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Pursuing The 'A'

By Tyler Schafer, 01/31/20, 12:45PM EST


Phillips closes in on prestigious 'A' License

Jordan Phillips has been a member of the Wilmington Hammerheads coaching staff for 11 years. During this time, the Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Football Club has doubled in size and has created crucial partnerships with the local YMCA and the EDGE training program.  The Hammerheads have also joined the ECNL (Elite Clubs National League), a nationally recognized premiere youth soccer league that has significantly raised the quality and standards throughout the entire club. Throughout these changes Phillips has been a presence on and off the field, working his way up the coaching ladder.  When he started here, Jordan was a junior’s youth coach, he then moved into the role of U-11-14 age group director, and has recently spent the past two years as the current ECNL boy’s director. After completing the ‘D’, ‘C’, and ‘B’ youth coaching licenses Jordan has spent the past two years pursuing the USSF “A” License, the highest and most distinguished coaching license awarded by U.S. Soccer.

 “I’m not sure if people in our community realize how much work it is to earn an ‘A’ License, and how big of a deal it is in the soccer world,” commented Executive Director, Carson Porter.  “Earning this license is 2 years’ worth of demanding work while also balancing his responsibilities with our club.” 

The course required 3 trips to the U.S. National Team’s Development Center located in Kansas City, MO.  The $75 million complex that was completed in 2017 is home to all U.S. Soccer Federation’s coaching courses and coaching education.  

 “It’s the nicest soccer facility that I have been to in all my years of coaching and playing soccer,” said Phillips. 

While there, Jordan learned what it meant to truly be an elite youth soccer coach by working with several mentors and training hundreds of athletes. Since taking these trips out to Kansas City, Executive Director, Carson Porter has seen consistent improvements in Jordan’s coaching, confidence, leadership skills and critical thinking. 

“I’m proud of the person and the coach Jordan is becoming,” said Porter, “you can see his growth over the last couple of years.  He does a great job with his teams, he is passionate about his work, he is becoming a better communicator, and we are lucky to have him with us.” 

As the ‘A’ License program comes to an end for Jordan, a mentor from U.S. Soccer will come here to Wilmington, to observe Jordan in his natural coaching environment. For this last assessment, Jordan must run a team practice and a team presentation in order to show his training was efficient and successful. 

As if this wasn’t enough to keep Phillips calendar full, last spring he joined the UNCW Men’s Soccer Team as a player scout and opponent analysis. While managing his time in Kansas City and at the Hammerheads, Jordan helped the UNCW team win the CAA Divisional Championship and secure 4 of their players professional contracts.  UNCW Head Coach, Aidan Heaney echoes many of Porter’s thoughts about Jordan.

“Jordan has been a welcomed addition to our UNCW staff and provided scouting reports on upcoming opponents, which was vital when we play so many games in quick succession. His passion for the sport is contagious and he is very driven to improve his craft and continue to grow as a coach.” 

After talking with Jordan and writing the feature story, it is clear to me why Carson Porter feels so lucky to have him as a coach in this program.