On International Women's Day 2016, NewYorkRedBulls.com highlights one of our own. Meet Marguerite Ferrell - the Senior Manager of Coach Recruitment and Education for the New York Red Bulls.
Can you tell us about your background and how you got to your current position with the New York Red Bulls?
After playing D1 soccer in college and playing in the USL W-League after college for four years, I took every opportunity to stay in the game. I loved this sport. It’s an adrenaline rush being around soccer.
I was the full-time assistant coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University for 5 years, Seton Hall for one year, I coached youth teams through-out NJ from ages 5-16 since High School, I managed college soccer camps, I started a personal training business with a good friend and the list goes on. I would drive anywhere; change my coaching uniform and go place to place to be on the field all day.
In 2004 and 2005, a friend of mine worked for the MetroStars and asked if I wanted to do the statistics for the MetroStars home games. I said yes, and there I was, counting corner kicks and logging substitutions for Shep Messing at the MetroStars’ home games.
From there, I met contacts within the organization that are still a part of this team, one being my current boss. I was recruited to coach part-time in 2006 with the New York Red Bulls Training Programs. I managed to coach college and work for the Red Bulls Training Programs. After proving myself, a full-time position came up in the Coach Recruitment and Education side of things in 2011. I applied and I got it. I was one person, wearing many different hats to coach and affect as many players as I can, but Red Bull gave me the opportunity to coach coaches. To coach 140 youth coaches, to affect 40,000 players.
For years I was one coach, driving around from place to place trying to make an impact wherever I could. Now, the Red Bulls allow to me to filter my talent to coaches and effect players in the tri-state area.
What are your day-to-day duties with the club?
The best way to describe what I do is that I am the dean of a school - a soccer school. We look to hire experienced teachers (coaches) who can engage, inspire and teach the youth of today. We provide a coach curriculum, which I ensure our staff are implementing and following. Our curriculum always falls back to the New York Red Bulls training programs philosophy, to create a fun and challenging playing environment for players to have the opportunity to learn.
We assess our coaching staff and make sure the players are developing and falling in love with the sport. Additionally, we focus on staff development. We educate our staff to become further licensed in coaching and provide opportunities to do so. We conduct an in-house coach education program consisting of over 100+ hours a year of coaches education meetings. We have presentations - both in classroom and on the field to exemplify the latest teaching technique, effective teaching and to showcase our curriculum.
How does what your coaches teach integrate with the lessons and ethos of the academy and the first team?
#AllIn – I am proud to say we have the most outstanding, passionate and committed coaching staff in the country. Our coaches love the game; they are as passionate coaching 6-13 year olds as Jesse is passionate about our first team.
When the New York Red Bulls say One Team. One Voice…we mean it. Whether you are the first team coach, an academy coach, RDS coach, or training programs coach, we all love what we do and every job is equally important to this organization.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
As a coach, I could influence less than a handful of teams. As a coaches coach, I can directly make an impact to thousands of players. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing our staff become better coaches and seeing our players develop; and fall in love with the game.
What advice do you have for women who want to break into the soccer industry?
Say yes to opportunity. Begin by volunteering, go to your local college soccer program or town youth soccer program and ask if you can assist…with anything… practices, scheduling, game day management, dragging water coolers out… anything!
If someone asks you to volunteer your time in the soccer industry, say yes. If someone asks you to coach, say yes and put all your energy into it. All these moments enable you to meet people, to establish contacts, and help you figure out what you want to do. There will be an element of stress… being head coach for the first time, being the lead presenter to a group of people - but say yes… just do it. All of these smaller interactions will help lead you to the job you want.