Hometown/first soccer experience: New Berlin, WI. Played for my elementary school team from 5th grade through 8th grade. Club soccer wasn’t a big thing back then.
Family: Alex is 25 now and lives in Iowa.
Years of Coaching: 21
Favorite Team and why: Manchester United. When I first started following soccer globally they had just won the treble (Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup). Most of my life had been spent rooting for really bad sports teams and I had no geographic connection to an English team. Supporting a winner turned into an obsession and now I rarely miss a game and have seen them play in person both in the States and in Manchester.
Favorite Player and why: This one is tough, but I’ll go with Clint Dempsey. Grit, determination, and a great finisher. Loved watching him play for Fulham in the Premier league and for the US National team. No matter how good the competition, you always felt Dempsey had a great chance to score.
Coaching Education: USSF National D.
Why did you start coaching? Really I did it for Alex to help his team when he was about 5. A few years after that I started coaching more professionally with my own teams and had him play for other coaches. That was beneficial for both of us.
Coaching Role Models/Mentors: Sir Alex Ferguson: Legendary Manchester United manager and widely regarded as one of the greatest managers ever in professional football. He had a great ability to connect with his players and inspire them to be their best. This is something I strive for as a coach. Brian Staus: Brian is a USSF “B” License coach. We were part of the group that started PSU. At the time he was the Director of Coaching and I was both a coach and the club president. We spent hundreds of hours together discussing player development and what was best for all ages and skill levels of players.
Favorite Coaching Memory: General: I’ve been fortunate enough to win three President’s Cup state titles. The joy and sense of accomplishment from the players, and also the sense of pride and happiness from the parents is unmatched to anything I’ve seen emotionally as a coach.
Specific: My PSU U19 Boys team was in a tournament in Madison in the spring of 2016. In an odd tiebreaker twist our opponent only needed to score two goals in the last group game to advance and lock us out of the final. Of course, we gave up a goal in the first 5 minutes. We were ahead 2-1 at half time. In the 2nd half the opposing team had their defenders and goalkeeper play in our attacking half in an all out effort to score. We couldn’t have anyone in the attacking half as they would be immediately offside as soon as we played them the ball. It was strange and intense because if they scored one time they would win the group. We scored 7 times in the 2nd half and didn’t concede. Have never seen a game like it.
What are your hobbies outside of soccer? Like to work out, read historical fiction, and I follow the Brewers and Bucks very closely.
Favorite Book: Anything from Simon Scarrow, Anthony Riches, or James Nelson. Fantastic stories of the Roman Empire and also the age of Vikings.
Did you play other sports growing up? Basketball and baseball growing up. Adult softball multiple nights a week until I started coaching soccer in my early 30’s.
What is something people may never guess about you?: I have coulrophobia (you’ll have to look it up)!