Director of Coaching Education & Vice Chair, Maryland Olympic Development Program
USSF "A" License
Soccer Background: Willie Ibarra brings a portfolio of decades of leadership, knowledge, skills and abilities focused on soccer and sports. This includes advocating, playing, coaching, and teaching soccer to today’s coaches and players. Willie has a medley of experience, not only as coach and player, but equally as an instructor, administrator and manager. Coach Ibarra’s resume is a book with broad-brush chapters outlining his soccer journey; recreation ball, premier travel club, professional organizations, national ranked junior college, and senior college levels. His playing experience spans four decades, he has been coaching for two decades, and his true love, coaching/teaching/instructing spans almost a decade. This experience and passion culminates in his current position as the Director of Player Development for MSYSA, and as the Director of Coaching Education of the coaching schools.
Commencing in early 2008, his instruction of soccer, started and continues with his routine attention to teaching coaches at the USSF educational course level via Maryland State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA). As a Coach, he places a heavy emphasis on a positive 3-fold process for all Maryland coaches: 1) get involved; 2) get training; and 3) acquire your coaching license now. As such, he is dedicated to, and has been developing coaching training coursework at grass-roots youth coaching level. A pinnacle outreach initiative, was initiated during his first MSYSA term as a staff instructor and continues today. He recognized the need to teach coaching courses in Spanish, knowing this was an untapped resource, in the Latino Communities of Prince Georges County, where teaching the courses in Spanish continues today. In a previous chapter in Willie Ibarra’s life, he was a professor and educator of Maryland Public Schools for years, where he discovered his passion for soccer instruction. Ibarra also had success as the Academy Director of the Darryl Gee Soccer Academy in Montgomery County, managing & overseeing over 100 soccer programs. Coach Willie Ibarra successfully coached, developed & trained hundreds of players starting from U3’s up to U23’s. His coaching has been at many levels: at the Maryland ODP level, highlighted in summer 2000, where coached the Maryland ODP U23’s boys to include the some of the best collegiate players of UMBC, Maryland, American, & Georgetown; at the High School school level (Gwynn Park, Mt. Hebron and River Hill); and, at all club levels (Upper Marlboro Boys & Girls Club and Soccer Association of Columbia) & junior collegiate (Prince Georges College) level.
A major highlight of these accomplishments occurred in 2009 when, as the Coach of the Prince Georges Community College’s (PGCC) Owls, he led them to the Maryland JUCO Conference Championship and the highly coveted regular season Region XX Championship (covering Maryland, District of Columbia, Northern VA, DE, and Western PA). Additionally, he helped led them to become end of season tournament champions, and while ranked in top 10 in country all year, finished in the NJCAA national final 8 tournament resulting in being ranked 5th in nation. On that team were 3 NJCAA All-Americans, 2 NSCAA All-Americans, 2 Distinguish academic All-Americans, 4 All-Conference players, 8 All-region players, and an overall 3.2 team GPA for the 24 rostered team (8 players received student-athletic scholarships that year). What a great accomplishment! Coach Ibarra remained on as PGCC head coach for two more seasons before returning to coaching Youth Soccer at the Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC). In 2014, the legendary sports writer of the Washington Post newspaper, Steven Goff, interviewed & published an article on five (5) Youth Coaches of the DMV. This article highlighted coaches who were positively influenced by previous World Cup tournament stars such as Pele, Cubillas, Bechenbauer or Maradona and who are currently positively influencing the world of Youth Soccer today. Ibarra was one of five (5) local coaches who was interviewed for the Post article.
Achievements & Contributions:
Collegiate Soccer career includes 2 years at national NJCAA powerhouse PGCC & 2 more years at NCAA senior college level at Salisbury University (class of ‘90). Earned college degrees from Salisbury University & University of Maryland (Class of ‘96). In 1998, started coaching at Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC). In 2003, Ibarra was voted as Travel Coach of the Year by SAC. In 2005, he was awarded Coach of the Year by Maryland State Youth Soccer Association. Today, he contributes educational articles to a national publication called the NSCAA Soccer Journal & has interviewed the best soccer minds in the business to include Louise Waxler, Len Oliver, John Ellinger, Roy Dunshee & Pete Caringi. He holds an A-License with the US Soccer Federation, is certified with a National Youth Coaching License & is certified with TOPS, which trains & develops players with disabilities. Ibarra is also member of the MSYSA Adjudication Committee that oversees & addresses complaints and/or infractions issued by referees, parents or youth coaches.
One of his Favorite Quotes: “If you really want something, you can have it if you are willing to pay the price. And the price means that you have to work better and harder than the next guy.” By Vince Lombardi