Current Parents and players, New Parents and players -
The release of our 2020-21 coaching roster comes during a difficult and unique time for all of us. One of the things I have been particularly grateful for as we have worked through the COVID-19 challenges is the support and leadership of our great coaching staff. These men and women have a passion for the sport and care deeply for our players and teams and are just as eager to get back on the fields as our players are.
As with each year, we are excited and grateful to welcome back many coaches who have been with the club for years prior. These coaches understand the culture, the things that are important to us, and work hard to execute these ideas at each practice and game. We are also excited to welcome new coaches to our roster. Having new coaches and new ideas is always a good thing for a club. These coaches come from a variety of backgrounds but all share a love for coaching and a passion for the game.
There is no black and white 'formula' to putting the coaching roster together. We analyze every coach and every team's specific situation and make the best decisions we can under the circumstances. We like consistency when it comes to coaching, but it won't always be consistent. We like to change coaches after long spells with a specific team, but there are times when 'one more year' is appropriate. We ask that you trust our thought process and decisions and work with staff and coaches moving forward about any questions or concerns.
All of us look forward to getting back on the fields and when we do it, our players will be back on the field with great teachers and people.
Click below link for 2020-21 head coaching assignments and see below for all 2020-21 coaching staff bios. We will also be releasing our Goalkeeper Program coaches as the season approaches.
Dino Ankrah is a well-liked WHYFC personality that has literally done it all in his 20+ years as a coach in the club. Dino is a self-less leader that is willing to do anything for both the club and his players.
"Dino will be a leader in one of the club's new challenges, the ECNL Girls Regional League. Dino will coach two of these teams and will also help guide and mentor the other coaches within this program. He is someone who cares deeply for the club and is able to really get the most out of his teams."
Andrea Bigler joins the WHYFC staff with great coaching experiences at the college and high school level as well as a playing career that saw her University of Toledo college team earn a conference championship and a berth into the NCAA tournament.
During her time as the head coach for the Ottawa Hills High School girl's varsity soccer team, Bigler led the team to consecutive Northwest Ohio High School Soccer League Championships in 2012 and 2013, and was named the league's Girls Varsity Coach of the Year in both of those seasons.
Bigler moved into the college game with stints at Vanderbilt University, Taylor University, and Anderson University.
"As coaches and competitors we are always looking for ways to get better, and Andrea makes our club better. She has a great playing background and a lot of success and experience as a coach. We anticipate this 03/02 team to be a very good team and as we launch the ECNL Regional League, it is great to have someone with Andrea's experience working with this group of players."
Olivia will be joining our classic staff following her first season in the Juniors Program. Olivia moved to Wilmington to join the UNCW Womens Soccer team. JDP Director Justin Moose was quickly impressed with her organization and attention to detail when analyzing the game. She reads the game at a high level and is able to simply the information to fit the players needs.
We are looking forward to have another young female coach that has played the game at a high level working with our younger players.
"I have gotten to know Olivia this past year and am very excited to get her involved in our program. She has a great playing background and loves the players she works with. Coaches are often judged on making the players and teams they work with better, and in my short time knowing Olivia she has certainly done this."
Eric Dutt joined the Wilmington Hammerheads technical staff in the fall of 2019 from Richmond, VA where he coached the 05 and 06 Richmond United ECNL teams. Eric made an immediate impact with his WHYFC teams, installing a strong philosophy and style of play into his teams. His role has evolved into a valuable technical oversight role that has him leading and directing our coaching education and our club's style of play. He will expand his coaching role even further in 2020-21 adding additional boys teams to his responsibilities. Eric will take 2 fall-focused girls teams and then take on 2 spring-focused boys teams. This busy schedule will be supported by WHYFC staff.
"Eric is someone that is always thinking about the game, and during his experiences, has formed strong ideas and philosophies on how to teach a team-based skillful game of soccer. He is great at bringing teams together, getting everyone on the same page and teaching roles and responsibilities that lead to successful experiences. Our 2005 girls ECNL had the biggest turnaround in the club this year under Eric's leadership and our club and his teams will continue to benefit from his work in 2020."
We are excited to add a local legend to our coaching staff. Baley was a standout two sport athlete at Laney High School where she played both soccer and basketball.
Baley later went on to have a very successful soccer career for the UNCW Womens Soccer team. She was a 4 year starter and team captain her senior year. Baley earned First-Team All-Colonial Athletic Association and NCCSIA All-State honors ... named to All-Tournament Team at Charleston Under Armour Invitational ... recipient of CAA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll.
"Bailey is a new coach that we are very excited to have part of our club. She is a local player who grew up in our club and our soccer community. She was the captain of her UNCW teams and played at a very high level. Having female coaches and role models is something that is important to the club and is something that we don't have enough of. Adding Bailey to our coaching staff makes us better and she will have a great impact on the girls she works with."
Before attending University of Virginia Medical School and settling in Wilmington where he is a well-respected radiologist, Mike Fisher's soccer career was just as impressive as his medical career. Fisher was a 2x National Champion at UVA, and 2x NCAA National Player of the Year. The Virginia teams that Fisher was an integral part of are still widely regarded as some of the best ever in college soccer.
"Mike's soccer knowledge and background speak for themselves. He does a lot for not only his 07 girls but for the entire club and we are lucky to have him. We look forward to another year with him in charge of the 07 girls, who were a top team in the ECNL in 2019-20."
Will Heaney has made a smooth transition from professional player where he was a loved member of the Wilmington Hammerheads, to professional coach where he has worked hard to develop his craft and skill as a coach. Heaney, originally from England, developed in the youth academies of Newcastle United and Carlisle United before joining the Hammerheads in 2013. Heaney was promoted to Director of Girls ECNL and Classic programming in the spring of 2019.
"Will continues to grow as a coach and as a club leader a vital and important part of our club. He has had a great first year as the Girls ECNL Director and will continue to lead this program while also working directly with his two teams."
We are lucky to continue to have Andy assist and share his knowledge of the game to our younger players. Andy grew up playing in England and enjoyed a successful professional career for the Wilmington Hammerheads USL team. Andy has 20+ years of coaching experience.
"Andy has been a part of the Wilmington Soccer community since his playing days as a member of the professional Wilmington Hammerheads. He has a great knowledge of the game and coaches with a calm and focused temperament that is very effective for our young players. We are lucky to have Andy as part of our club."
We are excited to add Michael to our coaching staff. Michael will be transferring from Queens University to play as a grad student for UNCW Mens Soccer.
From Germany, Michael was a 3 year starter for Queens University. He played in 19 games, all starts...totaled four goals and a team-high five assists for 13 total points...SAC All-Conference First Team...D2CCA All-Region First Team...USC All-Region First Team...NCCSIA All-State First Team
"Michael is another new coach that we hope brings fresh ideas and a different perspective. Coming from Germany, he comes from a true soccer culture and will undoubtedly bring different and new techniques for all of us to learn from. Jordan Phillips and Shaun Utterson have had good conversations with Michael and we are looking forward to having him."
Chadwick is a lifelong soccer guy. Chadwick's soccer background consists of playing, coaching and refereeing. He has grown up around the game and his passion, commitment, knowledge and organization was quickly recognized throughout our staff.
Chadwick holds a USSF "D" License and is a candidate to obtain his USSF "C" License.
"Chadwick has had a great year as a coach in our club. He is thoughtful about his practices and is improving as a coach while also improving his players and teams. He fits perfectly with the idea of having really good people in our club as role models."
Austin Martz enters his second season as the Head Coach of the 2005 Boys ECNL team for the 2020-21 year. Austin has just finished a 4 year professional career that included the 2016 season with the USL Wilmington Hammerheads.
Prior to his professional career he was a major contributor to some of the most successful Georgetown University teams from 2011 to 2014. His college career included a Big East Championship and a trip to the NCAA College Cup and National Championship game.
"Austin has had a good start to his time with our club. His team is a group that unfortunately had a big chunk of their season cut short due to Corona. We are looking forward to them getting back on the fields together with Austin leading the group. He is a very smart coach and instantly gains respect from his college and professional playing career. We are lucky to have Austin and look forward to him continuing his work with our 05 boys."
Chad Medcalfe completed his first year with the club as the head coach of the 2004G ECNL. He joined WHYFC from Indianapolis, IN where he has served as the Girls Director of Coaching at Westside United FC since 2012. Medcalfe brings with him a USSF 'B' License and over 20 years of coaching experience. During his recent time at Westside, Medcalfe led 3 teams to IYSA State Championships and led his 2001 girls to the USYSA Regional Finals. His coaching stops also include Director of Coaching of the Indiana Youth Soccer Association, Indiana ODP Age Group Director, and assistant women's coach at the University of Indianapolis. Medcalfe will be at the Talent ID night this week (April 18th).
"Chad has joined our club with an 'all-in' mentality, willing to do whatever he can to help our club. We are grateful for him and his work with our kids and look forward to another strong year."
Glenn Neighbor has quickly earned the respect and admiration of the WHYFC players he has worked with. Entering his 5th year with the club, Neighbor has worked on the girls side of the program assisting with the 2002 Girls ECNL and leading the 2008 Girls over the past two years.
"Glenn will lead his group of 2008 girls into the first year of ECNL league play. It is an exciting time for these girls as they make this transition. They will have their ups and downs in this very competitive league but Glenn has a great temperament and will be a great leader to these players as they take this challenge on."
Kirk Peat has been a part of the Wilmington soccer community for 15+ years. He attended and played soccer at N.C. State University, where he was a part of a very successful era in the N.C. State soccer program. This past year Peat worked with the 2007 Girls and the 2003 Boys. He has always been a supporter of the club and will continue to help with the 07 girls while also doing additional team-specific work within the club.
"Kirk is a great person to have as part of our club. He has a lot of experiences as a player that he often uses when he coaches our young players. He has consistently helped out with the successful 2007 girls ECNL team and is always willing to help in other areas of our club."
We are excited to add another UNCW graduate to our coaching staff. Drew will join the coaching staff upon completion of the UNCW Mens Soccer Fall Season.
Drew is a red shirt sophomore who helped lead UNCW Mens Soccer to a CAA regular season championship and as high as a #21 team ranking in the country.
"I always get excited about getting a former player involved on the coaching side of the game. To have a player of Drew's ability join our staff and see the game from a different perspective is exciting for me. I know he is passionate about the game and the kids will naturally gravitate towards him. I look forward to working with him."
Rex Recchia joins the WHYFC staff after playing college soccer at UNCW from 2009-12. At UNCW he was a consistent starter in the UNCW defensive line. Recchia joined the WHYFC coaching staff in the Juniors program and has impressed with his coaching instincts. He connects with his players, gives good instruction and shares his passion for the sport with them.
"Rex was highly recommended for a classic coaching position by Justin Moose who worked closely with him in the Juniors program. He is well liked by staff and has an impressive playing background. We are looking forward to having Rex join the classic program."
We are lucky to continue to have Will assist and share his knowledge of the game to our younger players. Will grew up playing in England and has 20+ years of coaching experience.
Once a soccer writer by trade, his day job at bleacher report these days sees him work on content partnerships with clubs and leagues all over the world.
"Will is an ambassador of the club and brings great energy and a passion for the game to everything he does with us. He is a part of a long list of coaches that are willing to help in any way they can. We are grateful and lucky to have Will as part of our club."
Eddie Stephens enters his 3rd year as part of the WHYFC family. He has worked in both the Juniors and Classic programs. Stephens brings with him a unique set of experiences that are tied to his time living abroad, where he founded and advanced two organizations primarily focused on skills development for American kids stationed overseas. This past year he completed his USSF 'C' License. Stephens grew up playing competitive soccer in Richmond, VA, and played D-I college soccer at East Carolina University.
"Eddie is an example of why and how this club works. He is willing to help in any role that is asked of him, he is a positive influence on the players and team that he works with and is someone that the club can count on to do anything he can to help. He and Shawn Utterson have created a great team environment with the 2009 boys and we look forward to that continuing."
Returning from the Juniors Staff, Jonathan "Rabe" Abadom brings an abundance of passion and enthusiasm for the game. Former international body builder, this England native began his coaching education through the English F.A. courses. Rabe is also a personal trainer and strongly supports Tottenham Hotspurs.
"Jonathon has great energy and easily motivates players. He quickly takes interest to improve his team and each individual player.
We are excited to add Nick Baker to our coaching staff. Nick grew up and played within our club as a youth player. He started his coaching career with our Brunswick Hammerheads.
Nick then moved into our Junior Program where he worked along side Justin Moose. Nick continues to study the game and has started his coaching badges through US Soccer.
"Nick is someone that has come through our club as a player and now is learning the craft of coaching. He is passionate about the game and excited about the opportunity."
Joe Brisindi enters his 5th year as a WHYFC coach. He joined the WHYFC coaching staff in the middle of 2015 when he took on a team in the middle of the year and did a great job keeping them focused and helping them develop. Since then Brisindi has dived into the club, covering practices for other coaches, watching and studying games and improving at the skill that is coaching. Joe also works for PEVO, a soccer equipment company located here in Wilmington.
"Joe does great work for this club. He is a good person and a good coach that understands our club culture and how things work. We are very grateful for Joe and all that he does for us and look forward to another great year with him."
Paul Cairney joined the WHYFC staff in January of 2018 led the 2005 Boys ECNL team through a successful season. A college coach for 20+ years Paul has been the Director of College Placement for the club since 2019. His appointment has seen an influx of college interest in our player that has resulted in college placement for many of our players.
"The College placement role has been a great fit for Paul. He has taken the role and really owned it. He consistently meets with players, discusses each individual situation and works hard to connect our player and our club with college coaches. We are lucky to have him and with his guidance are proud to consistently place players into top college programs."
Hunter Daughtridge is a young coach in the club that has progressed through the club. Daughtridge began his work in the club as a Juniors coach and joined the classic program in 2015. Daughtridge has his USSF 'D' coaching license and is a passionate Houston Dynamo (MLS) fan.
"Hunter is still a young coach, but he has gained valuable experience and improved each year he has been with the club. He is someone that is willing to go the extra mile for his teams and our club and we are lucky to have him on board for another year.."
Cody Frennea is originally from Winston-Salem, NC where he played club soccer for the Twin City Youth Soccer Association. Frennea excelled in youth soccer and was recruited by UNCW. Frennea played his college soccer at UNCW and has settled in the area full-time.
"Cody continues to be a great coach for our players and our club. He brings a high-level playing background and connects with his players with his positive energy and passion for the game. We are excited for him to be a part of our Regional League program where he have a great impact and influence on his teams and the entire program."
Steve Elliot has worked within the club for over 15 years and is a valuable and important part of the WHYFC coaching staff. Elliott serves as a staff coach who works with players and teams throughout the club. He arrived in Wilmington as a student-athlete at UNCW where he captained the UNCW team and was named team MVP. Elliot, who is a professor at UNCW, holds a coaching license from the English FA and also works with the UNCW women's program.
"Steve brings a wealth of experience to our coaching staff. He is always out at our fields doing training sessions, supporting our teams, and helping our young coaches. He cares deeply about the club, the coaches and the players and is willing to lend a hand wherever needed and whenever asked. It is great to have Steve's experience and support as part of our club."
Max Groover, currently a senior on the UNCW Men's Soccer team will join the coaching staff as a first-year coach.
Max is finishing a successful 4-year career at UNCW that has seen his teams win conference championships, earn NCAA tournament bids. Prior to UNCW, Max played on the Railhawks Development Academy team in Raleigh.
"Max has a lot of 'ingredients' needed to be a great coach. He has a great playing background, he is a good teammate, he has learned from one of the best college coaches in the country - Aidan Heaney, and he is a good person. We are looking forward to helping him and guiding him as he becomes a coach. His players will enjoy his energy, enthusiasm and passion. It is also another great display of our working relationship with the UNCW men's and women's programs.
Kyle Hussey begins his second year on the WHYFC staff. He arrived in Wilmington late in the 2018-19 coaching selection process but enthusiastically joined the Juniors Program. After the fall season, Hussey took lead of the 2006 Boys Blue team and has his influence has shown steady improvement throughout the spring. Kyle teaches 6th grade math and science at Myrtle Grove Middle School
"Kyle continues to improve and mature as a coach. We are excited that he will 'step up' in 2020-21, taking on a bigger role and more responsibility. He is passionate, he is positive and his players love to play for him."
Craig Johnson has played an integral role in the development of the entire Wilmington youth soccer community, having previously served as both a member of the WHYFC Board of Directors and as the club's President. All of this while also balancing his work as a P.A. at EmergeOrtho, and his work as a coach throughout every level of the club over the past 10+ years. Johnson holds a USSF 'A' License and played his college soccer at Wake Forest University. He is widely respected throughout the soccer community and his coaching career has included stints with the U.S. U-17 Men's National Team. Most recently in March of 2018, CJ led a group of WHYFC 03/04 girls on an international tour to England.
"CJ has successfully guided our 2003 girls through the first two years of our ECNL membership. His leadership has produced consistent top-tier results, high-level college commitments, and ECNL playoff spots. He will be a valuable asset in the 2020-21 season, bringing his knowledge, energy and passion to our club and our players."
Greg has been the Head Men's and Women's Coach at Eugene Ashley High School for the past 5 years, and had a previous stint coaching in the club in 2015. Greg holds licenses with both the United Soccer Coaches Association (National Diploma) and the United States Soccer Federation.
Greg also served over 27 years in the US Army before retiring from the military and returning to Wilmington to start a second career. He also played collegiately at UNCW and is a proud Seahawk.
"It is great to have Greg back with us and working with our players. He is a great person, a great role model to our players and cares deeply for the kids that he works with. We are excited to have him back and I look forward to being back on the fields with him."
David Martin will take on his first team as a WHYFC head coach this season, after spending the past year working as an assistant coach for the 07 White with Eric Miles. Martin has his USSF 'D' License and brings passion, care and kindness to his coaching. Martin has also served as an asst. coach at Cape Fear Academy where he was a part of team's the 2018 State Championship.
"I've enjoyed getting to know David. He instantly is a person that cares about the players and loves the game. He also wants to learn and improve - all things that are great qualities in a coach. David led two teams this spring and put everything he had into these groups."
Justin Moose will continue his work as the Juniors Director. Moose brings with him a USSF 'B' License and an impressive playing career. A first team All-American at Wake Forest University, Moose was selected 7th overall in the MLS draft by D.C. United. After 5 seasons at the club he would play internationally in Thailand, Finland and Canada. He was a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team and is remembered by many for his out-of-this-world technical skill and ability. Throughout his travels Moose coached and gained valuable experience. He also quickly saw the importance of the work that is done at the very youngest levels, which is why he is so passionate about the JRS program.
"Justin cares deeply about his work with our young players and does really great work with his program. We are excited to expand his role to include oversight of all players and teams U12 and below. This role has him overseeing the development of our young players at a critical time during their soccer education."
Alex Nelson joined Aidan Heaney's coaching staff at UNCW in February, 2019. Originally from Newcastle, England Nelson moved to the U.S. when he accepted a scholarship to play soccer at Wingate University. Nelson would serve as the team's captain and lead them to a NCAA Div. II National Championship in 2016. After his success as a player, Nelson quickly transitioned into a coaching role, serving as an assistant coach for Wingate in 2017 and 2018 before joining the UNCW staff in 2019. Nelson also gained valuable experience in youth soccer serving as a coach at Charlotte Soccer Academy while working at Wingate.
"We are excited that Alex is finalizing details so that he can be with our club for another year. Soccer runs in his blood, and he is a great influence and role model for his young team. We look forward to expanding his role within our club as we move into the 2020-21 season."
Will Page re-joined WHYFC moving back to Wilmington after time teaching and coaching for Greensboro United in Greensboro, NC. Will holds a United Soccer Coaches Association National Diploma and has been involved in coaching since he graduated from college. Will teaches middle school in the Pender Co. School Sytem.
"It has been great to have Will back in the club. He has taken a 2001 team and pushed them and improved the team and its culture. Will is another coach who is also a teacher and is able to bring the skill in the classroom onto the practice field."
Jordan Phillips serves as the Older Boys Director of our club in addition to his coaching roles. In this role, Phillips oversees all boys teams ages U13-19, monitoring the player pool, team progress, individual development, and coaching curriculum. Phillips also has carved out a role as an assistant coach for the UNCW Mens Soccer team. The 2020-21 season will also see Phillips earn the prestigious USSF 'A-Youth' License, something that he has spent 2 years intensely working and studying for.
"Jordan has had another great year of growth, maturity and leadership. He continues to invest in himself and his craft and does great work with his teams. He is also someone that is growing into a great director and leader of our club. Jordan will continue in his role as Older Boys Director where he has a great influence and impact on all of these teams."
Tyler Rohrback has worked his way up through the WHYFC coaching ranks, having first joined the club in the Juniors Program. Rohrback's enthusiasm, commitment, and care for his player's was quickly apparent in his work in the program. Rohrback has just completed his first year in the classic program where he showed his talent at developing and improving his teams.
"I just can't say enough good things about Tyler. He wants to improve as a coach, he wants to help his players develop and he is willing to learn and listen to accomplish these things. He is a teacher which translates onto the field in his techniques, patience, temperament, and guidance of his players and teams. Tyler is someone we are lucky to have and are grateful for his work with our players and teams."
Shaun Utterson returned to Wilmington last year when he was hired as UNCW Men's Soccer's top assistant coach. Utterson, who also played his college soccer at UNCW, holds coaching licenses from the English Football Association and the United Soccer Coaches Association. Following his college career, Utterson moved on to play professional soccer for the Wilmington Hammerheads before entering the coaching ranks. A native of England, Utterson brings a wealth of knowledges and experiences to WHYFC.
"Shaun and I are both very excited about his 2009 boys joining the Carolinas Development League, which includes the top clubs in the state competing in a developmental environment in the last year prior to joining the ECNL. Shaun does great work with this group and we look forward to supporting him and these players as they join this exciting new league."
We are excited to welcome Steve back to our classic program. Steve is a lifelong soccer guy. He has 20+ years of coaching experience at all different levels. His soccer background consists of playing and coaching. He has grown up around the game and his passion, commitment, knowledge and organization was quickly recognized as qualities he possess to continue to develop into a great coach. He cares deeply about his players and enjoys being on the fields.
"We are happy to have Steve back for another year with us. His team has had a positive experience with him this year and they have consistently improved."