North Carolina High School Soccer Coaches Association
President Brian Jillings
Boys and girls coach at Hickory High School located in Hickory, N.C. Currently in his 25th year of coaching and his 17th year at Hickory High School.
How did you get involved with your state association?
My close friend and then president of the NCSCA, Doug Kidd, got me involved my first year as a head coach back in 1999. I’ve spent time as a regional chairman and membership coordinator prior to becoming president in 2018.
Is there anything about your association that you feel makes you unique? Special events, etc.
I’m extremely proud of the work our association does in advocating for high school soccer and providing unique opportunities for our coaches and players. Doug assembled an incredible committee of coaches from throughout the state who are dedicated to high school soccer and commit a tremendous amount of work & energy supporting it. The NCSCA has an extensive recognition program not only for players and coaches but officials, administrators and media personnel which culminates in a season ending awards ceremony. We host the Coaches Kickoff Classic, a 3-day showcase held in Cary, N.C., that has grown to feature over 90 high school teams from all across the state, which may be the largest such prep event in the US. In partnership with our friends from the South Carolina Soccer Coaches Association, we co-host the nation’s only high school interstate boys’ & girls’ soccer all-star event. Our membership is currently over 240 coaches and we have over 60 volunteers serving our association as we look to continue to promote the growth and improvement of interscholastic soccer in North Carolina.
What is your favorite memory about coaching?
I have many great memories from coaching throughout the years. I’ve coached some extremely talented student-athletes and incredible teams in some big games. But I think what I’ll miss the most when it’s over, is simply our Friday afternoon pickup games. The part of the practice, at the end of the week, where the kids would just compete and enjoy the camaraderie of their teammates until I’d have to chase them off the field. I think that is the most satisfying moment of coaching for me.
What does our partnership mean to high school coaches in North Carolina?
The North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association partnership with United Soccer Coaches has been extremely beneficial to the growth and development of high school soccer in the state of North Carolina. Through our partnership, coaches have access to coaching education on a multitude of platforms for every level of coach. The convention is an annual highlight where a large contingent of our coaches gather for a long weekend of soccer fellowship and education. Members receive a High School Newsletter and The Soccer Journal, both valuable sources of information and current events. United Soccer Coaches Awards and Rankings programs have brought regional and national recognition for our athletes, coaches and schools with its wide array of awards and honors. There is an opportunity to recognize every level of athlete and program. United Soccer Coaches is dedicated to high school soccer and continues to look at new ways to promote and grow the interscholastic game and the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association is excited to continue to work together for many years to come.