MEL CRAIG

G05 C

Mel grew up in Edmonds Washington. and played for Shoreline Community College. He has played in the first division of the State League for 30 plus years. Mel became a coach when he was twenty-two years old because he had a two-year muscle/tendon injury. While he was injured, he was asked to coach a U-12 boys team who had just lost their coach after winning a State Championship.

He attended his National C-License under head coach Bob Gansler who at the time was the US Men’s National Team coach. He completed the course but did not run the practical session due to heat exhaustion.  He currently has a National D-License.  Mel has coached with some highly acclaimed coaches: Jim Thomas for five years and Eugene Poublon for seven years. Eugene played in Holland for Ajax youth academy and Jim played in England before moving to the U.S. Jim is the current head coach at Boise State University.

Mel has coached for NWN for eighteen years. Mel coached his daughter’s team starting at GU-12. He coached them for three years and then passed them on to Jim Thomas. That team, Volante, ended up as State Champions and played at Regionals their last two seasons.  Sixteen of the seventeen players went on to play in college.

Teams that Mel has coached have won six State Championships and have been in the finals eight times. His teams have been to Regionals three times as a head coach and twice as an assistant coach. He also finished third in Regionals, with the ‘97 age group. His ‘97 team won the inaugural Northwest Champions League and that year also won the Copa Del Sol in Phoenix, Arizona. Four players that he has coached over the years have been called up to the National team. Most recently, Maddie Schultz (GU-17 National team), who is a freshman at North Carolina State University playing for Anson Dorrance.

Melis married to Sandi Craig, and two children, Simon and Courtney. Simon is a very intelligent young coach with NWN and Courtney is now the first doctor in the family. She is a child psychologist at Children’s Hospital in Dallas. Mel plays guitar and has several favorite soccer teams. He really enjoys watching Arsenal play with their passing ability and creative movement. He also enjoys watching Bayern Munich , Real Madrid, and Barcelona.