January is over. Can you believe it? 31 days, already over. And we are already rolling in the month that is the shortest of all! We’ll be into spring before we know it!
I don’t know about you, but last month’s 31 day journey through those blog posts help me get set. I’m ready.
The moment has come for me. It is time to step up myself!
For those of you who may not know, there have been a lot of things in my journey recently that have required my wife and I to reevaluate our next steps. We have made some big decisions to get moving.
I have been coaching soccer for 18 years, and I played soccer for 15 years prior to that. I have been able to see a lot of young people grow up through soccer. Wow! What a lot of cool stories. (click on all pictures for an enlarged view)
Like that time I returned from college, dejected because of getting injured and not being able to play college soccer. James McKee, the soccer coach at Glencliff High School, asked me to help him out.
So I did. And my coaching career began.
Then there was a guy named Henry Tahir who played at GHS. He asked me to coach his travel team.
So I did. I joined the coaching staff at Eagle Express Soccer Club. No one had cameras on their phones back then…so I don’t have any pictures to prove it! I got to coach a guy named Deni Ismailovich. He is now a coach! And a good one too!
Then there was that time I was the Director of Coaching for Eagle Express Soccer Club. We had Board meetings at Ryan’s. The club paid for the meal, so I ate for two hours straight! A big thanks to Jim Turner for feeding me so much!
And then there a few guys that were playing in an indoor league I was running in Smyrna at Grand Slam. Ben Baggett, Ray Langen, and Doug Moorad asked me to come and coach their boys team. They were 9. They were a part of the Brentwood Soccer Club. The name of their team was Brentwood Burn.
So I did. I joined the coaching staff at Brentwood Soccer Club. I got to coach a few ringers. Some of the guys in this group that continue to impact me today are Dermody, Will, Alex, Matthew, Dominic, and more… I went to my first Catholic Mass with Dominic…and I sat on the front row…in soccer sweats…memorable to say the least. He’s on the bottom row of the next picture, second from the right.
And then there was a man named Todd Lockhart who worked with my mom. He found out I coached. He asked me to coach his daughter’s team. The name of the team was Brentwood Attack.
So I did. This was the first girls team I ever coached. I started working with them in 2001. And are young ladies different to coach? Yes. But it forever changed my coaching direction. Some of the girls on this team that continue to impact me today are Michelle “Stiggy”, Kaitlyn “Smitty”, Emily “B”, Lucy “Goose” (who is now a coach), Kaitlynn “Heily”, and more…
And then there was a time when I was working retail at Soccer USA with Pawel Miller, and a coach from Trevecca Nazarene University walks in. I ask him if he needed any help with his program. I had just received a coaching license from the NSCAA and I thought it would be a great challenge. He said if I would like to volunteer, I could.
So I did. I became part of the coaching staff at Trevecca Nazarene University as the Women’s Volunteer Assistant.
Then the man who brought me on board, Stan Herod, stepped down. I then applied for the head coaching job. Alan Smith was the Athletic Director at the time. He offered me the job if I wanted it.
So I did. I became the head coach. I brought on David Cordero to help out. It was a great three years with David and the ladies.
I made a lot of long-time friends from that journey. Heather “Marti” Martin (now a coach), Heather Barber (now a coach), Nicole Hart, Lauren Collins, Carolyn Pratt, Rebecca Tuchez, Kesley Shockey, Casey Thornton, Courtney Haas, Alma Lara, Alaina McKinney, Danika Brown, Loni Osegueda, Lilian Mwangi, Anne Opana, Ashley Holloway, Jennifer Smith, Kassie Evick, Jessi Fallen (now a coach), Allison Casalenuovo (now a coach), Kimberly Goodson, Brittany Argabright (married a coach), and more…
And then I met Richard Boone and a man named Steve Sermonet.
Steve took me under his wing as I worked with his daughters over the next few years. We are brothers. A lot of life has been lived with this guy and his beautiful wife and lovely daughters. So much so he was in my wedding. Seeing Stephanie and Sarah grow up was an honor. Knowing their mother and Steve’s wife, Lisa, was a gift of which I am forever grateful. And a little known secret, Sarah is the only player that I coached as a club player that I was able to actually watch play in college. The Sermonets are special to my journey to say the least.
And I got to train Stephanie’s team as they traveled to Europe in Paris, London, and Manchester. What an experience that was. I got to walk on the hallowed grounds of Old Trafford and Manchester United.
I was able to help Caitlin and Cathie (her mom) reunite in London. We got to go up against the Manchester City Girls. What a special team Brentwood Pride was. Wonderful memories with Caitlin, Mac, Steph, Tay, Syd, Heckle, Sus, Ryan, Rachel, Becks, AK, Lorelei, and more…
Then I was able to join Harpeth Futbol Club (now Nashville FC Youth) as a Director of Coaching. I was able to work with Sterling Nabours and Andy McGovern. I was able to work with Rec kids and Club kids. That time definitely gave me an opportunity to see all levels of soccer.
I took a one year hiatus to coach people…
Then there was that time I called Hans Hobson back at Brentwood Soccer Club and asked him for a job. He had two teams for me and I was able to meet Victor T, Naba A, Will S, Ross B, Nick O, Jimmy W, Mikhail E,
and Sydney G, Kira L, Jamie H, Maya W, Lauren C, Bailey C, Anna S, Alex R, Shea E, Desirae P, and more…
Going through a merger of clubs (Brentwood Soccer Club with Tennessee Futbol Club merged to become Tennessee Soccer Club) allowed for me to work with some U18 young men with players like Gill, Harrison, Riley, Mitchell, Luke, Taylor, Matt, Jose, Joseph, Sergio, and more. Those guys stretched me for sure. They made me a better man.
I got to work with 13 year old girls like Stack, Maddie, Remi, Rya, Dubs, Camryn, Sam, Ellie, Marisa, Kynley, Maddie, Alexis, Kuhn, Nisi, Claire, Sarah Beth, Izzy, Caroline, and more…
And then the young 11 year old girls like Georgia, Libby, Kate, Lillye, Evy, Katie, Ella S, Ella K, Rachel, Emmy, Casey, Leah, and some up and coming, very young 8 year old girls like Labrec, Dibble, Ashlyn, Rachel, Mallory, Bendle, Mikayla, Charlotte, Molly, Abigail, Kate, Logan, and more…
What an adventure!
Jam packed pull of great experiences. It is with these experiences I have decided to close the book on coaching soccer. I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities it has afforded me over the year. I am even more grateful for all of the relationships I was able to be a part of.
Thank you to all of the players, parents and coaches who have made my soccer journey what it has been. Tremendous! And to Julie, my wife, thank you for your support the last 6 years. Even though soccer was the only sport you didn’t play, you cheered for us, related with the players, and got to know the parents. What a great few years it was!
It’s weird, I still feel like I have to be somewhere on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I am always ready to get on the road on Friday…because I am used to traveling somewhere across the state or region to get to a game on the weekend. I am not sure how long that feeling will last. But I am sure it will subside.
I don’t know just yet! But I do want to let you know, I am working on something…
February is when things start moving. I want to keep you updated. Will you follow along? Follow this blog if you haven’t already. I will try to update you on the journey at least once a week. And maybe you’ll be connected with me through the next step of the journey! Who knows!?
Until then…all my teams would enter the game with me saying this to them before they would yell their team cheer…
“Say it loud.”
Here we go February! Bring it!