The San Francisco Elite Academy announced today the appointment of Tom Atencio as Director of Soccer Operations. Tom will contribute to the Academy’s overall strategy, implement a number of exciting new soccer programs, work closely with the Academy’s partners at US Club Soccer, NorCal Premier, and U.S. Soccer, as well as coach within the Academy.
Tom’s coaching experience spans over 25 years and includes 15 years as the Director of Coaching and Player Development for Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club & Crossfire United ECNL, in Oregon, as well as serving as a scout and camp coach for U.S. Soccer youth national teams. Tom has also worked extensively with elite players as a coach, director and scout with ECNL (Elite Club National League), U.S. Club’s ID2 Program, and both Men’s and Women’s ODPs (Olympic Development Programs) in various regions of the country. Tom was also a one-time assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton where he helped recruit a class that went on to make a Final Four appearance in 1993.
Kevin Payne, U.S. Club Soccer’s CEO, applauded Tom’s appointment. “US Club Soccer has the development and growth of its members clubs as its central goal, and with that in mind, we are delighted that Tom Atencio has joined San Francisco Elite Academy as its Director of Soccer Operations,” said Payne. “With Tom’s experience in the game, and his time as a Board member of U.S. Club Soccer, Tom is the right man for the job of developing a culture of inclusion, innovation, and excellence in the Club.”
Tom’s playing experience includes two years with the California Kickers and the Los Angles Heat of the American Professional Soccer League. He also played varsity soccer from 1984-1988 at Cal State Fullerton where in 1987 he was team captain and NCAA All Far West first team. In high school, Tom was an ODP player and an all CIF Selection player for Southern California.
Importantly, Tom’s soccer educational background is as extensive as his coaching experience. Tom has forged deep connections to La Liga, having had multiple trips to Spain where he was afforded the opportunity to closely observe professional staff and training environments, including FC Barcelona. He has also had observational tours and meetings in China and Japan as well as direct work with the Korean Football Association and top Moroccan Professional Teams. Tom is has been a U.S. Soccer Youth Instructor and holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” License. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton.
“At the Academy, we continually focus on helping our players reach the next level,” said Joe Dugan, President of the SF Elite Academy. “With Tom’s appointment we are helping our program reach that proverbial next level. From players to coaches to staff, we are delighted to have someone of Tom’s exceptional character and experience join our already impressive group. We look forward to working with him both on the field and in the office to help make the Academy a place every top player in San Francisco wants to be.”
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.