching the goalkeepers. Furthermore, Kaylin is currently the goalkeeper coach for the Cheyenne Sting, the town’s local soccer club. She also worked with the goalkeepers for the East High School girls soccer team, which we won the state championship in 2014.
Kaylin holds the NSCAA Advanced National, Goalkeeper Level 1, Director of Coaching, and NFHS Professional Development Certification for High School Coaches.
Ralph Perez, Head Men's Soccer Coach – University of Redlands
Ralph Perez brings an incredible amount of soccer knowledge with more than 30 years of coaching experience. He joined the University of Redlands Bulldogs after serving as the Men’s National Staff Coach for the West Region of the U.S. Soccer Federation since 2005. Previously, Perez worked as a U.S. National Staff Coach beginning in 1978, helping the U.S. Team qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 40 years in 1990.
On the collegiate side, Perez enjoyed head coaching stints at Division I Old Dominion University (VA), Santa Clara University and Cal State Fullerton, along with Division II Cal State San Bernardino (women’s) and Cal State Los Angeles. He began his coaching career at the Division III level in 1974, heading up the men’s program at Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) member, Whittier College. During his eight seasons with Redlands, he has guided the team to four NCAA Championship appearances, including an Elite 8 finish in 2007 and a Sweet-16 finish in 2011.
A member of the NSCAA and the United States Soccer Coaches Organization (USSCO), Perez still remains affiliated with U.S. Soccer as a national staff coach and Olympic Development Program (ODP) coach.
Dr. Ron Quinn, Professor – Xavier University
Dr. Ron Quinn is in his 37th year of teaching and coaching, and has worked at every educational level holding various positions. A member of the US Youth Soccer National Staff, he was one of the primary authors of the US Youth Soccer National Youth License and the State Youth Modules. For his work during the past 30 years in coaching education, he was awarded the 2006 NSCAA Youth Long-Term Achievement Award and in 2007 received the US Youth Soccer Dr. Thomas Fleck Excellence in Youth Coaching Education Award.
Additionally, Quinn served as the Xavier University Women's Soccer Coach from 1993-2004 — holding a 134-95-16 record during the 12 year period, winning two Atlantic-Ten Tournament titles and qualifying for the conference tournament nine of 12 seasons.
Dr. Quinn is considered a leading authority in youth soccer and coaching education, and he has attended prestigious national and international conferences, such as the 1999 XX Annual Union of European Football (Soccer) Trainers Symposium, in London. More recently, he was one of two Americans to present at the International Council for Coaching Education Global Coach Conference at Beijing Sport University in Beijing.
Eric Redder, Technical Director – New Hampshire Soccer Association
Eric is currently the full-time Technical Director with New Hampshire Soccer Association, position he's held since January 2014. Within New Hampshire Soccer Association his main duties include acting as the US Youth Soccer ODP Head Coach for the 2000 Girls, delivering Coaching Education, managing the NHSA Coach & Player Development Program, facilitating Recreational Events & Programming, as well as maintaining the association's electronic communications via the www.socccernh.org, and their social media.
Eric played college soccer at the University of Findlay (OH), where he graduated with a degree in education. Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in Education from The Ohio State University. He has coached all levels of players youth, collegiate soccer, and has also previously taught at the high school and middle school levels.
Dr. Jennifer Sacheck, Associate Professor – Tufts University
Dr. Sacheck is an Associate Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. She also holds a faculty appointment in the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts. Dr. Sacheck earned her Master's degree in Exercise Science, her Ph.D. in Nutrition Science from Tufts University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in muscle physiology. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and an active member of The Obesity Society.
Her research focuses on the impact of both diet and physical activity on health across the lifespan. Past research studies include examining the effects of nutrition and exercise on muscle inflammation and repair in young and older adults and on fitness and cardiovascular disease risk factors in children. With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Sacheck is currently conducting a large clinical trial on vitamin D deficiency and associated health risks in youth. She was also recently funded by the NIH to examine the impact of physical activity on cognitive health and academic achievement in school districts across Massachusetts. She has authored several pivotal reports on obesity and physical inactivity in New England and was an appointed member of the Institute of Medicine's committee on Fitness and Health Outcomes in Youth.
Jenna Sherlock, President – Jenna Communications
After working as a full-time television reporter/anchor for more than eight years, Jenna began her own company – Jenna Communications, LLC – a Public Relations, Event Planning, Media, and Social Media Consulting firm in 2007. She currently continues to spice up the television screen part-time as a freelance reporter and also began PR Tips of the Week, which she posts on her YouTube channel and her website. She shares the tips with the world thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
A graduate of Villanova, she broke into public relations after interviewing her old boss at a media conference in New York City. He asked her to put him in the spotlight, and she did just that for him several times on national and local TV shows, as well as top business blogs, and mainstream newspapers and magazines.
Her fearless personality helped her pursue her dreams of being an entrepreneur. Jenna Communications, LLC is a dream she created long ago, and her website and her social media pages are proof of her passion for media, social media and events.
Gary Stephenson, Assistant Director of Coaching – Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer
In his role as Assistant Director of Coaching, Gary is responsible for coaching education, including coordinating the coaching curriculum, coaching courses, and the general education of coaches throughout the Association. Gary works directly with Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Director of Coaching Mike Barr to enhance the development of coaches and players in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Gary has coached in the United States for nearly 15 years, working across various levels from Under-5 players to NCAA Division II and III programs. He has also been a member of the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program Coaching Staff for four years.
Gary holds an Honors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, England. Stephenson holds a U.S. Soccer ‘A’ License and the National Youth License, as well as the NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma and Director of Coaching certificate.
Paul Thomas, Director of Coaching – Michigan State Youth Soccer Association
Paul Thomas is currently the Director of Coaching for the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association. In addition to his role with MSYSA, Paul has held club director of coaching positions at several youth soccer clubs in Michigan and Illinois and has been on the coaching education staff in both states for more than 10 years.
He has collegiate coaching experience at Saginaw Valley University, Madonna University and North Park University. Paul is a member of the U.S. Soccer National Coaching Education staff, as well as the US Youth Soccer ODP Region II coaching staff.
Paul holds an USSF ‘A’ License, the US Youth Soccer National Youth License and the NSCAA Premier Diploma. He received his bachelor’s degree in sports science and leisure management at Staffordshire University in England.
Dr. Amanda J. Visek, Associate Professor – The George Washington University
Heather M. Manning, Research Assistant – The George Washington University
Dr. Amanda J. Visek is a tenured Associate Professor of sport psychology in the Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She is a scientist-practitioner with extensive clinical and field experiences as a National Certified Counselor and Certified Consultant of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (CC-AASP) with active status on the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology and Mental Training Registry.
As a sport scientist and public health steward, her federally funded research has led to scientific blueprints of fun, called FUN MAPS, which provide the evidentiary framework for the first-ever theory of youth sport sustainability grounded in fun, known as the Fun Integration Theory (FIT). The FIT and its FUN MAPS were informed and conceptualized entirely by hundreds of youth soccer players, their parents, and coaches and have been featured in USA Today, the Washington Post, ScienceDaily, the Chicago Tribune, CBS Radio, and ABC, NBC, and Fox news television to name a few. Dr. Visek has published 24 scientific papers, four book chapters, and has given over 84 scientific and invited presentations around the world. She is an active member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and the American Psychological Association (APA) and has held both elected and appointed leadership positions within both professional organizations.
As a Research Associate in the Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, Heather Manning co-authored the paper, “The Fun Integration Theory: Towards Sustaining Children and Adolescents Sport Participation” with Dr. Visek and has also helped lead two additional youth sport studies, each of which stem from the FUN MAPS. While completing her graduate degree in Exercise Science at The George Washington University, Manning’s Master’s thesis research received highest honors by the Department of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences and was awarded the Excellence in Research Award. A member of the American Psychological Association, Mrs. Manning has a true passion for both research and applied sport psychology. As a former collegiate-level ice hockey player, she has truly enjoyed working with soccer players, parents, and coaches doing applied research that will have a significant impact towards optimizing the positive, fun sport experiences for all children.
John Weaver, President – Delaware Youth Soccer Association
John Weaver is currently the President of the Delaware Youth Soccer Association. He has been involved in youth soccer for more than two decades as a coach and administrator. John coached recreational soccer from 1991-96 before he began coaching travel soccer for more than 10 years. Since 2002, he has worked as a coach for the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program, helping to ensure that all kids have an opportunity to play the game.
In addition to his coaching duties, John served on the Board of Directors and as president for the Concord Soccer Association. Prior to becoming President of the Delaware Youth Soccer Association, John was the DYSA Commissioner, and he continues to serve on the state’s Board of Directors. Since 2002, John has been the TOPSoccer Director for DYSA.
John received the USSF ‘D’ License in 2000 and later earned the NSCAA State License in 2005. He has since earned his USSF ‘C’ License and also holds The FA Coaching Disabled Footballers Certificate, The US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Certificate and the USSF National Youth License.
Auke Wiersma, Adaptive Recreation Coordinator – Livingston Township, N.J.
Auke has been the full-time Technical Director of Recreation for North Carolina Youth Soccer for the past two years. Prior to taking the Technical Director position, Auke was an adapted physical education teacher for a private school for children with special needs in New Jersey. At the school he developed a new adapted physical education program which is still utilized today.
Auke has been around the game his entire life as a player as well as a coach. He has coached at the professional and club level, winning several US Youth Soccer State Cup championships in New Jersey and National Youth Titles in The Netherlands.
Auke holds a USSF ‘A’ License, National Youth License, Dutch KNVB licenses as well as a Bachelors’ Degree in Physical Education with a specialization in adapted physical education from Windesheim University, the most accredited sports university in The Netherlands. Prior to accepting the position in North Carolina Auke was the TOPSoccer Chair for US Youth Soccer Region I, as well as New Jersey.
Tommy Wilson, Director – Philadelphia Union Academy
Wilson is an accomplished coach who is in his first year as the Director of the Philadelphia Union Academy. From 2006-13, he acted as the Academy Technical Director and Reserve Team Manager for Rangers FC in Scotland.
Prior to his role with Rangers FC, Wilson was the Head of Coaching and Education for the Scottish Football Association. During that time, Wilson was head coach of the Scottish National Team. Wilson also guided Scotland’s youth development and led the Under-19 National Team to the European Championship Finals in 2006 and the Under-20 National Team to the 2007 FIFA World Cup Finals in Canada.
Wilson holds a UEFA Pro License Diploma, UEFA Advanced License Diploma, UEFA Basic License Diploma, Scottish FA Youth Director’s Award, Scottish FA Advanced Youth License and Scottish FA Advanced Children’s License.
BJ Zellers, President – Activation Sports Marketing
Athletic prowess has been at the heart of BJ’s path toward sports marketing. An All American athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, she continued her love of sport in the classroom by earning her Masters of Education in Temple University’s Sports Marketing program. While attending graduate school she coached field hockey and lacrosse at Drexel University. Post-graduation, Ms. Zellers took time away from the field to hone her sales and marketing skills spending twenty years working at Fortune 500 companies including; Kraft, PepsiCo, Nestle and Anheuser-Busch. It was through this experience BJ had the knowledge and confidence to go back to her roots and launch a sports marketing company. She has been at the helm of Activation Sports Marketing (ASM) for the past 5 years and has quickly established a prominent list of clients and sport properties ASM represents on a regional and national basis. Ms. Zellers resides in the Philadelphia area and still finds time to coach and cheer her daughter in her community, scholastic and club sport experiences.