Charles “Chugger” Adair has wasted little time in making the Virginia Tech women’s soccer program one of the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference and one of the best nationally.
Promoted to head coach on Dec. 7, 2010, as the replacement for Kelly Cagle, who resigned for family reasons, Adair has continued the upward trajectory of Tech women’s soccer in the ACC, culminating in 2013 when he guided the Hokies to a record-setting season. Tech won a school record 19 games, advanced to the finals of the ACC Tournament and later advanced to the NCAA College Cup. The Hokies’ great season ended with a 3-2 loss to Florida State in a national semifinal game.
The 2013 season was an exciting one for Tech. The Hokies advanced to the NCAAs for the sixth straight time and seventh time in school history largely because of an exciting offense and stellar defense and goalkeeping. The Hokies scored a school-record 56 goals, breaking the mark of 45 set by the 2012 team, and 12 of the wins were shutouts, tying the mark also set by the 2012 team.
In 2013, the Hokies beat three ranked teams during the regular season and then blew out then-No. 1 Virginia 4-2 in the ACC Tournament semifinals. They added two more ranked foes to their list of conquests when they downed West Virginia 1-0 and knocked off Santa Clara by advancing on penalty kicks in the NCAA Championships.
In 2012, Adair, in his second season as the head coach, led the Hokies to a 13-6-1 record, which marked the program’s fifth straight 10-win season at the time. Tech’s six losses were the fewest in program history (again, at the time), and 12 of the 13 wins resulted in shutouts.
The Hokies played host to the first NCAA Championship game in Blacksburg, as they welcomed No. 14 Georgetown to Thompson Field. Although it resulted in a loss (3-2 in overtime), it marked Tech’s fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and sixth overall.
In Adair’s first season as the head coach (2011), Tech matched its best finish in program history, making it all the way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships. Adair led the Hokies to a 14-8-1 overall record, marking the second-most wins in a season at the time. Tech’s 14 wins included 11 shutouts.
Adair came to Tech in 2006 and served as the associate head coach under Cagle for five seasons before being promoted. In Adair’s first season as an assistant to Cagle, the Hokies suffered a losing season, but have not suffered a losing season since then. In 2008, the Hokies advanced to the finals of the ACC Tournament for the first time, falling to North Carolina 3-0, and in 2009, the Hokies won 16 games, then a school record, and earned a final ranking as the 12th-best team in the nation.
Adair came to Tech after holding the associate head coaching position at UC Santa Barbara for two seasons. While at UCSB, his role involved all aspects of the soccer program, including recruiting, coaching, scouting, player management, community relations and camps. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, he worked a six-year stint as Youth Soccer Coach/ Assistant Director of Competitive Older Ages for the Del Mar Sharks.
He served as an assistant for the University of San Diego’s men’s soccer team from 1998-2000. He moved from there and spent a season as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Pacific University in Portland, Ore.
Adair also possesses a lot of playing experience, having played professionally for 10 years, including stints with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer and the U.S. National Futsal Team. He also spent time playing for the San Diego Sockers, Wichita Wings, Portland Timbers, San Diego Flash, Minnesota Thunder, Seattle Sounders, Milwaukee Wave, Carolina Dynamo and A.A. Ghent (Belgium) from 1993-2003.
Adair played soccer at the University of San Diego after transferring from San Diego State in the early 1990s. He earned All-America honors, was a two-year captain and helped USD to the NCAA finals, where the Toreros lost to Virginia. He scored 27 goals and had 23 assists in his three years at USD. He got his bachelor’s degree in business administration from USD in 1993 and he received his MBA from USD in 1996.
Adair and his former wife, Susan, have three children: Alexandra, Jack and Madeline. He is married to the former Shelbylynn McBride, a volleyball assistant coach at Virginia Tech.
Drew Kopp recently completed his second season with the Virginia Tech women’s soccer staff after spending four seasons as an assistant at Saint Joseph’s University. Kopp’s duties with Tech are similar to those that he took on with the Hawks, as he is in charge of organizing team training sessions and is heavily involved in recruiting.
Kopp’s second campaign at Tech was the most successful in program history. In 2013, the Hokies went 19-5-3 and reached their first-ever NCAA College Cup, while breaking program records for goals (56), assists (50), points (162) and shots (385).
The Hokies also achieved on an individual level, as senior Jazmine Reeves was named the program’s first-ever All-American and was named a semifinalist for the Hermann award. Reeves and then-freshman Murielle Tiernan each scored 11 goals to give Tech its first-ever season with multiple double-digit goalscorers.
In Kopp’s first season with the Hokies, Tech notched an overall record of 13-6-1. The Hokies’ six losses were the fewest in the program’s history at the time. Tech posted a 9-0-0 start, which marks the school’s most consecutive wins and its best-ever season start. The Hokies also clinched their fifth-straight NCAA appearance.
During Kopp’s four-season tenure, Saint Joseph’s recorded its best goals-against-average twice, produced seven Atlantic 10 All-Conference players, including the 2008 Rookie of the Year and 2011 Midfielder of the Year.
Prior to Saint Joseph’s, Kopp spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at La Salle University. During those seasons, the Explorers recorded an overall record of 20-19-1 and an 11-8-1 conference record, while receiving a bid to the 2006 Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Kopp has coached at both the collegiate and club level. Before to his stint at La Salle, he served many coaching positions with the FC Delco club team in Downingtown, Pa. Kopp assisted the U19 Sting girl’s squad to the Pennsylvania State Cup Championships in 2005, 2006 and 2010, while the Sting became National Red Bull League Champions in 2009. He also served as the U18 Fire girl’s head coach and assisted the U16 Burnley girl’s squad.
Prior to beginning his coaching career, Kopp played six seasons professionally. He spent three seasons with the Hershey Wildcats, two seasons with the Montreal Impact and one season with the Charleston Battery in the United Soccer League’s First Division.
A four-year letterwinner at the University of Pittsburgh, Kopp played at forward and in the midfield for the Panthers and graduated in 1999 tied for fifth all-time in points. In four seasons, Pittsburgh went 38-27-10.
Kopp received a Bachelor of Science in business/marketing in 1999 from Pittsburgh, while earning a Master of Business Administration-Marketing from La Salle in 2008. He holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) “B” license and is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
In 2012, Sarah Strickland enters her third season as head coach of the women’s soccer program at Appalachian State University. To date, she has amassed over fourteen years of coaching experience at the club, collegiate and national levels.
Before coming to ASU, Strickland was an assistant coach at Mississippi State, where she served as the program’s recruiting coordinator and goalkeepers’ coach for two seasons. She was instrumental in MSU’s turnaround from four-consecutive losing seasons to a 9-8-2 record in 2009, the program’s first winning season in six years.
During the successful ‘09 campaign, the Bulldogs set program records for consecutive wins (eight) and shutouts (four) and achieved the highest RPI ranking in school history (No. 41). Under Strickland’s tutelage, goalkeeper Taryn Holland ranked second in the Southeastern Conference history with 368 career saves and set MSU records for saves and shutouts.
Prior to her stint in the SEC, Strickland was a well-respected club soccer coach and administrator in Alabama for eight years. During that time, she served as the director of coaching for the Montgomery YMCA Capital City Streaks (2000-04), Girls’ Director for Coaching for the American Soccer Club (2004-06) and Staff Director for the Birmingham United Soccer Association (2006-07).
She began her coaching career on the collegiate level as an assistant coach at Troy University in 1998 and served as the program’s interim head coach during the 1999 offseason. From there, she moved on to Auburn University at Montgomery, where she was an assistant on the men’s and women’s staffs from 1999-2000.
On the national level, Strickland is a United States Soccer Federation “B” licensed coach and served on the staff of the U-14 national program in 2001. She also coached for the Alabama Olympics Development Program boys’ and girls’ programs from 1998-2002 and the Mississippi ODP girls’ in 2009.
The former Sarah Churchill was a three-year letterwinner at George Mason, where she helped lead the Patriots to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1996 and 1997, making it as far as the Third Round (round of 16) in ‘97.
Strickland was a three-time Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner’s Academic Award winner and graduated from GMU with a B.A. in psychology in 1998. She earned a M.S. in foundations of education from Troy in 1999.
Coach Strickland and her husband, Jimmy (an athletic trainer for field hockey and wrestling at Appalachian) have three children: Kelsey, Bo and Will.
Scott Gerseny joined the JMU soccer staff as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator in May 2012.
Gerseny (pronounced GURR sinn NEE) previously was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at another Colonial Athletic Association school, Towson, for four years (2008-12). He was promoted to associate head coach for the Tigers in August 2011. Prior to joining Towson's program he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Eastern Kentucky (2005-08).
At Towson Gerseny coached Towson's first all-region player and eight All-CAA players, the most in any four-year span in the program's history. He also coached five All-Ohio Valley Conference players at Eastern Kentucky.
Gerseny, a 2005 graduate of Florida, was an intern on the Gators' women's soccer coaching staff. He played soccer at Ohio Wesleyan University in 2001 before transferring to Florida.
He has also coached the Baltimore Bays Under-16 club team, which won the 2010 Maryland State Cup.
Gerseny, who holds a USSF "A" coaching license, earned a bachelor's degree in sports management from Florida in 2005 and a master's degree in sports management from Eastern Kentucky in 2007. He is a native of Winter Park, Fla.
Scott Letts enters his first year as an assistant coach for the Rams after spending seven years at his alma mater Marshall University. As an assistant at Marshall, his coaching placed an emphasis on defense. Letts has his State Goalkeeper License and Premier Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). He has also coached for West Virginia Soccer Club, working with the U17 boys squad.
Letts was a four-year starter on the soccer team at Marshall from 2003-2006, where he played central defender, and was a team captain. Additionally, he participated in the World Student Games while representing Great Britain. Letts also spent time in Belize City, Belize coaching young athletes in a soccer camp, involving the donation of soccer equipment to the campers.
Professionally, Letts played in Great Britain for Rotherham United Football Club and Chesterfield Football Club, and in the United States for Tacoma Football Club and West Virginia Chaos Soccer Club, both as a central defender. Previous to his collegiate soccer experience, he was the captain in a win of the Nottingham County Cup in 1998. He played for Nottingham County and South Notts County teams from 1996-2000, and was a four-time player of the year recipient.
Originating from Nottingham, England, Letts received a bachelor’s degree in sports management and marketing, and a master’s degree in adult technical education, all from Marshall University.
Current: Teacher (& former boys Varsity coach,) at Deep Run High School, Glen Allen, VA
Richmond Strikers Soccer Club: Girls ADP lead coach; u9 Girls Pool coach
*NSCAA Advanced National certification; USSF "B" license
Coach Spotlight with Steve Chapman:
Former Maryland standout, Mary Casey, is in her first year as an assistant coach with the Old Dominion women's soccer program.
Casey was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer for Maryland and played professionally for the Northern Virginia Majestics of the United Soccer Leagues' W-League and was drafted by the Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).
Casey played both defender and goalkeeper during her playing career and was an All-ACC first team selection in 2008. She was named a team captain at Maryland her senior season and helped lead the Terrapins to an appearance in the Sweet 16 of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
That season Casey anchored a defense that posted nine shutouts, including five of the Terps' first seven games. Maryland went 14-6-2 in 2009 as Casey posted 76 saves in goal while only allowing 22 goals over the course of the season.
For her career with the Terrapins she played in 74 contests, recording 136 saves and 13 shutouts.
She excelled academically as well, earning a spot on the 2008 All-ACC Academic team. Casey was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American second team and the NSCAA All-East Scholar first team.
Carolina FC Trainer/Coach
Dorman High School Varsity. Youth Level 25 plus years with a variety of clubs. Currently working with Carolina FC U-15 girls program in Spartanburg SC.
High School Coach- Ridgewood HS, New Port Richey,Fl. 2 Years, Spartanburg HS, Spartanburg SC 10 Years, Dorman HS , Spartanburg SC 1 year. College- USC Spartanburg Asst 2 years, Spartanburg Methodist College Asst, 5 years
Professional- South Carolina Shamrocks 1 Year, Greenville Lions, 1 Year.
North Carolina and South Carolina ODP Staff coach. Hold USSF and NSCAA certifications
Martinez has traveled with the women's soccer program to Costa Rica in both 2007 and 2010 for their community service project and an opportunity to compete against International competition. He is responsible for recruiting, practice planning, scouting and other administrative duties.
Martinez served as the head coach of the Cave Spring High School varsity girl’s soccer team and stepped down in May of 2009. He was voted district coach of the year in 2005 after leading the Knights to the Class AA State Semifinals. In 2007, he was voted Region III Coach of the Year after a school-record 19 wins, claiming the Region III Championship and advanced to the State Semifinals. In 2008 he was selected by the Virginia High School League Coaches Association to coach the Senior game for the West Squad in Hampton VA. Under his guidence, eight players have went on to continue their athletic careers on the soccer field. He finished his six-year tenure as the Knights head coach with an impressive 95-33-5 mark.
Martinez, who holds his NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, has also served as a girl’s basketball and softball coach at the high school level for nearly 6 years. In addition to his NSCAA diploma, Martinez holds and NSCAA Regional Goalkeeper Diploma and a USSF-D license.
Andrew Fleming is beginning his first season as an assistant coach for the Eastern Kentucky University soccer program. He comes to Richmond after spending the last eight years at the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA).
“We are thrilled to have Andrew Fleming join our staff,” head coach Melissa Barnes said. “He is a very knowledgeable coach with a proven track record for success at the highest level. Andrew is a great teacher of the game, has an enthusiasm for player development and provides a unique and valuable perspective on recruiting top level players. We are looking forward to the 2013 season!”
Fleming joined CESA in 2005 and served as the Director and Assistant Programs Director for the next eight years. He was charged with training CESA’s most elite female athletes as well as marketing them for college recruitment and mentoring them on their correct placement.
Under Fleming’s tutelage, CESA players experienced success on the national stage, winning the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Southeastern Region and finishing third nationally in 2012.
Fleming, who played for the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team from 1990-92, holds a USSF ‘B’ license and has been a member of the South Carolina Olympic Development Program since 2009.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Greensboro College in 1999.
Josh Schirmer is assistant coach for men's soccer and also serves as associate head coach for women's soccer and recruiting coordintor for both. A Pensacola, FL native, he holds England FA Level 1 and USSF D coaching licenses. Schirmer played at NCAA Division II Tusculum College in 2000 and played at and graduated Magna Cum Laude from NAIA Tennessee Wesleyan College (2001-2004). He was a three-time Appalachian Athletic Conference Academic Team member (2002-2004) and a 2003 NAIA Academic All-America. He also played professionally in Hong Kong and Japan and coached in Japan.
Mike Van Horn begins his sixth season as head coach of the women's soccer program at Bridgewater College. Under his direction, the Eagles have steadily improved and moved into the top half of the conference standings.
In 2009, coach Van Horn led the Eagles to a record-setting season as the team finished fifth in the nation for most improved program after posting a 13-6-1 overall record. During the 2009 season the team set new program records for most shutouts, assists, goals and wins in a season.
In 2010 the Eagles posted another winning record while playing against the toughest schedule in program history. The team finished fourth in the ODAC and hosted a conference tournament first-round game for the first time in program history. The back-two-back winning seasons were the first in program history.
In 2011, the Eagles posted a 13-5-1 overall record and an 8-3 record in the ODAC. The Eagles tied for third place in the conference standings and hosted an ODAC tournament first-round game. The 2011 season was a year of several "firsts" for the program. The Eagles were ranked in the regional poll for the first time ever and the team defeated a program ranked in the national Top 25 for the first time in program history. The program was also recognized by the NSCAA as it received the prestigious Ethics/Sportsmanship Gold Award. To receive the Gold Award the team must play the entire season without receiving a yellow or red card. Bridgewater was one of just 13 programs in the nation, regardless of classification to receive the honor.
This past season, Van Horn guided the team to new heights in the ODAC. The Eagles finished with a 12-7-2 overall record and an 8-3-1 mark in the conference. The Eagles hosted a quarterfinal game in the ODAC tournament and advanced on penalty kicks over Roanoke for the program's first ODAC tournament victory. In the semifinals, Bridgewater defeated Virginia Wesleyan, the nation's No. 3 ranked team, to reach the ODAC Championshop game for the first time in program history. The Eagles lost the Lynchburg, the nation's seventh-ranked team in the title game. The team set a new BC record for goals scored and Elizabeth Stump became the first player during Van Horn's tenure to earn first-team All-ODAC homors. Van Horn was recognized for his team's play by receiving the ODAC Coach of the Year honor.
The Eagles have recorded four consecutive winning seasons under Van Horn's direction and over the past four years the team has a 31-13-1 record against ODAC foes during regular season play. A total of 19 players have earned All-ODAC honors during Van Horn's tenure and two have received all-region recognition.
The Bridgewater players have also excelled in the classroom. Since 2006, 39 women's soccer players have been recognized on the ODAC All-Academic team. The team received the NSCAA Team Academic Award in 2011 and 2012.
Prior to his arrival at Bridgewater, Van Horn obtained a wealth of coaching experience from the high school, club and collegiate levels.
Van Horn served as the assistant soccer coach/goalkeeper coach for the Bridgewater men's team for three seasons. He was responsible for organizing and directing all goalkeeper sessions for the men's team. He was also involved in many other aspects of the program including the recruiting process. During his three seasons with the team, the Eagles qualified for two ODAC tournaments, including one appearance in the conference semifinals.
Van Horn also coached the girls' soccer team at Turner Ashby High School for three seasons and led the Knights to one district championship.
From 2003-2005, he served as men's assistant soccer coach at King's College in Wilkes Barre, Pa. During his tenure, King's posted back-to-back, double-digit winning seasons for just the second time in college history.
Van Horn graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. He earned his Masters of Science in athletic administration from James Madison University.
Van Horn holds a USSF National "A" license as well as a NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma.
"My goal," said Van Horn, "is to develop a soccer culture focused on compassion and respect for each aspect of the game and each student-athlete, while progressively raising the standard of the program and maintaining high academic standards.
Van Horn lives in Harrisonburg with his wife Molly and sons, Ayden and Eyan.