NC Courage Completes Coaching Staff for 2019 NWSL Season
The North Carolina Courage has announced that the full championship-winning coaching staff will return for the 2019 season. Scott Vallow, Sean Nahas, Nathan Thackeray, and Technical Advisor Charlie Naimo join head coach Paul Riley as they look to lead the Courage to another NWSL Championship.
Each coach was vital to the success of the Courage during their first two seasons in Cary. They led the team to NWSL Shields in 2017 and 2018, the first ever Women’s ICC Championship in 2018, and an NWSL Championship in 2018.
“The technical staff have been a huge part of our success,” said NC Courage Head Coach Paul Riley. “They embrace their roles and are tremendously committed to the process of making players better. Servicing and caring about players is crucial in our culture. They understand the human element and their ability to communicate their knowledge has been huge in elevating our training environment. We all work brilliantly together, and I tell them to be curious, to push the envelope every day and to offer their advice and insight in an open forum. I’m ecstatic to have them all back. They make me a better coach, they push me out of my comfort zone and more important than anything they make our team understand that work ethic trumps everything. Having them all on board makes it another fantastic day in Courage Country.”
Vallow will return as an assistant coach for his third season with the North Carolina Courage and his fifth season as an assistant to Riley. Vallow has won two NWSL Championships, one with the Western New York Flash in 2016 and another last season with the NC Courage. He played collegiately at Bowling Green University before having a successful career playing in Major League Soccer for Dallas and Colorado, and for the Rochester Rhinos in the USL. Vallow began coaching in 2011 for the Flash after he retired from playing professional soccer.
Nahas brings 14 years of experience with CASL (now NCFC Youth) with him into his third season as an assistant coach for the NC Courage. Nahas also oversees the NC Courage Development Academy. He has valuable U.S. National Team coaching experience, including assistant coaching positions with the U-20 USWNT, U-14 Youth National Team and serving as a U.S. National Team Youth Scout.
Thackeray also enters his third season coaching the North Carolina Courage and his ninth season of coaching overall. Thackeray started coaching with Young Harris College in 2011 before becoming the Head of Goalkeeping at the Houston Dynamo Academy in 2012. Thackeray currently serves as the Director of Goalkeeping at NCFC Youth.
Naimo enters his third season as the team’s Technical Advisor. He was previously the technical director with the Western New York Flash from 2014-2016. Naimo has been an instrumental member of the coaching staff, assisting with scouting and roster development. Most recently, Naimo helped in the drafting of Leah Pruitt, Hailey Harbison, Lauren Milliet, and Kaycie Tillman at the 2019 NWSL Draft in Chicago.
Additionally, UNC assistant coach Bill Palladino will volunteer his time with the club as he did in years past. In 38 years with the Tar Heels, Palladino helped Anson Dorrance lead UNC to 22 national titles, which is more than every other school in the country combined. Palladino was awarded the Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Award as the national assistant coach of the year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America following the 2012 season and was the key defensive mind behind the 1987 UNC team that allowed only two goals during the regular season.
Each member of the coaching staff is important to the success of the North Carolina Courage as they look to clinch a third-consecutive NWSL Shield and a second NWSL Championship in 2019.