The Soccer Association of Montgomery (SAM) has announced that Gary Burke will take over as SAM's new program manager. Burke has worked at the SoccerPlex in varying capacities over the past few years as a coach of the winter indoor clinics as well as serving as the Director of SAM Soccer Camp. He takes over for Jay Selwood, who held the position for five years and helped grow SAM dramatically during his tenure.
"First on behalf of both SAM and the Maryland SoccerPlex we want to thank Jay for his dedication to SAM over the past five years. His efforts have certainly helped foster the growth SAM has enjoyed," said Maryland SoccerPlex Executive Director Trish Heffelfinger. "For us the decision to hire Gary was simple because of our experience in working with him. His training concepts mirror the same values SAM emphasizes including player development, safety, respect for the game and family involvement."
Burke has held positions with some of the top programs in the region including: Bethesda Soccer Club head girls coach, Potomac Soccer Club Age Group Director and girls head coach, Holy Child High School varsity head coach and Maryland Olympic Development Program boys head coach. He has enjoyed a great deal of success on the field at each position, and in the classroom he has continued to add to his experience by taking numerous soccer courses all designed to give him a more well-rounded approach to coaching youth.
"I am both honored and excited to take over as SAM's manager," said Burke. "I have greatly admired SAM's approach to player development and sportsmanship and hope to continue to build on the success of the program."
Burke, who was born in Newcastle, England, played at some of the highest levels of youth soccer in England before choosing to continue his soccer career at Saint Francis University. He started all four years at St. Francis and as a senior led the team to the NCAA's as a senior, a first for the school. He earned a USSF A-license in coaching in 2014.
Photo by Germantown Pulse.