We are excited to introduce to the 2019-20 coaching and leadership staff for Chattanooga FC Academy. All of these coaches embrace the Core Values of our club moving forward. Our club has experienced tremendous success in recent years. This staff represents many of those who were part of that success as well as new coaches who bring new ideas and new energy to the club. With success, comes accountability. We look forward to the opportunity to meet your high standards and serve your family next year.
|2006-----JUAN HERNANDEZ/MG POLLARD|
|2008 Navy-----STEVE HIRAYAMA|
|2008 White-----DANNY SILVA|
|2009 Navy-----HEATH PARHAM/SCOTT CHAPMAN|
|2009 White-----ROBB WRIGHT/SCOTT CHAPMAN|
|2008 Navy-----KRIS RAY|
|2008 White-----GARY SMITH|
|2009 Navy-----CALEB COLE/GARY SMITH|
|2009 White-----WES FORD/GARY SMITH|
|2010 Navy-----TRAVIS MARKUM/JESUS LOPEZ|
|2010 White South-----TRAVIS MARKUM/RICK MATTHEWS|
|2010/2009------TRAVIS GILES/TRAVIS MARKUM|
|2011 Navy South-----NEIL PLACER/RON SENOWECH|
|2011 Navy North-----TRAVIS MARKUM/EDWARD BERKOWITZ|
|2011 White------WES FORD/RUSS RONDA|
|2010 Navy-----NICK ODENY|
|2010 White-----JUSTIN HASKELL|
|2010 Gray-----DANNY SILVA|
|2011 Navy-----CAMERON WOODFIN|
|2011 White-----BENNET STRUTZ|
|2011 Gray-----SCOTT CHAPMAN|
|IDP Director-----DENNIS SILLS|
Steve Hirayama has 30 years of experience and serves as Director of Coaching for CFC Academy. Prior to leading CFCA, Hirayama held director level positions at large DA and ECNL clubs in Florida and Texas and had served as a trainer with Olympic Development Program (ODP). He was Assistant Head Coach for University of West Florida. He has the USSF B License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and Coerver Youth License. Steve is also a University of Tennessee graduate, where he played and coached for UTK's men's club team.
Kris Ray serves as Technical Director for CFC Academy. Kris has more than 25 years of coaching experience at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels. He most recently served as Central Oregon Regional Director (ODP) and is a staff coach and director for Portland Timbers (MLS) and Portland Thorns ID Camps. Kris has worked with more than 100 players who went on to play at the next level including SEC, ACC, and Big10 schools. Kris has served as Coaching Director for three MLS-affiliated clubs. He has been part of camp coaching staffs for Syracuse University, Vanderbilt, Indiana University, MTSU, UNC, and Duke.
Caleb Cole was most recently an Assistant Coach and Interim Coach for Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. As a player, he was a three time All-American (NCAA All American So, Jr, and Sr year) at Gordon College in Massachusetts. Caleb has also played for the CFC Men's Team since 2015. Cole led the team in goals and assists in back-to-back years, and finished his career with 36 goals, 35 assists and 107 points.
A crowd favorite in Finley Stadium since 2013, Jose “Zeca” Ferraz returns to the CFC Academy coaching staff next year. Zeca, a native of Belo Horizante, Brazil, has won five conference titles, three region titles and been in two NPSL National Championships. He was also on the 2015 USASA National Amateur Championship team. Zeca has scored 17 goals for the club, including a famous header that tied CFC 1-1 with MLS side FC Dallas in 2018. Zeca played soccer at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.
Juan Hernandez is from Madrid, Spain and is currently captain of the CFC Men's Team where he's been a star player since 2015. Prior to that he played for Rocket City United in Huntsville, AL. He was CFC's first signing of the historic 2019 season. Hernandez has led CFC to conference and regional titles and garnered 2016 All-NPSL Honorable Mention recognition. Hernandez has served on the coaching staff of Hamilton Heights Christian Academy and University of West Florida.
Jordan Mattheiss has been CFC's goalkeeper coach since 2014. He coached CFC starting keeper, Gregory Hartley, during three straight NPSL Golden Glove Award seasons. Mattheiss has seen 3 NPSL Conference Championships, 3 NPSL Region Championships, 2 NPSL National Finalists, and a US Amateur National Championship. Mattheiss holds an NSCAA Advanced National Goalkeeper Diploma. Before joining CFC, Mattheiss spent six seasons on the coaching staff at Bryan College where he was also a player.
Nickson Odeny, a native of Kenya, is entering his second season with CFC Academy. He is a familiar name in Chattanooga after being part of the first CFC Men's Team ever and then playing for five successful seasons (2009-2014). Prior to CFC, he received All-American honorable mention at Lee University. He has served as an Assistant Coach for Lee University Men's Soccer Team and as a volunteer coach for Redoubt. Nickson holds the US Soccer D National License.
Bennet Strutz, native of Germany, is a goalkeeper for the CFC Men's Team after playing last year for Reading United. There, he led them to an undefeated regular season and earned all conference honors. Strutz was a standout collegiate goalkeeper for Cumberland University.
Cameron Woodfin recently signed with the CFC Men's Team for its historic 2019 season. He joined CFC in 2017 after his junior season with ETSU where he finished as the NCAA statistical champion in assists. He broke the ETSU single-season school record for assists (12) and led the team in scoring his sophomore year (22) and was second in the SoCon. He scored three game-winners and had the game-winning assist that led ETSU to upset #1 UNC in overtime.
Edward Berkowitz has more than 10 years experience coaching rec and select soccer in Chattanooga. He is a former Chattanooga Express Goalkeeper. Young players know him as a fun high energy coach! He assisted at Red Bank Middle and was a part of back to back regular season championships. Berkowitz says, "I am very excited for the opportunity to join & learn from the staff at CFC!!! I love a challenge & look forward to joining the true face of soccer here in Chattanooga!"
Scott Chapman has nearly 15 years of youth soccer coaching experience plus 6 years at the high school level. He serves as Director of Soccer for Silverdale and coaches the varsity girls team. He has his USSF National Youth License and NSCAA National Diploma. Prior to joining CFC Academy, Chapman was Assistant Director of Coaching for Middle Valley Soccer Academy. As a player, Chapman played for Sarasota FC.
Wes Ford has been coaching soccer for 15 years and currently coaches for Silverdale in Chattanooga. Ford's high school teams in Knoxville and Chattanooga have won district championships with both the girls and boys programs. He has been named district coach of the years 7 times and the Knoxville News Sentinel Prep Xtra Coach of the Year. He currently holds a USSF F License and NSCAA Goalkeeping Level 1 Diploma. Ford says, "I am looking forward to developing players at a younger age to become more advance in the technical skill and tactical ability. "
Travis Giles played soccer at West Florida University under CFC coach Bill Elliot and Academy director Steve Hirayama. He has been a long time member of the Chattanooga soccer community. Travis played for CFC in 2010 and says he is "super pumped to be coaching for the Academy!"
Justin Haskell is beginning his third season with CFC Academy. He grew up playing for the Gyongyos Sports Academy in Budapest, Hungary. He began his coaching career with the International Christian School of Budapest before going on to coach at the club, middle school and high school level in Knoxville. Justin has served as the head coach for the middle school boys program at Baylor School and assistant men’s coach at Tennessee Wesleyan University. He holds his USSF D license. He says, "I am excited about the direction the club is heading in and the new faces bringing in. It is an exciting culture and vision for the club."
Mike Larson has been part of CFC Academy for several years. He holds the NSCAA National Diploma and is working toward his NSCAA Advanced National Diploma. He also holds the USSF National D License. He was a co-captain and co-MVP at Hiwassee College and then went on to play for a PDL team in Florida. Larson says, "I look forward to the opportunity to coach, teach, and develop young players the skills to not only enhance their soccer ability; but also be instrumental in using the game to develop life lessons that will help them to be successful in their career post athletics."
Jesus Lopez - BIO coming soon
Travis Markum is well-known in Chattanooga for his ability to develop players into decision-makers and tactical thinkers on the field. He served as Director of Middle Valley Academy from 2011-2016 when it merged with CFC Academy. Before then he coached for Knoxville FC and FC Alliance for five years. Travis played club soccer in the Virginia Beach area and played collegiate soccer for King College. He holds his USSF National D License, NSCAA National Diploma, and USYS National Youth License.
Rick Matthews returns to CFC Academy for his fourth season. He has previously coached at Ooltewah High School and Baylor School. Before moving to Chattanooga he spent two seasons with Alexandria Soccer. Wes holds his USSF E License. He says, "I really enjoy watching the development and growth of the players at the 7v7 level from the fall to the spring seasons. Seeing players having fun and learning to think through the game is why I keep coming back each year. "
Caleb Norman has been playing soccer his entire life. He played D3 through college and played two seasons at NPSL clubs in Minnesota (St Paul Twin Stars) and San Diego (San Diego BOCA FC). Caleb joined CFC Academy as an IDP coach last year. He has coached for Howard High school and served one season as an assistant coach for alma mater in Minnesota. He has completed the grassroots 4v4 license via US Soccer.
Heath Parham returns to CFC Academy and brings more than 15 years of coaching experience. He has held his USSF National D License for 8 years. Some of Chattanooga's highest level high-school aged soccer players got their earliest club soccer development with Heath. He has trained hundreds of local club players over the last five years at The Factory, establishing not only tactical and technical fundamentals, but instilling a love for the game. Heath says he is "looking forward to working with the new leadership at CFCA and seeing something new in Chattanooga soccer."
Neil Placer is a former collegiate D1 soccer player from Virginia Tech and currently hold a USSF D Coaching license. He has coached for the last 10 years in the Chattanooga area and brings a versatility of developing both boys and girls of various ages and skill level -- from recreational through competitive travel. Neil says, "I look forward to coaching at CFCA to foster a child-centered learning atmosphere that results in holistic player development (i.e., physical, cognitive, emotional, moral character) by creating an environment that is relevant, positive and challenging."
Mary Gray Pollard has been playing or coaching club soccer for more than 15 years. She played D1 college soccer at Tennessee Tech University and then began coaching for Upper Cumberland United Soccer Club. She moved to Chattanooga and became Director of Coaching for Redoubt Soccer for two years and was a CFCA Site Director at North River. She holds the USSF National D License. MG says, "I look forward to watching and being a part of the continued growth and development of this club and the players this season!"
Kaitlyn Sawyer began playing soccer at age 7. After her college soccer career, she continued playing in a women's league in Chattanooga. She joined CFC Academy when Middle Valley merged and has been part of the club since. Kaitlin is working on her USSF D License as part of the Chattahooligan Coaching Education Scholarship. She currently has her E License and NSCAA Level 6 Diploma. She says, "I have loved coaching and hope to continue improving as a coach along side the girls as they improve in their game."
Ron Senowech holds his NSCAA National Diploma and USSF E License. He is pursuing his USSF D License this summer through the Chattahooligan Coaching Scholarship. Ron played club soccer at Cherokee Impact and Concorde Fire in Atlanta. He later served as a technical trainer at Top Hat and Concorde in Atlanta for five years. His coaching experience in Chattanooga began at Redoubt before he moved to CFC Academy four years ago. Ron says, "I look forward to seeing what kind of culture the new leadership brings to CFC Academy."
Dennis Sills serves as the Director for CFCA’s Identification and Development Program (IDP) working with 5, 6, & 7 year old boys and girls. He coached with CFCA for 4 years after spending more than five years as the 4v4 Director for Middle Valley Soccer Academy. He holds the USSF E License and NSCAA Diplomas. Dennis says, "I’m excited to continue working with Chattanooga FC Academy next season because our club has a commitment to teaching players decision-making and problem-solving skills. We have excellent, highly skilled educators that are striving to create an environment that the players can reach their full potential in a caring and loving atmosphere. I have never been more…. PROUD TO BE CFC!"
Danny Silva currently holds a USSF E, D- National License as well as the NSCAA National license. He is one of the original coaches for CFC Academy who has been with the club since the first season in 2012. Danny grew up in Chattanooga and played soccer in Middle Valley and Hixson. He started playing travel soccer in 1983 and has been connected to club soccer in some capacity since then. Danny says, "I enjoy coaching and watching my players grow into responsible, driven adults."
Gary Smith played college soccer and coached for 20 years at the high school and club level in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where several of his players went on to play in college. He holds a United Soccer Coaches National Diploma, United Soccer Coaches Director of Coaching Diploma, United Soccer Level I and II Goalkeeper Diploma, and the USSF "E" and "F" licenses. Gary says, "I look forward to coaching at CFC Academy because I believe in the vision of the club 'to foster a stronger community by building relationships through the game of soccer.'"
Robb Wright played in Chattanooga's first ever soccer league at age 10 and has been involved in club soccer since. He joined CFC Academy in 2013. Robb holds the USSF D License and will be pursuing the USSF C License through the Chattahooligan Scholarship Program this summer. From 2002-2011 he was a select coach, board member, and president for Signal Mountain Soccer League.