When did you know you wanted to become a coach?
My first fall out of college I began coaching at the high school and club levels, and shortly after became involved in MD ODP. At the same time, I was teaching high school English and economics - of which, by my fifth or sixth year, I had grown tired. I knew that my real passion was coaching. One year later I became the assistant coach at George Washington, and have never looked back.
What is your favorite part about being a coach?
Two things - the relationships we form with our players and coaches; and secondly, the game of soccer.
What is your favorite part about coaching at The University of Maryland?
Everything - from the academic successes of the university, to the beautiful campus, to the people with whom I work in the athletic department, to being a member of the ACC. Maryland is an incredibly special place in all of these ways!
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
Wow, so many individuals. I would say my parents on many levels - for all that they have taught me about people and family and relationships. My wife Abby, and more recently, my three kids - have influenced so many bigger picture areas in my life.
Who has been the biggest influence on your coaching career?
Doug London, who was my teacher and coach for a number of years; as well as Sasho Cirovski, the men's coach here at Maryland.
What has been your proudest moment in coaching?
Hmm, tough question ... because there are so many different moments for which I am proud, and vividly stick out in my mind. What makes for special moments is any time an individual or team exceeds expectations, and I have been fortunate to be around a number of individuals and teams that have done just that.
What player(s) that you've coached do you believe got the most out of their ability?
I would say Shelley McDuff. Shelley was our captain in 2007, and now works for the athletic director at The University of South Florida. Shelley was a skillful player, however she was/is all of 5'1", and unfortunately the absolute slowest player on our team - in the absolute fastest conference in the country. Additionally, she suffered from compartment syndrome and plantar fasciitis - slowing her down even more. Yet she maximized her ability to have success as a central midfielder because she worked so hard in building and maintaining a remarkable fitness base - which allowed her to cover the necessary ground. And Shelley's training habits and level of professionalism, day-in and day-out, were terrific. If Shelley had the god-given talent that the "typical" ACC central midfielder had, she would have been an All-American.
Players are often asked about their pre-game routines. Do you have anything special you regularly do just before a game?
During home games, the coaching staff likes to walk to the Student Union just before our team meeting in the locker room. We go there to grab a drink, and sometimes a snack for the bench. This has become a pretty consistent ritual.
What do you think you would be doing if you had never gotten into coaching?
No idea! I cannot imagine doing anything else. However, if you are really putting me to that question, I would say that I'd still be working in some capacity in academia - with either high school or college-aged kids.
Do you have any special talents outside of soccer or what is your favorite thing to do away from soccer?
Well, away from soccer, pretty much the only thing I do is spend time with my kids. Our twins were two months old when I came to Maryland. And just under two years later, our youngest son Ben was born. Now Ali and Will (our twins) are seven, and Ben is five - so needless to say, at home we are still swimming upstream so to speak.