Soccer coach hopes to find Columbia style

Howard At Play


April 01, 2001|By Lowell E. Sunderland

Name: John Dingle.

Job description: Fifth year as assistant coaching director, boys travel team coordinator and director of rec-level leagues for Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County. Also coaches under-13 Columbia United premier girls team, squad he has had since the girls were 10; runner-up in overtime in Maryland State Cup final last spring. Reports to coaching director Bill Stara. Duties include teaching coaches about age-appropriate skills, directing clinics for players, evaluating games and practices.

Age: 33.

Residence: Lifelong Catonsville resident.

Personal information: Graduate of Catonsville High, Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville, Central Connecticut State University, where he was a central defender. Only soccer player out of four brothers, two sisters. At camps while in college, learned he liked working with kids, coaching. Set up his own soccer business in Baltimore area after college that includes camps, consulting, team programs, other instructional work. Holds national youth- and D-level coaching licenses; going for A-level, the top, from the U.S. Soccer Federation in January. Hired by former SAC/HC coaching director John Ellinger, now a U.S. national coach. Has son, two daughters.

Best thing about SAC/HC work: "I particularly enjoy working with coaches who begin with little experience but get hooked on the game - the kind who, if they call you at 11 at night, you don't mind talking with them."

Biggest challenge for group: "With Bill Stara now on board, it's finding a style of play for SAC/HC, something no club in Maryland and only a few anywhere has. It's a huge challenge, and it's not going to happen overnight. But we are trying to develop an actual soccer club, not just a confederation of teams that go out and play in the same color shirts. We want to start that system with the youngest levels, even in rec-level ball, and develop the Columbia way, although we're not necessarily sure we know what that is right now. But that's what we aspire to."

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