ABOUT THE LMSC STAFF COACHES


The training programs and soccer camps run by Lower Merion Soccer Club all feature a very experienced coaching staff. Many of our coaches have coached at the high school or college level. Most of our staff coaches played at the college level. Almost all of our staff coaches have extensive experience coaching in the LMSC Travel Team Program.

Below are biographies of many of the coaches that run the various training programs offered by LMSC.




  
BIFF STURLA
  Biff has been the President of LMSC since 1999. This is his 38th year coaching in LMSC. His teams have won 26 State Championships (13 outdoor and 13 indoor), three Region One USA Championships and one second place finish at Nationals. His teams have also won 18 Delco League Division One championships. In 2017, Biff led the LMSC Under 9 boys to the state championship. The team was also indoor state cup finalists. In 2015, his U-14 boys were outdoor state finalists and indoor state champions. In 2014, his U-10 boys team were state champions. In 2010, Biff's U-9 boys and his U-15 boys were both crowned state champions. In 2006, Biff was voted the EPYSA Coach Of The Year, NSCAA Regional Coach Of The Year and was a finalist for the NSCAA National Coach Of The Year. Biff has been the head coach for Harriton High School Boys Varsity since 2002, leading Harriton to the 2017 District finals and state playoffs. His Harriton team won the 2006 District championship. As a high school coach, Biff has been voted the 1999 Philadelphia Inquirer Coach Of The Year, 2018, 2012 and 1997 2012 Central League Coach Of The Year, 2004 Del-Val League Coach Of The Year, 1999 and 2002 Main Line Life Coach Of The Year.

JESSE ZAFIRATOS
  Jesse is currently the head coach of the LMSC Galaxy, our Under 18A boys team and co-head coach for LMSC Invictus, our U-15 boys Invictus who were state champions in 2017 and were state finalists in 2018. Jesse is also in charge of our summer camps and coaches many our our winter training programs. Jesse currently is the associate head coach for the Widener University Men's soccer team. Before that, he served as the Head Men's Soccer Coach at Penn State Brandywine for three years where he led the team to the National Championship in 2018. Jesse also led Penn State Brandywine to the PSUAC championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018. His career record of 50-10-3, and .840 winning percentage is best all-time in the programs history. Jesse was voted PSUAC Coach Of The Year in 2017. Prior to coaching there, Jesse was the Head Men's Coach at Valley Forge Military College. He started his coaching career at Widener University where he was an assistant for four years on the men's side. Jesse played collegiately at Kutztown University and then finished out at La Roche College where he was a team captain, three year starter, and led the team in goals as a junior. Jesse is his high school team's all time leading points scorer, and was a three time first team all-league selection. He coached for five years in the West Chester United Soccer Club before coming to Lower Merion. His teams have won numerous Delco Soccer League Championships and tournaments. In 2014, Jesse was an assistant coach for a team that won the state championship.

DANIEL CLITNOVICI
  Daniel is the LMSC Girls Travel Team Director of Coaching (DOC). He is also the head coach of our Under 16A girls (LMSC Pride) team and our Under 17 girls (LMSC Avengers) team. Daniel also is in charge of our girls Developmental Academy. Daniel is the assistant coach for the Villanova University Women's team. He has over 15 years of professional coaching experience. He has served as assistant coach for the Western New York Flash of the National Women's Soccer League, the 2010 W-League champions, 2011 and 2012 Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) champions and the 2013 and 2016 National Women's Soccer League champions. Daniel was also the head coach for the Colorado Rapids and Colorado Pride women's teams. Daniel was named USL W-League Coach of the Year in 2014. He has also served as the Executive Director of Coaching for the Western New York Flash youth academy. Before getting into coaching, Daniel played professionally for teams including FC Universitatea Craiova (Romanian League champions), Apollon Smyrni F.C. (Greece), Gold Coast United FC (Australia) and Barnsley FC in England. Daniel holds an 'A' level coaching license from the U.S. Soccer Federation.

ALEX SROLIS
  Alex is currently the head coach for u9 Attack and u10 Moxie teams. She currently holds a NSCAA National C coaching license. Alex also coaches in the LMSC Developmental Academy and is a club goalkeeper trainer. She is the assistant coach for the Harriton High School Varsity Boys team and is the program's goalkeeper trainer. Alex was a four year goalkeeper starter for West Chester University 2013-2017 where she set school records for games played (81), wins (61), minutes played (7019) and career shutouts (36). Alex earned PSAC women's conference records for shutouts and was awarded first team ECAC goalkeeper, second team all mid Atlantic region goalkeeper, and first team all region mid Atlantic scholar goalkeeper. Alex was also the goalkeeper for the LMSC Heart, leading the Heart to the EPYSA state championship in 2008 and 2009.

DEVON SWAIM
  Devon is currently an assistant women's soccer coach at Villanova University. Prior to coaching at Villanova, Swaim coached for Bucks County Community College, the United German Hungarian soccer club and Neshaminy High School. Swaim began her college career playing at the University of Tennessee where, in both years playing for the Lady Vols, she helped lead the team to multiple NCAA top 10 rankings, two NCAA Tournament berths, with one resulting in a Sweet 16 appearance. After the 2007 campaign, her redshirt freshman year, Swaim was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. In 2008 they won the SEC East Division title, the regular season title and SEC Conference Championship. Swaim then transferred closer to home and continued her playing career at West Chester University. Her overall record as a Golden Ram was 37-3-5 with two PSAC championships and two NCAA tournament berths. As a result of her efforts, Swaim was named to the NSCAA All-Region team. Growing up, Swaim played club soccer for the original F.C. Pennsylvania Strikers. She was in and out of U.S. Youth National team camps/pools and was a mainstay on the Region 1 and EPYSA State teams. She played three years at Neshaminy High School and picked up Suburban One League Player of the Year honors in 2006, along with being named an NSCAA/Adidas High School Regional All-American and the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association (PSCA) All-State Teams in 2004. Devon currently holds a USSF coaching license.

ERIK BLINDENBACHER
  Erik has been the lead staff coach for our youngest intramural groups for five years. He is in charge of the 4 & 5 year old programs at Gladwyne Playground in the fall season and in charge of the 5 & 6 year old programs at Penn Wynne Park in he spring. In 2015, Erik was voted LMSC Intramural Coach Of The Year. Erik has also worked as an LMSC field crew member for many years. Erik played in the LMSC travel team program for many years, leading his travel team to the state championship in 1994. In addition to being a standout soccer player, Erik was an All-American lacrosse player where he held the Pennsylvania high school career all-time scoring record for many years. In 1999, Erik scored six goals in the state championship game to lead Lower Merion High School to the state championship.

HANNI BLINDENBACHER
  Hanni has been a staff coach at LMSC for seven years. She is currently assistant coach for the LMSC Megalodons, our Under 11 A boys team. Hanni helped lead the Megalodons to the state championship in 2017 and the state semifinals in 2018. The Megalodons were also indoor state cup finalists in 2017 and 2018. Hanni is also a head coach for our 2012 birth Boys Developmental Academy. She has been coaching in the LMSC Developmental Academy program for five years. Hanni is very active running training programs throughout the year at LMSC. She is in charge of our summer camps as well as our winter training programs which she helps coach our youngest age group players. Hanni was a standout player for the LMSC Stingrays girls 'A' travel team, where she played for legendary LMSC coach Pete Gangl. Hanni won the LMSC Coach Of The Year Award in 2014.

TRAVIS REGNER
  Travis is assistant coach for the Eastern University Men's Soccer team. At Eastern, Travis helps with all aspects of running a Top 25 nationally ranked program, including recruiting and logistics. Prior to Eastern, Travis spent two years at the University at Albany. While at Albany, Travis helped with many aspects of running a Division 1 program and was tasked with working with the goalkeepers. The Great Danes won their first ever conference title in Travis' second season. Travis played two seasons at Tompkins Cortland Community College, contributing to a team ranked as high as 3rd in the country, and never dropping out of the top 10 nationally. Travis has coached at Odyssey Sport Soccer Club in Sherrill, New York since 2010. He believes strongly in the US Soccer curriculum and their overall mission. Along with this is the importance of being licensed, which he actively promotes by holding his USSF D License along with his NSCAA GK 1&2 Diplomas.

NICO SEVERINI
  Nico is currently the head coach for the LMSC Furia, our Under 11 A girls travel team. In 2015 and 2013, Nico led the LMSC Fenix to the EPYSA State Championship. Nico is the head coach for Lower Merion High School boys varsity, the 2010 District One Champions. In 2016 at Lower Merion High School, Nico was voted Central League Coach Of The Year. In 2013, Nico led the Lower Merion boys to a 16-0-0 record during the regular season with the team recording 15 shutouts. Before coaching at LMHS, Nico was head coach for the Plymouth-Whitemarsh Boys Varsity. Nico was voted LMSC Travel Team Coach Of The Year in 2012. As a youth, Nico was on the Region One USA team and in the National team pool. In high school, Nick was voted the Central League Player Of The Year and was a high school regional All-American and All-State selection. Nick has trained internationally in Sevilla (Spain) and Independiente and Liniers (Argentina). As a youth player, his FC Delco club team qualified for nationals three times. He was a four year player at the University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League champions). Nico is also a head coach for the EPYSA Olympic Development Program as well as the Region One USA Olympic Development Program (ODP). Nico has a US soccer National Coaching License and a National Argentine Soccer Coaching Diploma. Nico has coached many players on the Division I, II, and III collegiate level.

KEVIN RHOADES
  Kevin is currently the head coach for the LMSC Fever, our Under 17 A boys travel team. In 2016, Kevin led the LMSC Fire to the EPYSA Indoor State Championship. Kevin is also very active in LMSC as a staff coach, coaching in our Developmental Academy as well as our many training programs. Kevin earned his 'D' level coaching license from U.S. Soccer. Kevin played four years for the Division One men's team at St. Joseph's University. After graduating, Kevin coached the Rosemont College women's team for two years, leading them to the CSAC conference championship. In 2015, Kevin's LMSC Herricanes team won the Under 13 Girls Indoor State championship. Kevin coached youth soccer for the Ukrainian Nationals club before coming to LMSC where he is a senior staff coach, running numerous training sessions throughout the year. As a youth player, Kevin played in the EPYSA Olympic Development Program. He played club soccer for Super Nova FC under Yugoslavian national player Niki Nikolic.

DALE HAINES
  Dale has been coaching in the LMSC system for 13 years. He is also the LMSC Boys Travel Team Director Of Coaching (DOC). Dale's current squad is the U-14A team, Invictus. Invictus is playing in the 2017-2018 USYSA National League. Dale led the Invictus to the state championship and Region I finals in 2017. In 2016, Invictus captured top-flight championships of the Lou Ramous Tournament, Bethesda Premier Cup and Atlantic Premier League playoffs. Prior to Invictus, Dale coached the B team Swarm for three years from U-9 through U-11. Swarm were two time EPYSA Indoor State Cup Finalists (U-10 and U-11), EPYSA Outdoor State Cup semifinalists (U-9), and EPYSA Outdoor State Cup quarterfinalists at U-11. Swarm won titles at four major tournaments (West-Mont, Bethesda, Tottenhama and Annandale) and were finalists at two others (Keystone and YMS Columbus Cup) in their final U-11 season in 2015-2016. Swarm ended with a top 10 Gotsoccer ranking in the country. Prior to coaching Swarm, Dale served as Assistant Coach and Manager for the LMSC Magic for seven years. During that time, the Magic won two EPYSA Outdoor State Championships, two EPYSA Indoor State Championships and three Delco League division one championships.

Dale is also a Staff Coach with LMSC, working primarily with the Pee Wee programs. Dale was awarded the LMSC Intramural Coach of the Year in 2012. Dale played high school soccer at Downingtown and he currently holds an USSF D License and a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.

For his day job, he is an Associate Professor at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University.

JEFF RHODES
  Jeff is currently the head coach for the LMSC Sochers, our Under 14 A girls travel team. He also an LMSC staff coach, helping to run various training programs as well as the LMSC Under Girls Developmental Academy. Jeff is the head coach for Harriton High School girls varsity soccer team where he led his team to a second place finish (out of 12 teams) in 2015. Jeff was voted LMSC Travel Team Coach Of The Year in 2014. Before getting into coaching, Jeff played high school, club, ODP, and collegiate soccer. Individually, Jeff earned All-Conference honors and was selected to play for his State select team. Jeff also competed on a club team that was Regional Cup Champions and State Cup Champions. Jeff coached in Illinois and Hawaii before coming to the Philadelphia Area. Since joining the Lower Merion community, Jeff has coached the boys JV soccer team at Harriton High School and the LMSC U-10 Boys Grommies.







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