Meet our Academy Coaches

Shaun McBrien

Shaun is the Director of Coaching for NGS and is an accomplished coach holding a number of high level coaching licenses, including NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and UEFA B License. Shaun graduated from the University of Ulster in his native Northern Ireland with a BSc Sports Coaching and Development Degree after playing soccer at various levels including club, high school and college. Before moving to the USA in 2009 Shaun worked for the Irish Football Association coaching in schools, communities and at club level. Prior to joining Newton Girls Soccer, Shaun was the Academy Director and South East Regional Director at PTUSA, a professional soccer coaching organization on the South Shore, MA and was head coach of several girls and boys teams within this club. Shaun was awarded the MA Futsal Girls’ Coach of the Year 2015.

Taylor Beckingham

Taylor has a strong love for the game of soccer and has been involved in the sport from an early age. Taylor graduated from University of Richmond in International Studies, during which time he lived in both Spain and Argentina, where he played for his University Club. Taylor has coached both Academy and Development Academy teams. He also thoroughly enjoys his role as a pro trainer in other areas within NGS. Coach Taylor utilizes a creative coaching style, he believes that if his players enjoy their training sessions, they will inevitably markedly improve their game and their confidence. Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts and he has dual citizenship in the US and in the UK. Taylor is presently working towards gaining his “D” license.

Floyd Butler

Floyd was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. in English and a MA in Education from The Pennsylvania State University before becoming a head coach for Futbol Club Pittsburgh and Penn United, a nonprofit community soccer organization. Floyd moved to Boston and began coaching with NGS in 2014. Since joining the NGS family, Floyd has coached or assisted with Academy, Development Academy, and Travel teams across a variety of age groups. Floyd is also the Newton South Boys Varsity Head Coach. He has National Coaching Licenses and is working towards obtaining more. Floyd is also an English teacher at Oak Hill Middle School. His playing experience and educational background are clearly illustrated in his coaching philosophy and style, which focuses predominantly on development and love for the game.

Theresa Fuller

Theresa grew up playing high level club soccer in Rhode Island from an early age. She also played soccer at Brandeis University and represented the college in Rugby. Since graduating college in 2013, she has been a camp counselor, a volunteer for Needham’s YMCA soccer program, a volunteer for Girl Scouts, and continues to play soccer through multiple teams in BSSC’s intramural leagues. She worked for many years as an Emergency Room Technician and in Health Services Research, and is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering at Northeastern University.

Alex Gerson

Alex is one of the Physical Education teachers at Oak Hill Middle School. In addition, he has previously coached with NEFC, the New York Red Bulls Academy and MLS Camps. Alex holds a USSF ‘D’ License and NSCAA Youth Level VI License. Alex has coached with NGS for the past 6 years with our Academy teams, our winter skills development program and as a Pro and Goalkeeper Trainer. Alex holds a Professional Massachusetts P.E. K-8 License and has a Master’s degree in Kinesiology. Alex was recently awarded MA Futsal Girls’ Coach of the Year in 2017.

Alyssa Hansen

Alyssa is a 5th and 6th grade Spanish teacher at the Fessenden School where she coaches Varsity B soccer in the fall, 6th grade soccer teams, cross-country skiing in the winter, and mountain biking in the spring. Alyssa went to Newton North High School, where she played on the Varsity soccer team for four years and was the captain of the team her senior year. She received her BA in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont, where she played club lacrosse and intramural soccer. Alyssa has also worked at the Fessenden soccer camp for many years. In her free time, Alyssa likes to run, bike, hike, ski, read, and play soccer.

Owen Pennant Jones

Owen is the Newton South Girls Varsity Assistant Coach (since 2000) and has been a professional trainer for years for numerous NGS teams, most recently with the 801 team. Owen has had great success. His 2016 1401 team were the BAYS champion and the MTOC (Massachusetts Tournament of Champions) runner up. He also coached with Caleb’s U14 team which won the MTOC in 2011.

Sarah Lavalle

Sarah, the Academy’s newest coach, grew up playing Newton Girls Soccer as well as varsity soccer at Newton North. She attended Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire where she played on the soccer team for four years. Since graduating, she has coached for teams at the club and youth level, as well as worked as an assistant at Newbury College. Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Sport Leadership from Northeastern University and her USSF E Coaching License. She currently works in Special Education at a local independent school.

Caleb Thomson

Caleb is the Enrollment Manager & Director of Admission at The Fessenden School. He is a graduate of Fessenden and has been living and working at the day and junior boarding school for the past 32 years. Caleb played High School soccer at Suffield Academy where he was selected to the All-State team and then went on to play collegiate soccer at Ohio Wesleyan University where he was named to the All-Ohio team in his senior year. He has been coaching the boys varsity soccer team at Fessenden for the past 25 years and is also the Director of the Fessenden School Co-Ed Soccer Camp. Caleb was the Head Coach for his older daughter’s Newton Girls Soccer U14 team which won their BAYS Division and the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC) in 2011 while coaching with Owen Pennant-Jones.

Tim Dodds

Tim Dodds was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Suffield, Connecticut. He earned a B.S. in Philosophy and Psychology from The University of Scranton and an MA in Entrepreneurial Management from Babson College. Tim loves the game of soccer and spent his youth playing for Suffield Soccer Club, West Hartford Premier, FSA Football Club, and Northwest Catholic High School, where he earned All-Conference Honors. After college, Tim worked in Washington D.C. and spent two years coaching Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School’s Varsity Boys Soccer team. After moving to Massachusetts in 2020, Tim became Assistant Coach for the Newton South High School Boys Varsity team. He is currently working on obtaining his United States Soccer ‘D’ Coaching License. Tim enjoys playing and coaching an attacking and energetic style of play that encourages players to take creative risks on the pitch.

Haris Kuljancic

Haris Kuljancic was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and grew up playing competitive soccer in Hartford, Connecticut. At Connecticut College, Haris played four years of club soccer, serving as the club president and growing the program for three years. Haris is excited to obtain additional coaching experience and soccer licenses. He currently holds a USSF ‘Grassroots’ Referee license and has officiated both adult and youth leagues in Boston since 2016. Currently, Haris is the Executive Director of Horizons at Dedham Country Day School, an academic enrichment after school and summer program for Boston and Dedham youth. Haris enjoys working with youth of all ages both in the classroom and on the soccer pitch. 

Nicole Brill

Nicki is an 8th grade Math teacher at the Fessenden School where she is the Assistant Coach of the Varsity soccer team in the fall, 7th grade basketball coach in the winter, and tennis coach in the spring. Nicki played Varsity soccer all four years in high school in Westport, CT at Staples High School. She went on to be a four-year starter at Bates College and was Captain her senior year. Nicki received her BA in Environmental Studies and Teacher Education at Bates. She also received her Masters in Education Management from King’s College London where she also played soccer and was MVP of the team in 2018. 

Kaleigh White

Kaleigh is a Kindergarten teacher at the Fessenden School and coaches the JV soccer team in the fall. She grew up playing soccer on the North Shore since the age of 3 and has coached youth teams in her hometown. She went on to play soccer at St. Lawrence University where she captained the team her senior year and was awarded NSCAA all-region honors. Kaleigh received her BS in Psychology and is soon completing her MS in Early Childhood Education at Boston College. She loves to run, ski, bike, hike, and bake in her free time!