Cliff McElroy: Owner
Cliff McElroy is the President of Datec Inc, a systems integrator and value added reseller located in the Pacific Northwest. Datec provides data center solutions, LAN, WAN and VPN, application optimization, global availability, data center power, backup recovery, IT Cost Visibility, storage, security, compliance and wireless applications.
Cliff is originally from Kentucky where he attended the University of Kentucky and is an avid college basketball fan, enjoying pick-up games in the local area when he’s not attending his daughters soccer games. Datec is a suite season ticket holder for the MLS Seattle Sounders.
Lane Smith: Owner & CEO
Lane Smith is a Tacoma native employed as a sales executive with the Hewlett Packard company as well as a local real estate investor. Lane has been the lease holder of the Tacoma Soccer Center for the past six years and recently transitioned the soccer operations to a non-profit entity. Lane sees a great opportunity for collaboration of the youth and adult players at the Tacoma Soccer Center and the Sounders Women and Sounders U-23. Lane is a life long recreational soccer player and a executive board member of the Boys & Girls clubs.
Darren Sawatzky: General Manager & Head Coach
Certification: USSF “A”, BS in Organizational Communications
Coaching History: Tualitan Hills SC (1991) , FC Portland (1992-1995, 2001), FC Seattle (1990-1992), University of Portland Soccer Camps (1991-1995), New England Revolution Camps (1996-1997), Dallas Burn Camps (1998), Colorado Rapids Camps (1999), Seattle Sounders Camps (2000), Highline Heat Technical Director (2000), Portland Timbers Soccer Camps (2001), Central Catholic High School (2001), Thomas Jefferson High School (2002-2006, 4A state champions, 4A Coach of the Year), Highline Premier Football Club Director of Coaching (2002-2008), University of Washington Assistant Coach (2003-2006), Seattle Sounders Head Assistant Coach (2006-2008, USL Champions 2007), Washington Youth Soccer ODP Director (2008-present), Sounders FC Director of Youth Development (2008-present)
Coach’s Playing History: University of Portland (1991-1995), Cascade Surge (USL, 1995-NW Rookie of the Year), UNAM Pumas/Leon training camps (Mexico, 1995), Member US Olympic Team Pool (1995-1996), New England Revolution (MLS, 1996-1997), Leicester City Training Camp (EPL, 1996), Dallas Burn (MLS, 1998), Hershey Wildcats/Charleston Battery (USL, 1998), Colorado Rapids (MLS, 1999), Suwon Samsung Training Camp (Korea-2000), Seattle Sounders (USL, 2000), Portland Timbers/Kansas City Comets (USL/MISL 2001), Seattle Sounders (USL, 2002-2004)
Jon Billings: Executive Director
Jon is a graduate of Gonzaga University. While at GU, he played soccer and basketball. Following school and a short stint in professional basketball in Europe, Billings began a career in sports broadcast and administration.
Jon is responsible for financial and business operations, sales and marketing, sponsorship, and administration of the Seattle Sounders Women and Sounders FC U-23.
He serves as a Sounders Women and U-23 representative on all USL matters and USL Annual General Meetings in Tampa, Florida. He will also continue as the club’s Director of Communications and Play by Play Broadcaster for radio and video.
Billings has managed various roles for the Seattle Sounders Women & Sounders U-23 (Tacoma Tide), including Director of Communications, since 2006. In addition to team roles, Jon free-lance broadcasts for TV and Radio. He announces on Fox Soccer Channel as well as locally on various networks. Jon also calls various matches for the Sounders FC on SoundersFC.com.
For sponsor, partnership, communications, or media requests, please email JonB@SoundersU23.com
Mike Jennings: Technical Director & Assistant Coach
Founded Tacoma Tide of USL/PDL - 2006
Acquired Seattle Sounders Women of USL / W League - 2009
Founder / Principle MVP Physical Therapy - Physical Therapist - Manages the Starfire Clinic
Earned USSF ’A’ License 1990
NAIA National Coach of the Year 1985 (University of Puget Sound)
Lives in Tacoma, WA
Married to Nancy, Children Trevor, Jordan and Chelsea
Chris Coulter: Team Photographer & Communications Asst.
Chris has worked as a freelance photographer covering soccer in Northwest for the past four years. He runs a Seattle Sounders photo-blog and has partnered with several local blogs and publications covering the soccer scene in the area and has had his photos published in books, newspapers and various websites. For the past two seasons Chris has served as the Seattle Sounders FC Academy photographer and is the team photographer for the Sounders FC U-23 team.
In addition to working as the team photographer, Chris is also developing and writing content for SoundersU23.com and assisting the Communications Director with media content.
Director of Security: Lance Larson
Lance is a Federal Way native who has over 26 years of combined experience in Law Enforcement, Hazardous Materials, Emergency Response and Safety & Security Management.
Lance manages all Safety and Security details for the Sounders FC U23 and the Sounders Women; providing safety and security for the staff, participants, officials and spectators.
Among his previous positions within soccer industry Lance served as a Vice President of Competition, Board member, Coach and Consultant.
Gameday Operations: J.R. Voshel