Current Parents and players, New Parents and players -
The 2018-19 year has been another successful year for the club. As we look towards the 2019-20 season and beyond it is always important to have a group of great coaches to lead, teach and mentor our young players.
I am excited to announce the 2019-20 coaching staff and am confident that this group of dedicated coaches will continue the improvements that this club is currently going through.
Coaching decisions are never easy and there isn't a 'cut and dry' process for these decisions, but we make them based on 'what is best for the players?' This question will always guide us in our decision-making process.
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. Dino is a self-less leader that is willing to do anything for both the club and his players.
"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."
Joe Brisindi enters his 4th 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 and has led the 2005 Boys ECNL team during the spring season. Originally from Scotland, Cairney spent 20+ years as the women's head coach at UNCW. Cairney brings with him a wealth of experience and a deep passion for the game and a love for coaching.
"Paul has done good work with the 05 Boys this spring and I'm excited for him to continue with the talented group. He cares about his players and is passionate about his coaching."
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."
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 will now make a transition into the insurance business, while still coaching in the club. Shawn is well-loved by his teams and has recently guided the Girls 2006 ECNL through a challenging season but under his guidance the team has improved and enjoyed their 1st year in ECNL.
"We are lucky to have Shawn continue coaching in our club. He is making a career change but the fact that he is carving out and dedicating time to continue to coach in the club shows the care he has for his teams and his players."
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 has done a great job in his first year with us. He is a selfless leader, ready to help in any way and at any time, and has taken on a team and has improved the team and the culture. He does things with a lot of energy and always with a smile on his face. We are lucky to have him a part of the club."
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."
Courtney McKeon has been a part of the Wilmington Hammerheads since she was a youth player herself. She has served in several roles in the club, including a stint in the front office of the Hammerheads professional team. Courtney currently works full-time in the Hammerheads office taking the lead on Recreational and NCYSA scheduling.
"Courtney always is smiling, loves being around the kids and is a positive role model for all the players that she works with."
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.
"Eric is a great asset to our club and does great work with his players. He is an educator and a community leader who is passionate about his players and his teams. Eric will lead the 2007 boys into their first year of the challenging ECNL."
Alex Nelson joined Aidan Heaney's coaching staff at UNCW in February. 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 very excited to add Alex to our staff. He is the type of guy that was born to be a coach and you can feel that from the minute you meet him. He has great experiences that will also help as he works with our 2008 boys."
Jordan Phillips is a full-time coach and Boys 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. Jordan completed his USSF 'B' license in 2019 and continues to pursue education to improve himself as a coach.
"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 19/20 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."
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 helps out wherever needed and has been really great to have with our JRS players when he is available. He cares deeply for the players and the club as a whole and we are grateful for all that he does."
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."
Lauren is in her 7th 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. 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."
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.
"It is great to have Shaun with us on staff. To have someone with Shaun's background and soccer experience working with some of our youngest players is something that I love. He is well-respected throughout the country, has seen and done a lot in our sport, and we are lucky to have him.
Ben Avalos first started coaching at WHYFC in Brunswick Co. where he was part of the initial launch of the Brunswick Hammerheads. From there, he moved into the JRS program and has done great work in the past year with the club's youngest talent. Ben played for Triangle Futbol Club (TFC) in Durham, NC growing up and owns the Mexican restaurant Carniceria Jalisco.
"Ben has done great work in our club. He connects well with the players and shares his passion for the game. I see him watching practices and learning which is always something I like to see in a coach. We are looking forward to his work with the 03s."
Wayne Carpenter has spent 15+ years a part of soccer in Wilmington. He has coached in several levels including middle school soccer and most recently our WHYFC Juniors Program. During his time he has acquired is USSF 'E' and USSF 'D' licenses. He is passionate about the game and the players he works with.
"Wayne is very organized and brings a teacher's mentality to his coaching. He has seen this club evolve over 15+ years and its great to have him as part of our classic coaching staff."
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. He loves being on the field with the kids and is passionate about the game and the players that he works with."
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."
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 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."
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.
"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 guided the 2003 ECNL girls into a playoff spot in their first year in the league. He puts everything he has into the teams he coaches and is a great asset to our club. We are lucky to have him back with the 03s."
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 next year."
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. I like that David has spent the last season in the 07 age group, which I think will help him as he learns about these players and takes on this team."
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."
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."
Glenn Neighbor has quickly earned the respect and admiration of the WHYFC players he has worked with. Entering his 4th 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 a great part of our club. He helps with the older girls ECNL teams wherever he can and has had a great first year as the head coach of the 08 Girls white. 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."
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."
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 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."
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 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."