Jeremy Hurdle is relishing the opportunity to work for an MLS club and maximize his access to a professional environment. The new U-15 head coach joined the Dynamo Academy on May 9 and has hit the ground running both on and off the field.
Hurdle was only a few days into his new role as the U-15 head coach before he was tasked with competing at the MLS NEXT Flex tournament in Maryland last month. The Philadelphia native is one of four new staff members recently hired by the Dynamo Academy that is expanding prior to the 2022/2023 season.
“We are very excited for Jeremy Hurdle to join us as a full-time U-15 Academy head coach. We interviewed candidates from around the world for this role and we landed our top choice because of his coaching quality, character, and drive to achieve our goal to become one of the best player development clubs in North America,” Dynamo Academy director Paul Holocher said. “In the short time since he arrived, I have been impressed with Jeremy’s work with the players. The U15 teams works with players in one of our most important stages in the Academy because of the impact it can have on the trajectory of a player’s career. He has a great way with players, and a keen eye for the details that can make the difference in player’s future.”
The 32-year-old joins the Dynamo Academy after five years in Tampa Bay as an assistant coach and director of operations for the men’s soccer program at the University of South Florida. The team received an at-large bid for the 2019 NCAA Tournament and improved their position in the rating percentage index by 68 spots that season.
"The opportunity was just too good to turn down. As I went through the interview process the vision and the mission of the organization, specifically in the academy, is something I identified with,” Hurdle said. “Paul's (Holocher) vision of how to develop players and how the game should be played was really important for me. As a coach, you want to go somewhere where your DNA matches up with the way that the teams play. I also felt like it was a really good group of people rowing in the same direction.”
Hurdle recruited 23 players during his tenure at USF and oversaw the academic progress of the team which featured a 100 percent graduation rate. Seven players signed professional contracts after playing at USF during his tenure as an assistant coach. He also spent two years as the head coach of the ECNL 2002 and Elite 2001 boys' team at Tampa Bay United Soccer Club. He was named the Florida Youth Soccer and U.S. South Region Coach of the Year in 2018 for his work with both teams.
Hurdle began his coaching career in his native Pennsylvania as the head coach of the varsity team at Germanton Friends School. The team won their first league championship in program history and advanced to the state semifinals in 2014.
Hurdle graduated from McGill University in Canada in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He served as the captain of the soccer program from 2011-2012 and the team was a finalist in the 2009 U Sports Men’s Soccer national championship. The 32-year-old holds the A License from U.S. Soccer, the Advanced National Diploma from United Soccer Coaches and graduated with a certificate for tactical analysis from the Barca Innovation Hub.
The Dynamo U-15 team will close the season at the MLS NEXT Showcase at the end of June in north Texas. The team will pause for the summer break and return to Houston Sports Park in August.
“The group I have right now is in the tail end of the season, a really talented group and I'm super impressed,” Hurdle said. “I'm just trying to keep them all moving in the right direction, because that vehicle knows how to drive itself at this point. The goal is to get everything set so I can really hit the ground running with the group that I start with in August."
In addition to his duties with the U-15 squad, Hurdle looks to collaborate and learn from the current staff at Houston Sports Park. One of the driving factors in his decision to join the Dynamo Academy.
“Every day I've gotten here early in the morning and I can take my pick of watching either the first team, Dynamo 2 or the U-17 team train. There's just so much space here for sharing and transmission of ideas,” Hurdle said. “I used to take any opportunity I could to go watch other sessions in my previous jobs, and now I'm in a spot where I can literally do that every day of the week from top, top, top coaches. That's really exciting.”