U.S. Soccer Launches New Director Of Coaching License

U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Offers New Specialty Course; First Pilot Course Took Place in Northern California This Spring
U.S. Soccer Coaching Education has announced the establishment of a new Director of Coaching License. The new license is designed to help candidates develop the competencies needed to complete the tasks of a Director of Coaching, the technical leader of a youth soccer club. The role is defined by a number of objectives: developing a player-centered development pathway, creating player development plans, guiding the club’s teaching methodology, leading and mentoring staff, managing the performance environment, representing the club’s interests and more. 
The first pilot course for the Director of Coaching License took place this spring in Sacramento, Calif. 
“The inaugural U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching License was a fantastic experience and a glimpse into the future of youth club leadership,” said U.S. Soccer Coach Educator Santo Rivas. “The open interactions, camaraderie and bonds created amongst the DOC’s was tremendous. We all left the course with a feeling that we are all part of a bigger mission, one that starts with our clubs but extends beyond them: a mission to create better environments for our youth players to learn in and fall in love with the game. That mission represents a big step towards making soccer the preeminent sport in America.”
The course’s holistic approach includes two four-day meetings, assignments, webinars and one-on-one discussions with instructors. Between the two meetings, candidates return to their home environments for a development period, allowing them to apply what they’ve learned to their own organization under the guidance of the course educators.
“The pilot group of DOC’s from Northern California was a super group to work with and learn from,” Rivas said. “They were challenged with some of the assignments that we built to cultivate their technical leadership, but they also challenged us in shaping a course experience which can have a transformative effect on the youth soccer landscape.”
Based on their individual learning needs, each candidate goes through a tailored program to better execute the tasks of a Director of Coaching. As the technical leader of their youth soccer clubs, the Director of Coaching develops, implements and executes plans to improve the level of both players and coaches, while representing the club as part of the greater soccer community. 
Directors of Coaching are tasked with building a player development plan, including style of play and age-group learning structures, as well as a greater player development philosophy that connects the club’s mission to the player experience. They’re also in charge of guiding the club’s coaching methodology while building and guiding a team of coaches and staff. Directors of Coaching are responsible for the overall performance environment at their clubs and working with both stakeholders within and outside organizations to help serve the needs of players and coaches. 
The pilot course also served as an instructor course for future Director of Coaching educators. The 20 candidates included five future course instructors, 12 Directors of Coaching from local California clubs, one study group invite from Minnesota and two U.S. Soccer Club Development Managers. Former U.S. Under-16 Boys’ National Team head coach Shaun Tsakiris participated as one of the 12 local invitees.

2019 Director of Coaching Pilot License Candidates


Tom Alioto

San Francisco Vikings (Calif.)

Shawn Blakeman

Los Gatos (Calif.)

Rob Busa

Montclair Soccer Club (Calif.)

James Charette

Blackhills SC (Wash.) – Future Instructor

Dan Chubbock

Piedmont Soccer Club (Calif.)

Austin Daniels

U.S. Soccer CDM – Northern Calif.

Andrew Donnery

Elk Grove Soccer (Calif.)

Joe Dugan

San Franciscoo Elite Academy (Calif.)

Marguerite Ferrell

U.S. Soccer CDM – Northeast

Emre Gencer

Placer United (Calif.)

Trisha Gonzales

Manteca Area Soccer League Manteca Rangers (Calif.)

Jay Hoffman

Future Instructor

Paul Kennedy

Folsom Lake Earthquakes (Calif.)

Rene Miramontes

Crusaders (Calif.)

Jean Pierre Mujica

SF Glens Evolution (Calif.)

Ian Mulliner

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association – Future Instructor

Kari Ornes

Prior Lake SC (Minn,) – Study Group

German Plaza

Santa Cruz Youth Soccer Club (Calif.)

Zack Pope

Lonestar SC (Texas) – Future Instructor

Shaun Tsakiris

Los Gatos (Calif.)

To be considered for the Director of Coaching License, candidates must hold a U.S. Soccer C License and currently serve as a Director of Coaching at a youth soccer club, as well as carry at least two years of experience in the role. Applicants will be selected based on their current technical leadership role, their past technical leadership experiences and a demonstrable commitment to continuing education.