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National Staff

Paul Payne


Head Men's Coach, Bloomsburg University (Pa.)

NSCAA Academy Staff coach for 20+ years

Follow Paul on Twitter: @bugoal


How did you first get involved with the NSCAA?

I was a high school coach looking for some new ideas and there was a NSCAA course at Binghamton University. Since it was only a short trip away, I went and had the time of my life (good song title).

Tell us about your favorite (or pivotal) NSCAA memory.

I had no idea who Schellas Hyndman was at the time and he did a session in my National Diploma and was blown away by his presence. I realized then how important that is in coaching and teaching.

What is your favorite NSCAA course to teach and why? 

The Advanced National course. I just think it presents a great overview of what is important in coaching. I know some of our own staff use the curriculum as a preseason training guide. It discusses all units on the field with simple tactical points that players need to know.

What was your favorite NSCAA course to take and why?

The NSCAA Premier course:  I was in the first course and the chance to listen and learn from Jeff Tipping, Anson Dorrance Chris Petricelli, Schellas and Barry Gorman was special. 

What is your favorite part about working as an NSCAA Academy Staff coach?

Interacting with the coaches attending as well as learning from them as well as learning from our own NSCAA staff coaches. I’m always amazed at some of the professions these coaches have in their daily life because they are not full-time coaches. To see a federal district judge get ready to do a field session and knowing what he does, but at that moment, he’s a coach.

What does the NSCAA mean to you?

It’s family. I was fortunate to serve on the Board of Directors and also served as the 63rd President of the NSCAA. So many of those people that I worked with and especially my fellow staff coaches are some of my closest friends. We may not see each other a lot in person but when we do it makes you realize the bond we have because of the NSCAA and soccer.

Why is it important for a coach to advance their education?

Whether it’s formal coaching education in courses or other exploring other education resources, a coach has a responsibility to their players and the game to always learn. It’s giving back to the game so that the game continues to grow.

Why is it important for a coach to get involved with the NSCAA?

It’s a professional organization made up and supported by coaches. There are so many ways one can get involved in what the NSCAA does and without involvement by the soccer community we cannot continue to grow as an organization but more important the game doesn’t grow.

In your opinion, what are 3-5 key characteristics of a “good coach?”

  • Common Sense
  • Honesty w/ yourself and the players
  • Passion
  • Park the ego-it’s about the players and the game

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger coach self?

Sit down and shut up!