Andy Hoggarth is a rising star in the world of coaching. The head coach of NPSL side AFC Cleveland and both men’s and women’s soccer at Thiel College, Hoggarth is regarded as one of the best young coaches in the Midwest.
He is known as a skilled tactician that gets the most out of each and every player. He helped Cleveland advance to the posteason in 2012, claiming hardware in the form of the Rust Belt Cup and the Great Lakes Conference Championship in the process. At Thiel, the English native has built a program from the ground up as the Tomcats became a force to reckon with in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.
Hoggarth also has strong playing credentials thanks to his time with Middlesbrough FC and Preston North End as a youth. He later went on to play at other clubs, including Whitley Bay FC that won the FA Vase in 2001. Hoggarth himself would join the Middlesbrough staff before coming to America to take a coaching position at Shenandoah University in Virginia.
Even though some might call him a newcomer to the States, he is quite bullish on the future of the American game.
“I think the growth will continue and is mainly going to be down to the fact that we are going to start to see a generation of youth players whose parents grew up with the game,” Hoggarth commented. “We are now starting to see players committing themselves to soccer year-round from a young age and really grasping a thorough understanding of the game both technically and tactically, which will allow the game to grow as those players move through the system and become coaches, officials, and parents.”
And Hoggarth believes the college game is an essential piece of the American soccer puzzle, even though it is not a system that is used in many soccer nations.
“I still personally think the college game has a strong place in U.S. soccer. The college game allows players to obviously play at a high level, while also gaining an education, which is vital.”
He believes that if a collegiate program is ran in the correct way, then player development can be massive as there is a large amount of contact time with the coaching staff and good access to top facilities, quality stadia, and top-flight support staff.
Always striving to be the best, Hoggarth is not afraid to seek advice from the best. He has always looked up to current Middlesbrough gaffer Tony Mowbray, a former Boro star that Hoggarth watched as a youth. He hopes to mirror Mowbray’s playing style and philosophy, while making a similar rise to the top of the coaching ranks.
Hoggarth is an advocate for playing exciting soccer, soccer that people want to watch.
“I love to see the ball moving around quickly and players being very dynamic when in possession so I would look at implementing that type of style. I think some of the soccer that is played in the Bundesliga is a perfect example of this with its fast-flowing possession, never say die attitude, and a huge desire and passion to win.”
But his greatest asset is his ability to teach and inspire others.
“I think any time when you see a moment where you realize that a player ‘just got it,’ then I think that is a great moment as a coach,” Hoggarth concluded. “To me this is very satisfying as I think so much of what we do as coaches these days is vital in the character development of young people and ensuring that we not only develop good soccer players, but good citizens.”
Andy is the type of coach you would want for your kids. That is a compliment that is very, very tough to beat indeed.
Note: Hoggarth joins Rocket City's Gerry Cleary as NPSL coaches that have received this national recognition.
Photo Credit: AFC Cleveland
Orginally published as ISN Stars of Coaching Presented by Korrio – November 2012