The Des Moines Menace welcomes back Neathan Gibson, who returns to the organization’s coaching staff today.
The South Africa native will be in a familiar role, assisting head coach Laurie Calloway with the Menace’s Premier Development League team and coaching in the Menace Youth Academy.
Calloway and Gibson worked together in 2002. It was a benchmark year for the organization, highlighted by the start of the Menace Academy and a regular-season championship by the PDL team.
“I’m really excited,” Gibson said. “I’m even more excited the second time around. It’s coming full circle. I feel honored the Menace invited me back for the opportunity to work with Laurie. There’s a lot of trust and loyalty between us.”
Gibson assisted Calloway as a player/coach, and tallied 11 goals and five assists for the undefeated Menace. It was the final season of a playing career that included stops with professional teams in Finland, Japan, Malaysia and Sweden.
In the year before joining the Menace, Gibson played for the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer before leading the Rochester Rhinos to the 2001 A-League championship.
Gibson and Calloway parted ways after the 2002 season, when Gibson accepted a head coaching job with the West Michigan Edge (PDL), and Calloway became head coach of the Syracuse Salty Dogs (USL-1).
After a year with the Edge, Gibson worked as the director of coaching and player development for the Grand Valley Soccer Club, based in Kentwood, Mich. With Gibson leading the way, the club experienced great growth.
“Neathan knows what it takes,” Calloway said. “He’s built a club from seven teams and 100 kids to 70 teams and 1,000 kids. He knows the youth side, and he brings a tremendous amount of experience back to the Menace on the PDL side. It’s a win-win situation all around.”
Gibson comes to the Menace from Ferris State University (Big Rapids, Mich.). He directed the women’s team for four seasons, starting as the interim head coach in 2006, and being appointed as head coach in January 2007.
A graduate of Lynn University (Fla.), Gibson has earned United States Soccer Federation (USSF) “A” and “B” coaching licenses. He and his wife, Denise, are planning a move to West Des Moines, with their sons, Jack (9) and Nash (6).
“It is great to welcome back Neathan and his family,” said Menace general manager Todd Meiners. “Neathan brings with him a vast knowledge of the youth and professional sides of the sport. As we continue to grow our club, Neathan will be tremendous resource in guiding our vision for the future.”
Bold = home match played at 7:30 p.m. at Valley Stadium
** = exhibition match
# = U.S. Open Cup qualifying match
Saturday, May 8 vs. Drake University Bulldogs **
Wednesday, May 12 at Springfield Demize#
Saturday, May 15 vs. Rochester Thunder #
Saturday, May 19 at Kansas City Brass #
Saturday, May 22 vs. St. Louis Lions #
Saturday, May 29 vs. Kansas City Brass
Friday, June 4 at Real Colorado Foxes
Saturday, June 5 at Real Colorado Foxes
Saturday, June 12 vs. Real Colorado Foxes
Sunday, June 13 at St. Louis Lions
Friday, June 18 at Thunder Bay Chill
Saturday, June 19 at Thunder Bay Chill
Thursday, June 24 at Rochester Thunder
Saturday, June 26 vs. Springfield Demize
Saturday, July 3 vs. Thunder Bay Chill
Saturday, July 10 vs. St. Paul Twin Stars **
Saturday, July 17 vs. Kansas City Brass
Saturday, July 24 vs. St. Louis Lions