Current Parents and players, New Parents and players -
We are very excited about the 2018-19 Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Soccer coaching roster. It is one of the most talented groups of coaches this club has ever had. Putting a coaching roster together for a club of this size takes a lot of work, conversations, research, and thought. I am thrilled at the coaching assignments and believe that each coach brings a skill set that is needed for his/her particular team(s) assignment.
We are also excited to add some new coaches to the team. New coaches bring new voices and fresh perspectives. The 2018-19 year is an important year for our club and I am confident we have the right coaching team to lead us into the new year.
Full coaching list in link along with coaching bios (alphabetical order) below.
Dino Ankrah is a well-liked WHYFC personality that has literally done it all in his 20+ years as a coach in the club. He has had another good year in the club, coaching two boys teams in the 2007 age group and helping develop this young player pool. A fun personality that cares deeply for the kids, Dino will continue his work in the classic program and also spend time in the JRS program.
"Dino's passion is obvious from the first conversation you have with him. He cares deeply about the sport, he cares deeply about the club, but (as it should be) he cares most about his players. He has done great work in the club for over 20 years and we hope he is working with our players for another 20."
Edson Cruz joined WHYFC in the spring of 2018 and quickly made a very good impression. He worked closely with John Adams in the Brunswick Hammerheads program and earned a reputation as a fun, positive and happy coach. Edson is originally from Acapulco, Mexico where he played the game from a very young age.
"Edson is a young coach that I have enjoyed getting to know this spring. He loves being on the field with the kids and that is the perfect start to becoming a great coach. He has earned a chance to coach one of our classic teams and I know the players will enjoy having him."
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 also helps our club connect with college coaches. It is great to have Steve's experience and support as part of our club."
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.
"We are very lucky to have Mike as part of our coaching team. His soccer resume speaks for itself. He has played the game at the highest levels, and brings that knowledge and passion to all the players that he coaches."
Shawn Guderian excelled as a youth player here in Wilmington. Guderian played his college soccer at UNCW and quickly began coaching following his playing career. He has been a part of the WHYFC staff since 2014 and has worked with numerous teams throughout the club. Shawn also gained valuable leadership experience when he served as the PDL team's General Manager in the summer of 2017. Most recently, he has worked with the 06 girls and the 04 boys.
"Shawn does a good job with his teams. He is clear with his message and what he expects from his players and conducts a good training session where players are tested and challenged. We look forward to Shawn's work this year."
Kyle Hussey is an energetic and passionate coach who joins WHYFC from Fayetteville Soccer Club. Kyle Hussey is a self proclaimed student of the game and loves watching the game whenever he can and teaching the sport to young people. He is moving from Fayetteville to Wilmington and will be teaching in the New Hanover Public School System.
"We met with Kyle several months ago and his positive energy brightened up the room. He loves the sport and working with young kids, and we have another teacher who will be using his experiences and skills as a teacher to create a healthy culture and environment for his teams."
Kevin Johnson is the Director of Soccer Operations for the entire club and brings a wealth of experience to his work. 'KJ' holds a USSF 'A' License and has worked in all levels of soccer in our country. Prior to his time at WHYFC, KJ worked in the U.S. Development Academy at IMG and Carolina Rapids. KJ has also worked with the U.S. U-17 Men's National Team, having most recently spent a week with the team in 2017 prior to the FIFA World Cup.
"KJ is a very important leader in this club and all of us rely on his experience and leadership. He works closely with all of the coaches, cares deeply for each player's experience, and is a great coach and teammate."
Allye Mertes enters her 3rd full-time season as a WHYFC coach. In those three years, her teams have shown steady and consistent improvement throughout. Mertes is able to lean on her experiences as a high-level youth player at Charlotte Soccer Academy and a Div. I College player at UNC-WIlmington. She is a teacher in the New Hanover Co. School System. Allye has her USSF 'D' License.
"Allye does a great job with her teams. I consider her recent '04 team one of the most-improved teams in our club over the last two years. Like several coaches in our club, I also love that she is a teacher. She understands kids, gets through to them, and uses her experiences in the classroom to create a great teaching environment on the field for our players."
Eric Miles has been embedded in youth soccer since 1993 where he began his coaching career while still a player at the University of West Florida. Miles has an impressive win-loss record throughout his 25+ year coaching career, but what motivates Miles, who is the Upper School Director at Cape Fear Academy, is the improvement and development of the players and teams he works with.
"Having Eric join our coaching team is very exciting. He is an educator and a community leader who is passionate about his players and his teams. What is also great is how excited he is to be joining the staff. We are very lucky to have Eric Miles working with our kids."
In addition to his work as a coach, Evie Morales is the facilities Director and oversees the Cape Fear Soccer Park. Morales and his high school teammates were featured in the book A Home on the Field which tells the story of Siler City as it copes and struggles with Latino immigration through the lives of a predominantly Latino high school soccer team.
"Evie is a big part of what we do. He oversees and maintains our home facility and is always ready to lend a hand to anyone that needs it. He is also a caring and hard-working coach that does a great job with his teams. We are very lucky to have him."
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 is a full-time coach and Director of Classic Programming for WHYFC. He has led older age groups to Championships at the prestigious Disney Tournaments and last summer led the 2001 girls to a USYSA Region III semi-finalist appearance. In addition, this year he has overseen the development of the youngest classic players in the club (2008 born). Phillips holds coaching licenses from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and United Soccer Coaches Association (USC), and recently applied and was accepted into the USSF 'B' Licensed Course. He will spend the next 6 months studying and working toward this prestigious coaching license.
"I lean on Jordan a lot in our daily work to improve this club. He has grown as a coach and as a person over the past year, and I'm excited to see Jordan's work in the 18/19 year. He is a dedicated coach who gets the best out of his players, cares deeply for this club, and is improving as a coach every day."
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 this team.
"I have been very impressed with Tyler during his time with us. Watching his team play you can see the concepts that he is teaching, and you can see that the player's are understanding them and applying them. I love that he is a teacher and uses the skills from his work in the classroom and applies them as a coach. We are very lucky to have Tyler."
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 cares deeply for the players and the club as a whole and we are grateful for all that he does."
Eddie Stephens enters his 3rd year as part of the WHYFC family. Stephens holds a USSF 'D' License and has worked in both the Juniors program and the classic program. Stephens brings with him a unique set of experiences that are tied to his time living abroad in countries including Italy and Dubai.
"Eddie is very valuable to our club. He is a team player, willing to do anything, and understands the club's priorities. In addition to his work with the 03 girls, Eddie will assist with the 09s this year, which will make the transition from JRS to classic a smooth one for our young boys."
Kristen Wright joins WHYFC after 3 years of coaching experience with Charlotte United Futbol Club (CUFC). Prior to her time at CUFC, Kristen was a 4-year women's soccer student-athlete at Queens University in Charlotte.
"Kristen has played at the college level and worked under some director's that I know and trust. They all think highly of Kristen and we are excited to have her on board."
Joe Brisindi enters his 3rd 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."
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 a guy who loves the sport and loves sharing his passion with the players he works with. He is constantly watching soccer, watching other practices, and thinking about the game - all things that improve his work as a coaching."
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. In addition to his coaching duties, Frennea works as a facility director at the Soccer Park.
"Cody is an energetic and passionate coach and person that has done a great job with his teams this year. His teams have shown consistent progress throughout the year which is a credit to his coaching and teaching."
Tirso Gonzalez is completing his first year with WHYFC where he has worked to integrate himself into the programming. A native of Venezuela, Gonzalez brings a lot of passion to his work as a coach. In addition to his work with the 2004's this year, Gonzalez has helped the Brunswick Hammerheads get up and running, dedicating countless hours to this new piece of programming.
"Tirso has learned a lot in his first year at the club. He has worked very hard to improve his team and is a better coach now than he was 12 months ago. He gives a lot to our club and we look forward to the year ahead."
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. Most recently, Heaney led the 2001 Girls to its most successful season of their tenure where they finished first in the SRPL.
"Soccer is in Will's blood. He was a high-level player and brings those standards and expectations to the teams he works with. Will has had a great year with the club, and is learning and improving as a coach every day. He is still young and learning but he has the ability and understanding of the game to be at the highest levels of the coaching profession."
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's passion and dedication are contagious. He is a skilled coach who puts everything he has into his players and into this club and we are lucky to have him."
Emmett Lunceford has a had a great year with WHYFC. He has worked closely with Jordan Phillips to develop and teach the youngest 2008 boys and also pushed and challenged the 2001 boys. He grew up in South Carolina and played college soccer at Clemson University.
"I'm really happy about Emmett's growth as a coach this past year. He has improved his teams and has also helped cover practices and games throughout the club. He is a good person that we are grateful to have as part of our club."
Chad Medcalfe joins 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).
"It is always positive and healthy to add new and experienced coaches to our staff. Chad and I have had good conversations over the last few months he is a professional with a lot of experiences that will help the team he is working with as well as our club as a whole."
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 has done great work with the JRS program this year and we are excited about the program moving forward. He has some amazing experiences in the game and we are happy he is here to share them with our players."
Glenn Neighbor has quickly earned the respect and admiration of the WHYFC players he has worked with. Entering his 3rd year with the club, Neighbor has worked on the girls side of the program with the 2005 and 2002 age groups and will work with the 2008 girls white as they enter the classic program.
"Glenn is the perfect coach to give these girls who are entering the classic program a great experience. He loves the game and is always smiling and having fun with his players. He is very knowledgeable and will work to provide these young players with the foundation they need for success in the future."
Ricardo Pinto joined the UNCW men's coaching staff in the winter of 2017. Pinto played his college soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and started his coaching career following graduation. Pinto holds a USSF 'D' License and was previously the assistant coach at Stetson University. He joined the WHYFC staff in the spring of 2018 and has done excellent work with his teams.
"Ricardo has gotten off to a great start at our club. He joined us in the middle of the year and has done a great job with the two teams he has worked with. He brings energy, enthusiasm and experience. Having college coaches work with our players is always a positive."
Jim Robbins is a USSF 'A' Licensed coach and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the coaching profession to WHYFC. Robbins is a 20- year veteran of the coaching ranks and has had stops in the college and professional game. Robbins has been an ODP head coach in both Georgia and New Jersey, he was the head coach of Long Island University- Brooklyn, and the Head Coach of the NPSL's (minor league - professional) Dakota Fusion. In addition to holding a USSF 'A' License, Robbins also has an NSCAA Premier Diploma, an NSCAA Youth Diploma, and a USSF Youth License.
"Jim and I have had great talks in the last few months and I'm excited that he is joining us. One thing Jim shared is that he is in coaching because he, very simply, just wants to help his players and teams be the best they can possibly be. That really resonated with me. He will also play an important role in our partnership with Coast FA, as he will be doing some work in Myrtle Beach in addition to his work with the 05s ."
Lauren is in her 6th season with the club and has worked hard at the craft of coaching and steadily improved each year. She worked closely with our JRS upon transitioning into the Classic program. Her current 2007 girls team has steadily improved throughout the course of the year. Sawyer has added more responsibility to her plate by overseeing the Lil' Hammers program, which serves as the first introduction of soccer to children ages 2-6.
"Lauren grew up playing in the club (Cape Fear Soccer), which automatically gives her a view and perspective that is unique. She loves the club and puts a lot into it and we are excited for her work to continue."
Chris Tsonis enters his second year in the WHYFC program and brings with him an impressive playing resume that includes time with the New York Red Bulls, Charleston Battery and an international stint with Reykjavik in Iceland. At every stop as a professional player Tsonis integrated himself into the youth clubs in the towns which he lived and gained valuable coaching experience throughout. He is completing a successful 17/18 season that has seen his team consistently improve throughout the year.
"Even though Chris is considered a young coach, he has accumulated some great soccer experiences in his playing and coaching career. He is still able to step on the field and play with his players when that is appropriate and shares his passion for the game with his kids. Chris is another important piece of our coaching team."
Shaun Utterson is returning to Wilmington after recently being 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.
"It is great to have Shaun back in Wilmington and we are excited to have him working with our players. He is well-respected throughout the country, has seen and done a lot in our sport, and we are lucky to have him. Shaun will be working with our youngest classic teams, which is something that both he and I are really excited about."