Friday, March 30, 2012

VSI Tampa Flames Name Head Coaches For PDL, W-League Teams

The expansion VSI Tampa Flames Friday announced Joel Harrison and Joshua Walters, Sr. as head coaches of their USL Premier Development League and USL W-League franchises, respectively.

Harrison has over 20 years of college soccer coaching experience, including head coaching stops at Saint Leo University, University of Central Arkansas and Triton Junior College, and has a record of 143-69-12 in 12 seasons as a head coach.

In 2002 at Central Arkansas, he led them to their first Gulf South Conference championship in any sport and to the Final Four of the NCAA Division II Men's College Cup.

He was also a two-time conference Coach of the Year (2001, 2002) and the 2002 National Soccer Coaches Association of America South Region Coach of the Year.

At Saint Leo, he led them to their first Sunshine State Conference championship in 2005 and their first appearance in the NCAA D-2 tournament, while earning SSC and NSCAA regional coach of the year awards that season.

Walters recently was named assistant coach for the University of Central Florida's women's team after being their recruiting coordinator.

He came to UCF from Florida State University, where he spent two seasons as their director of soccer operations.

Walters was an assistant coach at the University of Houston, then at Utah State, before going to Tallahassee to join the Seminoles.

He also served 12 months as a First Lieutenant with Military Intelligence Brigade 52 of the Florida National Guard during Operating Enduring Freedom V in Bagram, Afghanistan. While there, he set up and directed a soccer clinic and set up games for Afghan youngsters, earning the NSCAA's Honorary All-American award at their 2005 convention.

During his tour of duty, he received the Bronze Star for Valor and Service, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

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