Coming on board as full-time coaches at SLSG means more than just starting new jobs for Mitch Hunt, Ado Jahic, Lauren Nuelle and Maggie Richard.
It’s a homecoming for all four. They learned the game as kids at SLSG. Now, they are passing on their know-how to new generations of SLSG youngsters.
Let’s meet SLSG’s new full-time staffers:
Mitch is a player development specialist and an age group director for the 2015-2013 and 2010 Missouri boys. “I’m also in charge of the on-boarding for the boys’ side of the program and run all the interested player kick-arounds for the U14-U6 players,” Mitch says.
Mitch played at Lindenwood University and coached part-time at SLSG starting in 2015 before becoming a full-time SLSG staff member in June 2020. He played U19 soccer at SLSG.
“SLSG means a lot to me,” Mitch says. “This is where my coaching career started. I can’t see myself coaching anywhere else.”
Bringing the passion he learned for the game as a player is what Mitch strives to bring to each training session. “I always was taught to focus on the little things as a player and that is what I try to reach all the players I work with,” Mitch says. “We focus on the little techniques that are keys of the game and will help them be successful as they grow and develop as players.
“I truly believe that we are one of the best clubs in the country and being a full-time coach for this club is awesome.”
Ado is the 2011 age group director for the Missouri boys and a player development specialist with SLSG’s soccer school.
Ado honed his soccer skills as an SLSG player from 2008-2016. His SLSG highlight came as player on the SLSG academy team that defeated the No. 1-ranked academy team, Real Salt Lake, in the 2014 playoffs His SLSG career prepared him to play on the U17, U19 and U21 national teams for Bosnia and Herzegovina. In college, he played as a freshman and sophomore at Bradley and as a junior and senior at Southern Illinois-University Edwardsville. He plays indoors for the St. Louis Ambush, who signed Ado to a three-year contract in May 2020.
“SLSG truly means a lot to me because it gave me an opportunity I wouldn’t have gotten as a player at any other club,” Ado says “The club paved the way for me to have a better future as a player and as a college student.”
Ado wants to give those same opportunities to the SLSG boys. “My goals are to make the 2011 age group the best it can be and make sure the boys have the positive experience I had growing up,” Ado says.
Lauren works with the Missouri girls as SLSG’s assistant juniors director, a member of the player development training program staff, and coach of the 2007 and 2006 Elite teams.
Although a new full-time SLSG staffer, Lauren calls SLSG her second home. She is in her seventh year working for the club. Lauren started as a part-timer at SLSG in 2013 and first coached an SLSG team in 2014 while playing in college at Webster University. Before that, she played for SLSG from middle through high school.
Her many years with SLSG has endeared the club to her. “The club is a place to me where kids and families can all enjoy the game of soccer,” Lauren says. “It really does feel like a big family, no matter what level you are coaching or playing at.”
Lauren hopes to create similar experiences for her players.
“My coaches at SLSG always pushed us to try and be as successful as we could on the field, but also rewarded us when the time was right,” Lauren says. “I hope to promote that same level of competition and passion for the game, while still creating a fun and enjoyable experience.”
Maggie is the ECNLRL U19, U18 and U13 head coach, and handles administrative duties, social media and ECNL website communications.
Maggie reconnected with SLSG after playing at Indiana State and serving as women’s assistant coach at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. She fondly remembers her time as an SLSG player for the 1994-95 ECNL team coached by Scott McDoniel.
Her best memory was when Scott — “he loved to run us,” Maggie says — challenged the ECNL team to repeatedly run up and down the highest hill at a local park just before dawn one weekend morning. “Every last one of us wanted to quit multiple times, but we encouraged each other to the very end,” Maggie says. “After that day, we weren’t just teammates. We were a family. That was a very important life lesson: to never give up on your team or yourself.”
Maggie plans to create similar memories for today’s ECNL players. “I want to give young female athletes the same great experiences I had,” Maggie says. “It was a dream to come back and give back to the club that made me the player and person that I am today.”