In this week’s “Get to Know” article, we will be learning more about Seacoast United Maine North staff member, Zach Ward. Zach will be coaching the clubs 01/ 02 Girls North team for the 2018/19 season.
What is your previous experience playing soccer? Coaching?
I actually don’t have a vast competitive playing background. I’ve played a year of JUCO soccer before turning my focus to academics and graduating in less than 4 years. I got a little taste of coaching right after high school and put a lot of effort into pursing it. I’ve been coaching in some capacity for 11 years – from youth through high school and now collegiate players.
What made you decide to want to start coaching?
I always joke that I don’t have any other skills so coaching is all I can do. But being able to work with players and see them develop a passion for the game that I am so passionate about has always been appealing as a coach.
What attracted you to Seacoast United Maine?
The opportunity to work with a great set of coaches that have similar philosophies to how youth soccer should be handled. It was also nice just having another opportunity to coach the game.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
My parents have always been supportive of the career I’ve chosen and instilled a work ethic that “anything worthwhile is worth a little sacrifice.” He would never know it but Paul Payne, the former men’s head coach at Bloomsburg University, instructed the first coaching course I completed and looking back his enthusiasm and coaching style are probably what really made it click that coaching is what I want to do.
What’s been your best memory while being involved in coaching soccer?
I’ve had a number of former high school players go on to play college soccer and set records at their programs so I am very proud of them. I’ve also won two conference championships at the high school I was at before becoming the assistant women’s coach at Maine Maritime Academy. I’d probably have to say taking that step to the college coaching ranks is most memorable/ rewarding. My coaching career is still just beginning so hopefully I’ve got plenty of time to make more memories.
Which current or former professional athlete did you admire the most growing up and why?
I’ve always liked Wesley Sneijder and Wayne Rooney. Like myself, they aren’t the biggest players that walk out of the tunnel but are always relentless workers. Both have never been shy about showing their emotion on the pitch and how much the game means to them. Being from Maryland and a DC United supporter it is great be able to continue to cheer for Rooney.
Do you have any hobbies you like to do in your spare time?
I have a dog named Pond and she keeps me busy when I’m not doing something with Seacoast or the college women’s team I coach. I also have a pretty extensive vinyl record collection and I really enjoy reading.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite food – Got to be a nice slice of pizza
Favorite genre of music – I’m a bit of a metal head and rock n’ roll is a must
Favorite place to visit – Annapolis, Maryland
Favorite Premier League team – 13-time Premier League winners Manchester United (GGMU!)
2018/2019 Premier League Winner – Anyone but Liverpool even if that means City lifts the trophy again