Grand Rapids, MI – Stuart Collins has been named Head Coach for Grand Rapids Football Club ahead of their 2021 season. Collins, a native of Cork, Ireland, played collegiately for Davenport University. While playing for the Panthers, he was a four-year starter and a captain for three of those years. He also racked up the third-most minutes played in the school’s history and had a hand in multiple tournament appearances. After graduating with a degree in Sports Marketing and Management, Collins moved into a lead assistant coaching role for the Panthers in 2014. They have continued to enjoy success including an
NAIA National Championship in 2014.
On top of his collegiate coaching experience, Collins currently serves as the Executive Director of Coaching at West Michigan Fire Juniors. There, he oversees the day-to-day business operations as well as all technical content including curriculum, methodology, and more. Collins has also earned his UEFA C and USSF C licenses. In addition to this, Stuart has been involved with the local semi-professional team, Muskegon Risers from 2016-2019 in both their indoor (MASL II) and outdoor (NPSL) seasons where he has coached and played in both leagues.
When asked about this opportunity and his thoughts on the 2021 season Collins said, “I am very grateful to the front office staff at Grand Rapids Football Club for giving me the opportunity to take on this challenge. Grand Rapids has a very high soccer pedigree, and it is our responsibility to be at the forefront of showcasing that.”
He added, “My goal for 2021 is to build a squad of players that can challenge nationally for the highest honors within the USL League 2 platform, and I feel we are well on the way to doing this. I am also passionate about developing a style of play that can become synonymous with the club and the city. I am hopeful that this will give our fans some extra incentive to continue their overwhelming support of the team. The priority is to put a quality product on the pitch for the fans to enjoy.”
General Manager Joe Broekhuizen stated, “I have known Stu for many years as an opponent, a teammate, and a coach. I have always respected his passion for the game and his knowledge both technical and communicational. This is an exciting new chapter for the club as he brings a determined mindset and vision for GRFC’s future. His background and experience speak volumes and we are confident he will do great things for the club. He has already begun to sign some quality players and we are looking forward to working alongside him to win for this city and our loyal fans.”
Catch the Boys in Blue as they return to action this May! The USL2 2021 full-season schedule will be released shortly. We look forward to seeing you all there.