January 5, the New England Revolution named Jay Miller as Jay Heaps’ assistant coach. New England also hired former Revolution defender Nick Downing as their first-ever strength and conditioning coach and Scott Emmens as equipment manager. The Revolution are still scouting for a second assistant coach.
For 30 years, Miller has worked coach and talent evaluator with U.S. Soccer’s youth national team programs and at the University of Tampa and University of South Florida.
“I wanted to bring a highly experienced, tactically-minded coach, and in Jay, he’s a coach who’s coached at – and succeeded at – every level of the game with a wide range of players,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “I believe he’ll provide a solid foundation for our team, both on the practice field and in games.”
Miller was the head coach for the U.S. Under-18 squad in 1981 and 1986; the head coach for the 1985 World University Games squad and assistant coach for the 1987 team; and assistant coach for the U.S. Under-23s in 1987. In 1994, Miller moved to U.S. Soccer on a full-time capacity, serving as the head coach for the Under-17 National Team and assistant coach for the Under-20 squad. He held both positions through the end of the 1997 world championship cycles for both teams, before moving to the U.S. National Team where he served as a scout ahead of the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
In addition to coaching, Miller was active across several departments of U.S. Soccer, working as a National Coaching Coordinator until 2002; assisting with the FIFA Technical Reports for various international competitions (including the 1994 World Cup, 1996 Olympic Games and the Women’s World Cup); and serving as the Chairman of the National Coaching Committee and the assistant director of the federation’s soccer schools.
Miller moved away from full-time coaching in 1998, before returning in 2001 to the Atlanta Fire United Soccer Association in Atlanta, Ga., where he was the Executive Director of Coaches until 2010. In addition to his club responsibilities, Miller was the head coach of several age levels in the Region 3 Olympic Development Program beginning in 2005. In 2006, Miller co-founded the Red Bull National League, which was a national-level tournament for the country’s top Under-17 teams.
In 2008, Miller began working with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Soccer as a sports envoy for the game of soccer, traveling to Morocco (2008), Bolivia (2009) and most recently, Thailand (2010). Miller continues to serve as a national staff instructor for U.S. Soccer’s coaching schools.
Miller earned both his undergraduate degree in health and physical education (1970) and master’s of education (1978) from East Stroudsburg University.
Downing played two seasons with the Revolution after the Revs drafted him as a Project-40 player out of Maryland in 2001. He made 17 appearances between 2001 and 2002, before he spent the 2003 season on loan to the then-USL Portland Timbers. In 2004, he played his final professional season with the USL Charleston Battery.
He became certified as a personal trainer and began a new career in 2005 as a strength and conditioning coach, earning certifications as a certified personal trainer from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, plus additional certifications from USA Track & Field, Functional Movement Systems and Kettlebell Concepts.
He has worked in the metro Boston area since 2005 as a fitness professional, most recently at Pure Performance Training in Needham, Mass. His clients have included professional soccer, hockey and football players, collegiate athletes, marathoners and tri-athletes. Downing specializes in sport-specific training, including soccer-specific skill development.
“With his combination of high-level playing experience and his fitness expertise, he knows what soccer players go through physically and what they need to do to succeed on the field throughout the long season,” said Heaps.
Downing is a former member of the U.S. Soccer youth national team program, playing on both the U.S. Under-17 and Under-20 teams, serving as Miller’s captain at the 1997 FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Egypt.
Emmens comes to the Revolution with a background in equipment management and retail. He spent the 2010 season with the Chicago Red Stars, formerly of Women’s Professional Soccer, as the team’s equipment and practice facility manager before the team suspended operations at the conclusion of the season.
Following his stint with the Red Stars, Emmens re-located to Seattle, where he gained experience in the retail industry, most recently at Schmetzer’s Sporthaus, a chain of stores specializing in soccer-specific gear and merchandise.
Emmens, a Connecticut native, earned his undergraduate degree in sports management from Endicott College in 2009. During his college studies, Emmens worked as an on-site camp administrator with SoccerPlus Camps in Hartford, Conn., for both overnight and day camps, assisting with the sessions’ operations.
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