Ian Barker, a veteran in the realm of soccer coaching education, has been selected as the Director of Coaching Education for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Barker’s appointment was announced today by NSCAA CEO and Executive Director Joe Cummings.
“Ian is the perfect choice to lead the NSCAA’s coaching education program to new heights,” said Cummings. “He brings to us extensive experience in coaching education at both the state and national level, which is complemented by his experience as a candidate and instructor in the NSCAA’s coaching education system. His unique background provides him with the kind of perspective required to assess where soccer coaching education currently stands. This will be a valuable asset as he charts a new course that will continue to grow the NSCAA’s influence in this critical area.”
Barker joins the NSCAA staff after serving as the men’s soccer coach at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., a position he assumed in 2003 after four years as an assistant coach for the squad. He also has collegiate coaching experience at the University of Wisconsin, where he was an assistant coach for the men’s team from 1989-97, helping the Badgers to four NCAA tournament appearances in a five-year span. The 1995 team won the Big 10 title and claimed the NCAA national championship.
Barker’s coaching education credentials are impressive. He has served as a staff instructor for US Soccer’s coaching education program since 1999, teaching both state and nationally hosted residential licenses. He has also instructed the National Youth License for US Youth Soccer. From 1997 through 2007, he also served as Director of Coaching and Player Development for the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA). Responsibilities included development and coordination of programs for 140 youth soccer clubs throughout the state, management of between 45 and 60 full- and part-time employees and working collaboratively with the MYSA’s board of directors. During his tenure he co-developed and advocated Parents and Coaches Together (PACT), a training program designed to create a more positive soccer experience for players, coaches and parents.
As the assistant head coach for US Youth Soccer’s Region II Boys Olympic Development Program, he has led teams on international tours in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Italy, Scotland and Switzerland.
In May of each of the last two years, Barker has been Technical Director for International Sports Connection, serving as part of a team funded by the U.S. State Department to assist in the creation of a youth soccer system in Uganda. Through this program he educated nearly 400 Ugandan male and female coaches.
Barker holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and literature from the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K., graduating with honors in 1987. He received his postgraduate certificate of education a year later.
Barker earned his first coaching badge while in college with the English FA’s Preliminary Award in 1986, before moving to the US in 1987. He earned his USSF A License in 1995. He holds the NSCAA’s Premier Diploma and was part of the inaugural class to receive the NSCAA Master Coach Diploma in 2006.