2018 Awards: Rec Coaches of the Year

Rec Coaches of the Year

Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer will celebrate the 2018 year in soccer at the Annual Awards Banquet on Friday, February 22, 2019. In anticipation of the event, which will take place at the Sheraton Valley Forge, we'll profile honorees each day leading into the Awards Banquet. Today: Boys Recreational Coach of the Year Brendan Grady and Girls Recreational Coach of the Year Leigh Craig.

Awards Banquet Information

Awards Banquet Tickets

2018 Boys Recreational Coach of the Year: Brendan Grady
Brendan Grady Chester upland Youth Soccer

Club: Chester Upland Youth Soccer


  • Co-founder and Executive Director of Chester Upland Youth Soccer
  • Helped run events such as fifth-annual Chester Upland Youth Soccer Play Day, inaugural Run 291 5k fundraiser at Talen Energy Stadium and Soccer for Success Festival
  • U.S. Soccer National B License
  • Assistant Coach, Swarthmore College Men's Soccer
The story

A standout player at Swarthmore College and, before that, with Cal-North ODP, Brendan has since turned his attention to coaching. Along with Brent Jacquette, Brendan co-founded Chester Upland Youth Soccer in 2012 as part of the U.S. Soccer Foundations' Soccer for Success program, which promotes healthy lifestyles through soccer. In 2018, the players at Chester Upland Youth Soccer competed in the club's fifth annual play day and the end of the Soccer for Success Festival against teams from Camden, Pottstown, Kensington and Coatesville. Brendan also helped bring middle school soccer to the Chester-Upland School District in 2017, where many CUYS players play.

They said it

"Brendan has been a dedicated servant of growing the game and inspiring youth, keeping in mind the real reason why we, as coaches, do what we do." -- Brent Jacquette, CEO, Chester Upland Youth Soccer

For more information on Chester Upland Youth Soccer, visit chesteruplandyouthsoccer.org.

2018 Girls Recreational Coach of the Year: Leigh Craig
Leigh Craig

Club: Coatesville United


  • Joined Coatesville United in 2014 and has seen the program grow to more than 100 players, ages 5-13
  • Has entered rec teams in West Chester United and Octorara rec-only tournaments
  • Coaches boys and girls players and engages regularly with both families in the program and the Coatesville community at large

 The story

When Leigh Craig moved to Coatesville, she immediately sought out soccer programming. Her older son played, but she also wanted to give back to the sport she grew up loving. With the help of JT Dorsey, whose foundation established the club, Leigh got involved with Coatesville United in 2014. She's been a coach and mentor ever since. In 2018, Coatesville United hosted the Soccer for Success Festival at its home field of Rainbow Elementary. Leigh has helped build a relationship with the community as well, getting Coatesville United involved in local events like marching in the Coatesville Christmas Parade 

They said it

"I hope to continue our growth, get coaches that enjoy the sport as much as we do, enjoy the kids as much as we do. I think once they see the passion, they stay committed." -- Leigh Craig

For more information on Chester Upland Youth Soccer, visit their Facebook page here.

Past Recreational Coaches of the Year