Matthew C. Perry High School
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan
United Soccer Coaches Veterans, Active Military, & Affiliates Coaches Community
“I have been able to network with like-minded individuals about something I am very passionate about. But, beyond that, being a United Soccer Coaches member has helped me celebrate my student-athletes.”
Who or what inspired you to pursue coaching?
Many people influenced my coaching, but the most profound was Peter Mellor. I learned quite a bit from watching him coach and from his mentorship. Mellor played in England for Fulham and was a teammate of George Best and Rodney Marsh. He also played in the NASL and continues to be a coaching fixture and legend in the Tampa Bay Area. His influence was especially helpful because I started coaching at a young age (only 18 years old) and, just three years later, was the head coach at the high school I graduated from.
How has being a United Soccer Coaches Member benefited you?
Being a United Soccer Coaches Member has benefited me in a plethora of ways. Besides being able to attend the convention and having access to tons of coaching materials, I have been able to network with like-minded individuals about something I am very passionate about. But, beyond that, being a United Soccer Coaches Member has helped me celebrate my student-athletes. Perry High School has been recognized with 8 straight United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Awards as well as being recognized for sportsmanship and ethics. Perry High School has also produced 10 Scholar All-Americans. This is remarkable as our students are navigating the difficulties associated with living overseas on a US military base. In short, the impact has been tremendous. I am also honored to serve as the OCONUS Affairs Committee Lead for the new VAMA Coaches Community.
What do you feel has been the hardest part of coaching?
For me, in my current coaching assignment working for a Department of Defense Dependents School overseas in Japan, it is simply the turnover. Our students are only here for a short time. Their parents often change assignments and move to other bases. Keeping the culture consistent has been a challenge.
How do you measure success with your team?
I measure success in many ways. One of our primary goals is to keep a 3.25 team cumulative grade point average for the entire year, which puts my Samurai in the running for the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award. Of course, success on the pitch is appreciated. But I have been on the losing and the winning sides of that coin. I mainly look for growth in players, both on the pitch and off, as they develop into their future selves.