Staff Directory

Arsenal Coaches

Fernando De Barros

2007 Select Girls/2010 Academy Boys

Year with the club: First year with the Club

Coaching Experience: Two years (2010-2011) – Centro Italo Venezolano (Venezuela’s 1st Division Soccer Team) U15-U16, three years (2015-2018) as the women’s and men’s Shorter University Grad Assistant and Assistant Coach and five years (2014-2019) coaching with SSA North Georgia Soccer Club.

Coaching licenses: USSF National D License – United States Soccer Association 9v9 Diploma

Playing Experience: 4 Seasons – Centro Italo Venezolano (Venezuela 2nd Division Team). 1 Season – Deportivo Italia (Venezuela 1st Division Team). 2 Years – Radford University (NCAA D1 School). 2 Years – Shorter University (NCAA D2 School)

Coaching/Playing moment: Reaching the Conference final 2 years in a row with Shorter University

Fun Fact: Coach Fernando loves Skittles!

Gary Jones

2008 Academy Girls

Years with the Club: 13 years

Coaching Licenses/Education: Gary has taken coach certification courses and is a certified teacher.  

Fun Fact: He won Rome Celebrity Dance Challenge with a perfect score of three 10’s. This a local fundraiser that benefits the Sexual Assault Center.  Anything Gary does, he does with passion and gives it his all.  Gary loves to volunteer his time to help others.  

Gary resides in Rome with his wife Désirée and their children, Gary and Natalia who have been playing soccer at the YMCA since they were 3 and 4 years old.

“Gary brings his expertise, positive attitude and passion to the soccer field every practice and every game.  He believes in building well-rounded soccer players and a strong team by focusing on self-esteem, confidence, teamwork and character.  He loves to celebrate the successes, however small or large, of his players.  While he employs drills to aid the soccer players on his team with the acquisition of skills, he sees most value in scrimmaging to allow them to apply learned skills, to learn from mistakes, to understand their position(s) and to learn to work as a team.”  Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching, Arsenal Rome Soccer

Robert Silver

2008 Academy Boys

Years with the Club: 12 years

Previous Coaching Experiences: Coach silver has coached soccer, golf and baseball.

Coaching Licenses/Education: USSF Grassroots 7v7 and 9v9

Fun Fact: Robbie has played most sports but firmly believes that soccer is “the beautiful game”.

Robbie lives in Floyd County with his wife Trudy and three daughters: Madeline, Abigail and Mary.

Stephen Smith

Goalkeeper Trainer

Years with the Club: 3 years

Coaching Experience: Prior to his time with the club, Coach Smith was at the Darlington School as a community coach.

Playing Experience: Coach Smith played his high school soccer for Darlington before playing four seasons at Shorter University here in Rome. He was also a GK in our club for three seasons.

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Coaching his goalkeeper cousin and watching him win numerous awards and leading his team to two regional titles.

Fun Fact: He enjoys just about everything outdoors: hunting, fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, etc. He also loves playing music and has performed in several live shows locally.

Coach Smith resides locally with his wife Keri and daughter Slade.

"Coach Smith is a fantastic trainer who pushes his players in every session to be better. His sessions are intense but the players love them and notice the impact he has on them. It's very important to have this specialized training in our club and Coach Smith provides a great service for all those interested in the position. We are very lucky to have Stephen Smith in our club and our goalkeepers will echo that same sentiment."   - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Sidney Gowens

2005 Select Girls

Years with the Club: 5 years

Coaching Licenses: USSF E License.

Most Memorable coaching moment or accomplishment: You just never forget your first Select win!  To see the pure joy and happiness pour out of the girls knowing how hard they trained, worked and scarified to earn victory.  Then to be able to take the lessons of those moments and show them how to apply it in their lives to be successful human beings.  Trophies are fun but it’s those organic moments that really touch my heart.  The opportunity to have influence in young people’s lives is a blessing that I do not take for granted!

Fun Fact:  When he's not coaching soccer, working, or goat farming….. he enjoys playing golf and spending time on the lake.

Sidney lives in Northwest Georgia with his his daughter-SG (Sydney Grace) and wife Missy. 

Dave Eddins

2000/2001 Select Girls & 2002/2003 Select Girls

Years with the Club: 18 years

Coaching Experience: 2018 Georgia Soccer Coach of the Year. Coached various teams during his time with the club. Recently was named Georgia Soccer Athena Coach of the Year this past fall.

Coaching Licenses: USSF D and National Youth Licenses

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Having a three year undefeated run with his boys team during the mid 2000's and leading two girls programs to the Athena A division of Georgia Soccer.

Fun Fact: Both Dave and one of his daughters played soccer at Berry College here in Rome..

Coach Eddins resides locally with his wife and three daughters.

"Coach Eddins has been a staple for our club for almost two decades and our growth has a lot to do with the time and effort he has put in over the years. His commitment is second to none and his coaching skills are evident by the two Athena A teams he has built. He is extremely well respected by his peers and the soccer community and he has a positive impact on everything he gets involved with.Thank you Coach Eddins for all that you have done and continue to do to make our club so special."  - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Scott Akemon

2002/2003 Select Girls

Years with the Club:  7 years

Coaching Experience: Coach Akemon coached several teams throughout his tenure with Arsenal Rome and for the past six seasons he has managed our 02/03 Athena A girls team. In 2016, he coached our U19 girls squad through Athena and last spring helped lead the Model Girls Soccer team to a Region 7AA championship.

Coaching Licenses: US Soccer F License and an NHSA coaching license.

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Watching the 02/03 girls win the Georgia Soccer Academy Cup when they were U12's

Fun Fact: Scott has been very involved with the organizational side of the Middle School Jamboree that our club hosts each February.

"Coach Akemon is a key piece to the success of our select girls program and we appreciate his dedication to the club. Over the years he has worked tirelessly to promote girls soccer within the community and our teams are extremely successful because of his efforts. We thank you for all you have done and we're fortunate to have you on our team."  - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Paul Furey

2001/2002 Select Boys

Years with the Club: 1 year - previously was the Director of Coaching for soccer clubs in Ohio and Tennessee.

Coaching Experience: Coach Furey is entering his second season as the Head Men's Coach at Shorter University after successful stints at NCAA II Lee University and Mount Vernon Nazarene. He is closing in on 350 collegiate wins as a college Head Coach, quite an impressive accomplishment,

Playing Experience: Played collegiately for Trinity International University in Miami, FL.

Coaching Licenses: NSCAA National and Advanced National Diplomas, USSF licenses, as well as an International Diploma from a course in Cologne, Germany.

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Leading his Mount Vernon Nazarene team to the NAIA Final Four in 2008 while being recognized as the NCCAA Coach of the Year by the NSCAA.

"Coach Furey brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our club and he has been an excellent addition to our staff. He relates well to his players and is always pushing them to be their best. His honest approach and calm demeanor is a great balance that keeps his players focused on their goals. He is also a great asset as we make a push to better prepare our players for the college game. We are fortunate to have Coach Furey on our team and we're excited to watch his teams develop both at the club and at Shorter!"  - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Lucas Levesque

2007 Select Girls

Years with the Club: 2 years

Previous Coaching Experiences: 14 Years as Head Women's Soccer Coach at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Coaching Licenses/Education: NSCAA National and Advanced National Diplomas

Playing experience: Named 1st Team all-conference all three season while playing at Thomas College in Waterville, ME. Graduated as the third all-time leading goal scorer in school history with 43 goals.

Most Memorable coaching moment or accomplishment: Winning the 2013 USCAA National Championship in overtime against NCAA D2 Daemen College

Fun Fact: I spent 8 years as the Head Women's Basketball Coach at UMFK and made five NAIA National Tournament appearances. 

Lucas Lives in Rome with wife Amy and daughters Abby and Sophia.

Kevin Watkins

2007 Academy Boys

Years with the Club: 6 years

Coaching Experience: Currently coaching for the Alabama ODP program, is an assistant men's coach at NCAA III Berry College, was an assistant coach with the Stetson University Men's program, and was the Director of Coaching at a soccer club in Florida before moving permanently to GA.

Playing Experience: Played four seasons with NCAA I Stetson, played professionally in the PDL, and still holds the scoring record at Titusville HS in Florida with 72 goals and 69 assists.

Coaching Licenses: USSF C License and NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Having a player identified for the US National Pool and coaching a handful of players selected for ODP. Watching two of his Arsenal teams go from Classic IV to Classic II. Helping over 25 players through the years sign scholarships to play collegiately.

Fun Fact: Coach Watkins released several records and toured in a band before moving to Georgia. He has also played against several former USMNT players including Demarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Kyle Beckerman, and Eddie Johnson

Kevan currently resides in Rome with his wife, Melja, daughter Kallia, and son Kayden.

"Coach Watkins is a tremendous coach and a valued member of our staff. His experiences as a player and coach on all levels allow him to relate well to just about everyone he works with. He forces his players to always be thinking on the pitch which is crucial in their development and allows them to see the game differently. There is no doubt the impact Coach Watkins has had on our club and we are thankful to have him on board."   - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Andy Edwards

2009 Academy Boys

Years with the Club: 12 years

Coaching Experience: Coached various teams from U6 - U18, both academy and select level.

Coaching Licenses: USSF D License

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Watching my son score his first academy goal while representing the YMCA Arsenal Rome Soccer Club

Fun Fact: Attended the same high school as USMNT players Sean Johnson and Walker Zimmerman.

Coach Edwards resides locally with his wife Katie, daughter Avi Kate and son AG, who both play soccer in the club.

"Coach Edwards brings a love for the game and passion for the club that is hard to match. He is consistently finding new ways to better his players and incorporate new training techniques to help their growth. He is an outside of the box thinker that makes everyone around him better. Coach Edwards is a great piece to the club's puzzle and we are very fortunate to have him serving our players and community."  - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Dave Williams

2003 Select Boys & 2005 Select Boys

 Years with the Club: 10 years

Coaching Experience: 2019 Georgia Soccer Boys Coach of the Year. Over 10 years, both at the club and helping at neighboring schools.

Coaching Licenses: USSF D License

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Watching three players who trained with the club all sign NCAA Division I scholarships. One of which was his daughter Karley. Also, leading his 03 boys team to Classic 1 of GA Soccer.

Fun Fact: Coach Williams played Division II football at Gannon University in his younger days.

Coach Williams resides locally with his wife Celena, daughter Karley, and sons Brady and Gavyn.

"YMCA Arsenal Rome is very fortunate to have Coach Williams on staff. He is extremely dedicated to his players and consistently strives to make them better on and off the pitch. His teams continue to have great success which is a direct reflection of his commitment to the sport, his teams, and the club. Thank you Coach Williams for all your hard work and for sharing your knowledge with our youth."   - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Kyle Morgan

2006 Academy Girls

Years with the Club: 6 years

Coaching Experience: 12 years at the varsity high school level.

Coaching Licenses: USSF D License

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Coaching several players who have gone on to play collegiately, including at the NCAA I level.

Fun Fact: Coach Morgan attended the same HS as NBA Celebrity All-Star Game MVP Quavo. He is also the girls varsity basketball coach at Woodland High School

Coach Morgan resides with his wife Amy, daughter Libby, and son Mac.

“Coach Morgan brings a wealth of knowledge and coaching experience to our club. He is very well liked and respected by his players, parents, and peers. He is always looking for ways to improve as a coach and to pass that knowledge on to his players. We thank Coach Morgan for his hard work and dedication to the club.”  - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Richard Vardy

2003 Select Boys & 2005 Select Boys

Years with the Club: 10 years

Coaching Experience: Head Men's Coach at Berry College since 2002.

Coaching Licenses: USSF "A" and NSCAA Premier

Playing Experience: NCAA D2 All-American at Lenoir Rhyne from 1991-1995.

Most Memorable Soccer Moment: Winning the YMCA Wednesday Night Adult League at 40! 

Fun Fact: Cupcakes are his kryptonite

Richard currently resides in Rome with his wife, Kristen, daughter Olivia, and son Isaac.

"The club is fortunate to have Rich on board, not only for what he brings to the table from a soccer standpoint, but for who he is as a person. Rich exemplifies the YMCA and our club's mission and his easy going approach to coaching youth is a great example for our young coaches. He has helped develop some great players over the years and we're hoping he's just getting started with us. Thanks for all that you do Rich and for your commitment to the club!"   - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching

Scott McCreless

2004 Select Boys & 2004/2005 Select Girls

Years with the Club: 26 years

Coaching Experience: Coach McCreless has been with the club from the beginning and his guidance and leadership has grown it to where it is today. He has successfully trained just about every age group and gender our club offers. 

Coaching Licenses: USSF D and National Youth Licenses.

Playing Experience: Played 2 years at the collegiate level at Truett McConnell and 2 years as the Club Player/Coach at West Georgia University.

Most Memorable Coaching Moment: Watching his sons compete in tournament championships while representing the YMCA Arsenal Rome Soccer Club

Fun Fact: Coach McCreless is also the Executive Director of the Rome YMCA.

Scott currently resides in Rome with his wife, April, daughter Emma, and sons Jack and Josh.

Scott has been the heart and soul of the Arsenal Soccer Club since inception.  He has coached both girls and boys at every level and age group during his many years of service and always goes above and beyond on his dedication to the club and the players that are part of the Arsenal Family.  Thank you Scott for all you do! - Lucas Levesque, Director of Coaching