St. Louis Scott Gallagher Illinois is extremely pleased to welcome Jon Burklo as the newest addition to its’ full time staff. Buklo officially joined the organization last month coming from San Antonio, Texas where he served as the Director of Soccer Operations for NEYSO Liberty SC since 2013. Jon bring a wealth of knowledge and varied experience to the organization after spending the past 7 years coaching at the youth, high school, collegiate and amateur levels.
Burklo, who grew up in a military family with two brothers, spent his childhood living in various countries, including Greece, Germany, Japan as well as several parts of the United States. After attending and playing Division I Soccer at Liberty University in Virginia, Jon returned to Europe to play professionally in Norway and Finland. Upon his return to the United States, Jon played in the USL and made 4 appearances with the MLS’ Houston Dynamo Reserve team before retiring from professional soccer in 2008, upon which, he immediately entered into the coaching ranks. Jon also started a family during that time and, with him, we are pleased to welcome his wife Crystal, two-year old son Harrison and new-born daughter Aila.
“My family and I are very excited to join SLSG Illinois. While it was incredibly difficult to leave Texas, the opportunity to work with such an experienced staff and club is something I am very excited to be a part of.”
While in Texas, Burklo took a recreational soccer association and created a competitive program (NEYSO) from scratch to serve as a pathway for recreational players who were looking for a more competitive soccer experience. In just 2 years, the competitive program grew from 0 teams to 24 teams with several of the teams achieving promotion to the highly competitive 1 Division of South Texas Soccer just before his departure.
According to SLSG Illinois Boys Director of Coaching, Blake Decker, “We are thrilled about the addition of Jon to the SLSG Illinois staff. We had over 75 applicants for this position from across the United States, Canada and Europe and there was no question in our mind that Jon stood out well above the rest. He is a talented, dedicated and driven professional who possesses extensive experience as both a coach and club director. He will be a huge asset to the organization from both a player development and operational perspective.”
The addition of Burklo to the SLSG Illinois staff bring the total number of USSF “A” License coaches in the organization to 4, further reinforcing the clubs commitment to professional development in an effort to provide the absolute best possible staff for our players.
SLSG Illinois Girls Director of Coaching, Shawn Hewitt, added, “Jon’s commitment to professional development is a highly valued trait that we felt fit perfectly with the culture of our club and staff. As coaches, we challenge our players to strive to become a little better everyday. As a professional staff, we must be willing to do the same and Jon definitely fits that mold.”
Starting in the fall of 2015, Jon will serve as the NPL Director for SLSG Illinois operating in both a coaching and oversight capacity for the U13-U18 NPL program. Additionally, Jon will serve as an assistant coach with US Development Academy program in order to provide a bridge for players between those two competitive levels of the SLSG Illinois program.