Richmond Strikers name veteran coach Jay Howell new ECNL girls’ director
After a nationwide search, the Richmond Strikers have hired veteran coach Jay Howell as their new Elite Clubs National League girls’ director, the club announced on Friday. In his new position, Jay will have direct responsibility for the Strikers’ ECNL girls’ program from ages 11-18, as well as oversight and management of the overall Richmond Strikers girls’ programming.
The Elite Clubs National League has become the national benchmark for the development and identification of the top female youth players in the United States. The Richmond Strikers are one of 72 clubs in the U.S. to be invited to participate in this league.
Howell was instrumental in helping to create the ECNL and has coached within the league since its inception at highly regarded clubs like CASL and Birmingham United. Jay spent 11 years in Raleigh, North Carolina as the Director of Coaching at CASL before departing for Birmingham United two years ago, where he served as the club’s executive director and director of coaching.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to join and serve such a long-standing, nationally recognized and successful youth soccer club like the Richmond Strikers,” said Howell in a press release. “As the Strikers’ new ECNL Director, I look forward to the opportunity to work with players throughout the Richmond area who relish the thought of competing at the highest level nationally.”
“I have known Jay for close to 20 years and have always been impressed with his understanding of the game,” said Bob Jenkins, the Strikers’ Director of Coaching. “In the past decade Jay has had an integral part in the growth of girls’ club soccer in the USA. I am thrilled to be able to bring Jay’s expertise and experience to the Richmond Strikers and look forward to an immediate impact on our girl’s program.”
Strikers executive director Scott Turner said, “We are pleased to welcome Jay back to the Richmond area where he attended the University of Richmond and coached high school soccer at Douglas Freeman High School. After earning his “A” license, Jay accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of North Carolina. Jay will have a huge positive impact on the Striker girls’ soccer programming.”
Over 3,000 soccer players ranging from four through 18 years of age play in the Strikers’ recreation teams during the fall and spring seasons. The Strikers Travel program consists of over 700 players who compete in ECNL, U.S. Soccer Development Academy and premier tournaments nationwide.