Felix McBride was named the fourth head coach in Marygrove women’s soccer history on April 20, taking over a program that boasts one national championship (2009, USCAA) and one berth to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) playoffs.
McBride, 33, is a familiar face at the four-year, private school in northwest Detroit after serving as the lead assistant coach for the highly-successful men’s soccer team at Marygrove over the past six years. Serving as the men’s soccer assistant coach since the program’s inception in 2009, McBride will transition to the office next door as he attempts to lead the women’s soccer program back to its early success in his first head coaching stint at the collegiate level.
“Elevating McBride to women’s soccer head coach was a no-brainer for us at Marygrove,” said Bloomfield of the recent hire. “McBride is extremely familiar with our athletic department, our admissions standards and scholarship structure, which will ultimately allow for a smooth transition. McBride has been an invaluable piece to the puzzle on the men’s side and is one of the reasons why Matt Johnson’s program has grown into an annual contender. While he was on our men’s staff, McBride has maintained a steady presence in the women’s club scene by manning the post for nearby organizations.”
At the club level, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) C License holder has coached three different teams for Plymouth Soccer since September 2008. During his time with the Plymouth Soccer Club, McBride coached the U17 boys as well as the U14 and U17 girls. The well-rounded coach has also led the ODP 99 boys since 2011 for Michigan Youth Soccer.
The young coach will look to mold the time on the Mustang men’s soccer sideline with his playing experience in the WHAC and at the professional level as he begins to rebuild the women’s program at Marygrove. Collegiately, McBride played at Schoolcraft before starring at Madonna – becoming only the second from the nearby school to play professional soccer at the time. While at Madonna, McBride was a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-Region and All-American honoree in 2003 and 2004. The native of Monrovia, Liberia was also named WHAC Player of the Year in 2003 and was a two-time All-Conference first team selection.
Professionally, McBride played for four different organizations from 2005-2011, most recently for the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL).
“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the women’s soccer program at Marygrove,” said McBride. “The goal is the same (as on the men’s side), build a program that everyone can be proud of both academically and athletically. We are going to get out and recruit immediately and attempt to build a winner from day one. We will look to the club scene without question, but our first priority is to hit high school games and recruit hard-working young ladies who want to achieve lofty goals on-and-off the field. I look forward to the challenge of bringing Marygrove women’s soccer to a place that alums, parents, fans and current student-athletes can all be proud of.”
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Lee Stradley is back for his second year as assistant coach for the Marygrove women’s soccer program in 2015. In his brief time at Marygrove, Stradley has been a lead recruiter for the Mustangs as he, head coach Worteh Sampson and assistant coach Yao Kra look to return the Green and Gold back to its 2009 National Championship form. Prior to Marygrove, Stradley helped develop several top players in the region through his coaching and specialized training sessions.
A well-versed coach, Stradley’s career roaming the sidelines began in 1998 as an assistant coach for Riverview Gabriel Richard High School’s varsity squad. From there, Stradley helped guide Gabriel Richard to a district championship and regional semifinalist spot in 1999. In 2000, Detroit Waza brought on Livinidi as one of the team’s training specialists.
Before coaching, Stradley put together a tremendous résumé as a player for over 20 years. After playing for numerous youth top clubs and organizations, Stradley’s scholastic career was capped off with great success at Gabriel Richard where he was a four-year starter, two-year captain and the team’s leading goal scorer with 39 goals. For his efforts, Stradley was tabbed as a member of the All-State “Dream Team” and an All-American nominee in 1991.
The successful high school days led Stradley to Schoolcraft College for two years where he led the Ocelots in total points as a captain in 1993.
Stradley’s stellar high school and college résumé vaulted the talented player to an 11-year career in professional and international play. His professional career began in 1993 in San Marino, Italy and continued in 1996 with a brief stint playing for Bint Jebail of Canada’s Division I. From 2007-2014, Stradley continued his career by playing for the Border Stars of the CSL before a pair of extended stays with Detroit Waza of the PASL. In 2012, Stradley made a cameo with the Ohio Vortex, also a member of the PASL.
Outside of Marygrove and his other coaching duties, Stradley remains engaged with the “beautiful game” as a trainer for advanced classes in goal scoring and finishing as well as shooting and shot techniques. The long-time player and coach is also a trainer for individual, small group and group development.
Uniquely, Stradley also spent time as a world-class athlete competing with the San Marino Olympic Bobsledding Team for Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.