Director of Soccer Operations / Girls Director of Coaching U15-19
Chris works as the Director of Soccer Operations for the club and is also the U15-19 Girls Director of Coaching. In this role he oversees a lot of the day to day running of the club working with coaches, players and the board of directors. Chris also coaches girls teams for the club with his main focus being working with older players and their pursuit of college soccer opportunities.
Growing up in England Chris has been immersed in the game from a very young age. His playing career saw him play in college and also professionally in the Premier League of Wales before he retired due to injury. Chris moved permanently to the USA in 2000 after spending the previous three summers working camps all across the US for Challenger British Soccer Camps. He then oversaw the southwest region for Challenger Sports for a number of years before joining Rio permanently in 2004.
Chris graduated college with a bachelors degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences from the University of Birmingham (UK) and then a masters degree in Coaching Science from the University of Wales, Institute of Cardiff. He also has his USSF A License and his National Youth License. He is married with two children and is an avid Liverpool fan.
We chatted with Chris to find out more about him. Take a look at our questions/answers.
Q: What are 3 words to describe Rio Rapids SC?
A: Professional, community, success
Q: What drew you to become a part of Rio Rapids originally?
A: At the time I joined our former Director of Coaching, Chris Cartlidge, had a very clear vision of where he saw this club going and what we could achieve in New Mexico and I very much wanted to be a part of that. Plus having the opportunity to be on the field every night of the week working with players was what I had always wanted to do.
Q: What is your favorite part about Rio Rapids SC ?
A: The players! We have so many amazing young adults in our club and seeing them thrive on and off the field is what makes my job so enjoyable.
Q: What is your role at Rio Rapids?
A: I am currently the U15-19 Girls Director of Coaching and also the Director of Soccer Operations
Q:: What is the first concert you went to? What is the last?
A: I have never been a big concert goer so in all honesty I only remember a couple that I have been to! I know the last one was Tears for Fears at Sandia Casino.
Q:: Best vacation you’ve been to?
A: The Bahamas for my honeymoon – truly heavenly place!
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
A: Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that! – Bill Shankly (the greatest Liverpool manager)
Q: What books are at your bedside?
A: The Jurgen Klopp biography (and whatever childrens book I read to my kids the night before!)
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Other than it being 100% soccer related (and typically in amazing weather) I truly love to see our alumni doing so well in college (on and off the field) and then in their careers and family life. That is what gives me most satisfaction as a coach.
Q:: What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
A: The internet! Not sure how we all survived life before it!!
Q: What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
A: Understanding and accepting the following quote has made my work life a whole lot easier – “you can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time but you cant please all of the people all of the time”. If there is a more appropriate saying to apply to youth sports I would love to see it!