Over the past six years, Wayne County United Soccer Club Director of Coaching Steve Ellis has turned Wayne County United into a nationally recognized soccer club.
He has helped grow Wayne County United to the largest it has ever been and incorporated a partnership with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in England. Ellis is also the head soccer coach at Wayne Country Day School.
In his five years at Wayne Country Day, Ellis has been named Head Coach of the Year five times.
He also helped Wayne Country Day to their first-ever state title in 2015, and earlier this year he won his 100th game as head coach.
All of Ellis’ hard work has paid off, he was recently awarded the Director of Coaching award by the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association.
“It was a surprise a little bit, I got a phone call last Friday from the executive director of the state association just telling me I won the award” Ellis said. “It’s nice to be recognized, and it’s good for the club.”
The Director of Coaching award was established by action of the North Carolina Youth Soccer Executive Board in 1997 to recognize the hard work of people who have served with particular effectiveness as members of a soccer club, league, regional or state boards of directors of organizations who are affiliated with North Carolina Youth Soccer Association.
On the soccer pitch, Wayne County United’s U13 team has won the Adidas Classic three years in a row, while the U18 and U17 teams went to the state semi-finals last years, and despite the club having some up and downs over the years, Ellis is confident the club will continue to grow and move in the right direction.
“We’ve got our complex and we’re doing pretty well,” Ellis said. “We’ve had more players then we’ve had before off to play college soccer last year, and I would say that might go up this year.”
Ellis credits all of his success on the soccer pitch to all the players and coaches who have helped him get to this point, because behind every great coach there are great players.
“It’s not just me really. It’s all the players, coaches, staff and volunteers,” Ellis said. “The kids give a lot. It takes dedication from the kids and parents, but it’s good for the kids and good for the community, and it keeps the kids active as well.”