Meet Our Comp Coaches
Our 35-50 competitive coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, and trainers are all licensed and, like our recreation coaches, undergo the Live Scan process. Each team official has an “E” level license. All coaches are approved by the Mid County Board prior to assuming their respective coaching position for their team. We have teams from U9-U19 of both genders.
Colleen Niklaus - Surf 05G, U9: Colleen brings an impressive resume to this year's U9 Girl's team. She played on the women's team at UC Davis and has a extensive background coaching both soccer and lacrosse at the high school and competitive level. In fact, one of her girl's lacrosse teams was a top-ranked team in California. Her high-energy and intensity is contagious and she has a solid history of bringing out the best in her players. Colleen was the asst coach last year for the Surf 02B U11 team and will bring a ton of excitement to this year's U9G team. Her coaching philosophy is "to help each child become a better soccer player, via positive coaching strategies and philosophies, all the while having fun, working hard and developing increasingly evolved team skills."
Tomas Garley - Surf 03G, U11: Tomas is part of the new breed of Mid-County Comp Coaches and brings a love and passion for soccer to this age group. Tomas has been an assistant coach and team manager the last few years for the Aptos Tide comp team, and we are excited to have him as part of the Surf organization.
Jon Baron - Surf 02G, U12: Jon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the U12 Girl's team. He is a long-time coach and player in Santa Cruz County and played for Santa Cruz High in their glory years. Aside from his Surf coaching efforts, Jon is also the Head Coach for the Soquel High Boy's Varsity Team. His teams are always technically and tactfully air tight and bring and intensity to the field that makes his teams always difficult to beat.
Kelly Binger - Surf 01G, U13: Kelly is a busy and dedicated coach leading two Mid-County Surf Girl's teams, U13 and U17. Both teams are highly competitive. Kelly has nurtured a family atmosphere on both teams and likes taking them to the same soccer tournament when he can. Kelly's upbeat and positive attitude is infectious throughout his players, and his teams are always well organized and tactfully sound.
Russell Hilton - Surf 00G, U14: Russ has been a long time Mid-County soccer coach. With three children involved in soccer, he has coached each of them in a competitive setting. Any longtime observer of Russ’ teams will see that he connects with all his players as he builds the competitive environment. Russ has a strong knowledge of the game, and his teams are always well prepared for competition.
Mike Fong - Surf 99G, U15: Mike has coached soccer since the mid 1980’s, both recreation and competitive teams. In the late 1980s he was the assistant and technical coach for one of the first girl’s comp teams in SC County. Mike coached a boys comp team from the U12 to the U19 level medaling in many tournaments. His current girl's team has been together since they were a U9 team. Five players from the original team continue to play for Surf 99G, and they have medaled in numerous tournaments over the years. In fact, Mike's Surf 99G team has been in the District Cup Finals in each of the past four years, winning back-to-back championships in 2010-12. Mike is also the Girls Varsity Soccer Coach at Soquel High School. “I enjoy teaching the kids technique, strategy, and fair play, coupled with a sense of humor and hard work. I try to provide an environment to develop camaraderie, joy, a sense of family, and deep long-lasting friendships. This philosophy extends to my parents as well.”
Kelly Binger/Tim Martin - Surf 97G, U17: Kelly Binger (see above) and Tim Martin have merged teams this year to create what should be a dynamic and fiercely competitive Surf U17G team. Tim brings a philosophy of inclusive attacking and defensive soccer coupled with intense work on technique and strategy. He coaches an integrative style of play while building camaraderie on and off the field. Tim blends a unique quality of positive coaching with an intensity that quietly demands the best of his players. Ask anyone who has played for him, and they all say the same, "We love playing for Tim."
Troy DePuydt - Surf 05B Blue, U9: Troy returns to this team to lead a nucleus of players who are returning to the U9 age group. Last year's squad was very competitive in league play, and despite half the roster consisting of younger players, Troy and his assistant coaches Mark Battey and Brian McGinley helped lead this team to a Fall District Cup Championship! Troy played both high school and college soccer in the Seattle area. He has coached for the past 10 years. Troy was a youth soccer coach for 6 years and a high school coach for another four years. Troy's team was technically strong and never stopped progressing throughout the season.
Brian McGinley - Surf 04B, U10: Brian is part of the new breed of Mid-County coaches...the brat pack of Surf soccer if you will. Brian took over coaching the defense of last year's U9 Boys team, and almost immediately, results began to shine through. Brian was hand-picked by Troy and Mark to lead this group as the roster split to form the two current U9 and U10 Boy's teams. He will bring a solid and exciting brand of soccer to this year's U10B team. His passion for soccer can be found in his comment, " I love coaching kids. It is incredibly rewarding to see them grow and improve in their ability and love for the game."
Sean Clark - Surf 03B Blue, U11: Sean returns to this group after a competitive first season playing up in the Bronze Division. Sean brings an extraordinary resume to the U11 Boys team. He played for the San Diego Sockers' Reserve team, a professional indoor soccer team and was a 2-year starter on the Palomar College soccer team. He is currently the Head Coach for the Harbor High JV boys team after holding a similar position at Francis Parker High School in San Diego. His coaching philosophy is to develop top-quality soccer players while promoting the game of soccer by making it a positive yet challenging experience for all involved. Sean's teams are technically and tactfully sound, and he incorporates the "Coerver" coaching philosophy, along with a possession-base style of play.
Jeremy Nama - Surf 03B White, U11: After serving as last year's U10B assistant coach, Jeremy takes over this new U11 team. Jeremy's inclusive style of coaching should be a good fit for this young team as all players are sure to see valuable playing time at the Comp level. Jeremy has a good repoire with his players always motivating his players to get the best out of them while at the same time, always making soccer fun.
Jack Cunniff - Surf 02B, U12: Jack is another member of the Surf brat pack and is our youngest coach to date. Currently, Jack attends UCSC and just finished his first season as the Harbor High Varsity Boys Assistant Coach, helping lead the team to a first-round CCS playoff appearance. Jack brings a strong foundation of knowledge and passion of soccer to the U12 Boy's team. His players find him easy to get along with and appreciate how he is able to relate to them. His coaching philosophy, "is to entertain. I like to run a possession-based offense and high-pressured defense to create multiple and quality goal scoring opportunities." Jack played two seasons varsity soccer at Harbor High.
David Carrillo - Surf 01B, U13: David took over the reins of the Surf 01 Boys team last year after serving as the assistant coach the following year. It was a slow transition at first, but once David was able to incorporate his style of play and the team began to inherit his flair and energy, the team evolved into a high quality squad, posting positive results in both league and tournament play. David has been coaching at the recreation and competitive level for the past 12 years. His coaching philosophy is to build a strong structural and fundamental team by teaching them the game and, at the same time, having fun.
Jon Baron/Elfin Saffer - Surf 99B, U14: Jon (see above) will team up with Elfin this season to lead a very competitive U14 squad. Elfin took over the team last year and almost immediately began to see results. His coaching experience expands several age groups from U9 to high school level. When not coaching Surf soccer, Elfin is the Head Coach for Soquel High Boys JV team. Elfin is an inclusive coach who bonds to his players and integrates each into the playing scheme of the team. His players know they are all important members of the team. Elfin's teams are always technically strong and tactfully efficient and always tough to beat.
Efrain Espinosa - Surf 95B, U19: Efrain took over the head coaching responsibilities last season after several years as the assistant. Efrain will lead this year's team as the highest represented Surf team competing in the highly distinguished Gold Elite Division this Spring. Efrain demonstrates a masterful ability to develop top-caliber players. Many of his current and former players are compete on the Soquel and Harbor High Boy's Varsity teams. His players enjoy his easy-going and instructive demeanor.