Joel grew up playing soccer in the ultra competitive Southern California area where he played for nationally recognized US Soccer Developmental Academy and ECNL club Strikers FC, and he played college soccer down there as well. During college was when Joel started coaching soccer, and as his playing career was wrapping up he quickly fell in love with coaching. For well over a decade, Joel coached for a few different high schools down in Southern California as well as with another nationally recognized US Soccer Developmental Academy club, the Pateadores, where he was able to coach with and against some of the top coaches in the nation. Also while in Southern California, he also spent time as a strength and conditioning coach and high school soccer coach at national sports powerhouse Mater Dei High School where he coached not only soccer athletes but also worked with high level athletes in multiple sports.
During his time playing and coaching Joel has played with, coached, and helped many soccer players and athletes go on to either receive scholarships or walk on spots with college soccer programs at all levels of college soccer (Division I, II, III, and NAIA schools). He has also played and coached with players that have gone on to play professionally in the MLS, the Bundesliga, and other professional divisions across Europe and in the US, and has even been fortunate enough to coach a few players that have played with and still play with the US Youth and Men’s National teams.
His personal coaching philosophy is that soccer is the best sport in the world and that it is the best teacher of so many valuable life lessons. He believes the quality character and life lessons that players pick up from playing soccer will serve them well in whatever they end up doing in life, but that for this to happen it is imperative that character comes first and that kids learn to lead from the front.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human and Health Performance with a focus in Exercise Science and a minor in Coaching from Montana State University, and until recently he was the Technical Director for Blitzz FC where he helped grow the Blitzz program in both numbers and quality of its programs, players, teams, and coaches. During his time there, in addition to many projects he spearheaded that moved the club forward on and off the field, the competitive side of Blitzz went from having only 1 competitive team in a state final match in the spring of 2013 when Joel first arrived as Director to having 8 teams in state final matches during his last spring season of 2017.
Joel has also been a Montana ODP/MDP coach across multiple age groups for the past 5 years, is currently a West Region (Region IV) ODP Staff Coach, and is currently the Head Varsity coach and Program director of the Girls' soccer program at Gallatin High School. He is currently working on his US Soccer A License, has his US Soccer National B License, National Youth License, and is one 1 of only 3 coaches in the state of Montana to have their US Soccer Grassroots Instructor License (GESC coach Paolo is the other).
Joel is extremely excited to grow GESC for the benefit of all in Gallatin County and surrounding areas, alongside many of the same coaches that he has worked with over the past several years and the many quality coaches at the club. Joel continues to look forward working hard and experiencing the same success with Gallatin Elite that he has seen everywhere else he has been, and he also looks forward to continuing to raise the level and reputation of soccer across Southwest Montana and within the region.