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William & Mary adds Josh Thornton to coaching staff

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Via College of William & Mary) – William & Mary head women’s soccer coach Julie Shackford has announced the hiring of Josh Thornton as an assistant coach for the 2019 season. Thornton joins the Tribe after spending two seasons at Bates College in Maine.

“We are so excited to welcome Josh to our coaching staff and our program,” Shackford said. “He brings a wealth of experience to the game, at the college, professional and youth levels. His energy is contagious, and we look forward to the impact he will make with the Green and Gold.”

Thornton joins the Tribe after spending two seasons at Bates College coaching the men’s team, and helped the Bobcats to a 16-13-2 record. In his first season on campus, Bates advanced to the NESCAC Tournament for the first time since the 2008 season. He helped guide Peder Bakken to the All-NESCAC Second-Team honors following the 2018 season. Following his first season, Nate Merchant (first-team) and Max Watson (second-team) were both named to the All-NESCAC teams. Merchant was also tabbed the Second-Team All-New England, and United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America honors.


“I couldn’t be more excited to join such a great group and staff,” Thornton said. “I am so thankful to head coach Julie Shackford for affording me this opportunity to be part of such a great community at William & Mary. It is a special school in a special area and I believe that we have many successful years ahead. I can’t wait to learn what to learn what it truly means to be a member of the Tribe.”

During his time in Maine, Thornton has been the Premier Director of GPS Maine. With GPS Maine, he has coached some of their national teams and has also helped the Maine ODP coaching staff.  He won the GPS Coach of the Year award in 2015, before winning the Southern Maine High School Coach of the Year award in 2016 after winning the Main B State Championship with Yarmouth High School, and posting the best school record in school history with a 16-1-1 record.  Thornton most recently coached with the Portland Phoenix USL2, which came in second in the Northeast PDL division in 2018.

Thornton started his coaching career for youth academies in England. He went to Brunel University to pursue a degree in teaching. After completing his degree, he taught and coached for two years in London at Harrow Borough School. He owns his level 2 badge from the English FA as well as his USSF C License.

He is married to Alyson Thornton and the couple resides in Williamsburg.

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