Director of Soccer Operations

Bio

Tommy’s extensive knowledge, ability to help players develop their individual skills, and passion for the game make him the perfect fit to launch a premier soccer training program at Breakaway Academy.

Tommy was born in Minnesota and attended Eastview High School in the south suburbs. He attended college at St. John’s University and transferred to finish his college education at the University of Minnesota -Duluth, playing all four collegiate years of soccer.

He began coaching in 2006 after four years as a collegiate soccer player. He has spent the last 11 years and counting coaching boys’ high school soccer at the varsity and JV levels. Most recently, Tommy served as the Girls’ Juniors Director, Pre-ECNL Coach, and the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Coaching Assistant at Minnesota Thunder Academy – a Minnesota soccer icon. In 2023, Tommy joined the Rosemont High School Girls Soccer program as an assistant coach to the varsity team. Tommy holds a USSF D License.

Soccer has been a significant part of Tommy’s life from the earliest ages, through club soccer, college, and playing consistently as an adult. His hobbies include biking, hiking, golfing, fly-fishing, traveling, and spending time with his wife, Claire, and dog, Bear.

As director of soccer operations, Tommy is responsible for leading and developing the training program. He is joined by a team of elite instructors who are equally committed to the growth of each player, not only as soccer players but as exceptional students and people of character.

What do you like most about BA?
After hearing about the Breakaway Academy through the years, then given the opportunity to create a soccer program here that has a significant education component, it was a no brainer for me, Having the ability to train driven athletes and watch them learn on and off the field is something very special and significant to me personally. I like focusing on pushing the athlete to maximize their potential not only as a player but most importantly as a person, and I believe Breakaway has a wonderful foundation setup to do that.

Why is it important to have solid academics in addition to good soccer training?
I think being successful in the classroom and on the field leads to having a balanced and consistent work ethic at young age. Being able to prioritize both academics and soccer successfully and be committed, driven and passionate in both settings sets them up for long term success.

Which coach or teacher had the biggest impact on your life and why?
My Dad, who found a lot of happiness in watching me play soccer and was willing to drive anywhere to watch me compete. His own life and lessons have taught me resilience and how to battle adversity in soccer and in life. Nels Dokken, he has had the biggest influence on me as a coach and we share the same joy of caring about developing players/people.

What is your favorite soccer memory?
When I was traveling in Asia, I was able to play in a few Laos League pickup games. The complete joy of watching kids and adults play together in another country where soccer meant so much to them was an amazing experience.

What are your credentials and coaching experience?
I’ve been coaching youth soccer since 2006 in different capacities and currently hold my ‘USSF D License’. I spent years coaching at REV soccer club, then moved to Minnesota Thunder Academy in 2017, where I became the Girls Junior Director and coach of the Pre-ECNL teams, and ran our Thunderfoot skills program and have coached in the ECNL. I helped grow the Girls Junior program from 3 to 8 consistent teams in a matter of years, through a large focus on pushing development through creating technical, aware, natural decision-making players that want to compete at a significantly high level of soccer through their playing ages. I also previously coached on the Eastview High School Boys Varsity program for 10 years. My current coaching plans outside of Breakaway Academy are with the Rosemount High School Girls Varsity as a Varsity Assistant.