April 24, 2013, Charlottetown, PEI (ISN) – An exciting new coaching structure for UPEI soccer is underway as the 2013–14 season draws closer.
Award-winning UPEI soccer coach Lewis Page has been asked to lead both the men’s and women’s varsity soccer programs. UPEI is moving forward with Page’s dual coaching role as a pilot project.
Page has been head coach of the UPEI men’s soccer team since 2000, having won an AUS championship in 2002, and has taken teams to the CIS Nationals in 2002, 2005, and 2009. Page has been named AUS Coach of the Year on four occasions, as well as CIS Coach of the Year in 2002. He holds an “A” license coaching certification from the Canadian Soccer Association. Page has served for eleven years as a national team coach, winning a silver medal at the 2002 U19 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and a gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games.
In addition to his coaching duties, Page has been asked to develop the soccer programming for the new Panther Academy—”a high performance experience”—which will introduce programming and camps available for youth of all ages. The 2013 spring/summer offerings include youth spring training, active-start mini soccer, and summer soccer camps. Page will direct the groups while members of the UPEI men’s and women’s soccer teams will act as instructors.
“It’s great timing to pilot the Panther head coaching model, and Lewis is the right coach for the opportunity,” said Bill Schurman, director of UPEI Athletics and Recreation. “Lewis will be spending equal time with each program while helping to develop our Panther Academy as the soccer leader.”
“I’m excited about the opportunity to guide both programs on a full-time basis. We have great coaching staff to support both the men’s and the women’s teams and our goal is to do the ‘double’ and win national championships in both programs,” said Page. “I’m equally as excited about building the soccer development programs in the Panther Academy and helping to develop the next generation of Panther soccer players.”
Page will have two lead assistant coaches on his soccer coaching staff—Bruce Norton on the men’s side and Amy Connolly on the women’s side.
Norton is a former football, soccer, and curling Panther. In 1990 and again from 1994–99, Norton was head coach of the men’s soccer team and, in 1996, was named AUS Coach of the Year. In 1998, Norton led the men’s team to an AUS championship, and returned to UPEI in 2003 to assist Page. In 2011, Norton was named co-AUS Coach of the Year alongside Page. Norton has also coached at both the high school and junior high levels for over 30 years.
Connolly is a former UPEI Panther soccer all-star—winning UPEI Rookie of the Year and numerous UPEI Most Valuable Player awards. She also received three AUS first team all star awards, and one CIS first team all star award. Connolly was also named UPEI Athlete of the Year in 2005–06 for her outstanding soccer career where she finished her final season strong receiving the AUS Female Soccer Most Valuable Player award and the CIS Female Soccer Most Valuable Player award. In addition to her experience as a varsity athlete, Connolly has coached for the past six years—from 2007–09 she acted as Colonel Gray high school’s head coach, before moving on to Holland College where she became assistant coach for two years followed by head coach for two years.