The Otters have made the addition of Tom LaGuardia to their coaching staff for the 2018 PDL season. The Kingsport native will serve as the team’s goalkeeper coach and bring a diverse coaching background with him.
As a player, LaGuardia played at Dobyns-Bennett High School before going on to play at Clemson University in South Carolina. He then transferred to St. John’s University and was a part of the 1993 Big East Championship team.
At the conclusion of his playing career, LaGuardia began his coaching career. First, he served as the goalkeeper coach at ETSU for the women’s soccer team. The following year he served as the head coach for the Kingsport Pride boy’s team, leading them to a Tennessee D2 State Championship. He also was a coach for the boy’s 1987 age group for the East Tennessee Soccer Federation.
In 2002, LaGuardia became the head coach at Sullivan South High School, which he held for three years. During his tenure, he helped lead the boys team to their first ever Region 1 AAA title. He also gained high school coaching experience, where he helped the boy’s team at North Buncombe High School in Weaverville, NC. His three years there were the most successful span in school history, including the most wins in a single season.
LaGuardia also has experience on the academy side. He served for four years with the Clemson Soccer Academy. He also was the TSP Academy Director from 2002-2005 and again from 2015-2016.
On the opportunity, LaGuardia said, “I’m excited to have an opportunity to return to my roots in East Tennessee and work alongside a tremendous staff and collection of players at Tri-Cities FC. I look forward to the challenges ahead and to fill my role of assisting the Otters as we take our next step as a club.”
The Otters will begin practicing in early May before they start their regular season schedule on May 19th in Statesboro, Georgia against Tormenta FC. The Otters will return home on June 8th to face Mississippi Brilla at Kermit-Tipton Stadium. Follow us on social media for more exciting announcements as we move closer to the start of the season! #FearTheFur