Meet our directors
DIRECTOR OF COACHING
Rich has been involved with the club from the onset in 1983 as a player. After college, he returned to the club as a coach and has served on the board as well as his current position as Director of Coaching. This role works directly and closely with the Board of Directors to oversee all aspects of the club, ranging from the coaching staff to administrative staff. Working closely with the Technical Director (Neil Ridgway) and the Director of Player Development (Brian Clements), Rich prides himself on the programming offered to all of the TKO Premier players and the methods used by the coaching staff to deliver player development.
"I am very proud to be part of a club that has given me and my family so much and now I can give back to others. Our club has more of a family feel vs. a business, every player and parent means the most. Teaching life lessons through the beautiful game of soccer is such an opportunity. Watching our young people develop as soccer players and into young men and women is awesome. Seeing former players come back and put their own kids into the program or coach themselves speaks volumes to what we have here in this club."
DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
Brian has been with TKO since 2013 and the Director of Player Development since 2015. As the Director of Player Development, Brian works with coaches and players at every age level from u3 all the way up to u18. Brian is responsible for supporting coaches in their development which has a direct impact on the experience for each player. Brian plays an active role with the TKO Juniors program and the Directors Academy age group as the Head Coach for the DA boys teams. Brian also serves as the TKO Premier's Tournament Director.
The role of a Technical Director is to manage and oversee all player and coaching development within the club. In addition, the Technical Director makes sure that all coaches are following the club curriculum, as well as implementing the club philosophy and playing style across the entire club, no matter the age group. Neil also acts as a liaison between the Board of Directors and part time staff. Areas include: Developing and managing the coaching and administrative structure for the club, implementing the club’s coaching curriculum and supervising player training/development and delivery and ownership of the club’s mission in order to develop every player to their fullest potential.
"I am honored to be in the position to help guide TKO Premier SC's growth into one of the top soccer clubs in Michigan and in the region. Our entire coaching staff is the finest around and our parents are the best ambassadors any club can ask for."
TKO ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Lea has been part of the Kalamazoo community for almost 30 years, and currently works in Human Resources at Bronson Healthcare Group. She has enjoyed watching the growth and development of her son during his time with our club, and is excited to support our families in the role of registrar.
Marketing & Volunteer Coordinator
Leah grew up around Kalamazoo but soccer was not a part of her life until her boys fell in love with it at the age of 4. She has worked as a Project Manager in Marketing & Advertising for the last 9 years so organization and planning are second nature to her. With two boys in the club, it's a perfect opportunity to share her skills with an organization she loves being a part of!