Stewart Flaherty became head coach of the Bates College men’s soccer team after the 2011 season, promoted into the head spot after assisting former head coach (and now Senior Coach of Soccer Programs) George Purgavie during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
A 2004 graduate of Loughborough University in England with a master’s degree in sport psychology, Flaherty has accumulated extensive experience with player development and recruitment in the U.S. In addition to his coaching at Bates, for the past two years he has served as goalkeeper coach with the Portland Phoenix senior team in the PDL, the third level of soccer in the U.S. under MLS and the USL. With the Phoenix, Flaherty also coached the Phoenix U15 and U16 Academy teams alongside Phoenix head coach (and Bates women’s assistant coach) Paul Baber. The U15 Phoenix won the State Cup and represented Maine at the Region I Finals last summer; the U16 team finished as runners-up in the State Cup Final, but won the New England Premiership B Flight with an undefeated record.
Coach Flaherty began working with the Bobcats in 2010, with duties including practice and game coaching, video analysis and recruiting. During his time at Bates, Flaherty has successfully recruited student-athletes from elite club soccer and the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program. These young men have come from eight states and South America.
After graduating from Loughborough University, Flaherty served his first coaching role as a volunteer assistant with Loughborough College in England. He accepted his first head coaching position as girls’ soccer coach at Cody High School in Wyoming, where he helped the Fillies break the school’s all-time record for wins in a single season in 2005, and landed Cody’s first two all-state players, Sarah Kramp and Crystal Umphlett, who also won the Gatorade Player of the Year Award for Wyoming in 2005 and went on to play for the University of Wyoming.
Flaherty then spent over a year working as a youth development coach for MLS Camps and MLS franchise Real Salt Lake.
At the end of 2006, Flaherty moved East and spent time coaching with TSF Academy and the MPS Cape Cod Crusaders. He led the TSF U23 Women to a USSF Region I Championship, as the team went the entire season undefeated and had players from Seton Hall, Penn State and Rutgers on the roster.
In 2009, Flaherty entered the NCAA coaching ranks with Division II Felician College in Rutherford, N.J., where he served as goalkeeper coach under with head coach Patrick Snyder and current New York Red Bulls Youth Director Simon Nee.
Flaherty moved to Maine in the summer of 2010 and began working with the Bobcats and the MPS Portland Phoenix.
Flaherty continues to work with these teams, helping the players compete at a high level and go on to play in college. He also runs private goalkeeping clinics in Maine, working with goalkeepers that include Abigail Pyne, who plays for the USA Under-15 national team.
Flaherty led Bates to a 4-8-2 season in 2012, with highlights being a 2-0 win at 2007 national champion Middlebury, and 0-0 draws against 2011 NESCAC finalist Trinity and Connecticut College. Out of conference, the Bobcats beat GNAC champion St. Joseph’s (3-1), NAC champion Thomas (1-0) and Southern Maine (5-1).
Senior Coach of Soccer Programs George Purgavie
George Purgavie served as head men’s soccer coach at Bates since 1983 through 2011, the majority of the program’s 50-year existence. Purgavie led the Bobcats to four appearances in the ECAC Championship (prior to the advent of the postseason NESCAC Championship in 2001). Between 2001 and 2011, he led the Bobcats to six postseason appearances in the NESCAC Championship, including a three-year span from 2004 to 2006 that included an appearance in the tournament semifinals and a 27-14-5 record. A multitude of Purgavie’s players have achieved NESCAC All-Conference and All-New England awards of the years, including First Team All-America selection Andy Apstein ’99 in 2000.
Following the 2011 season, Purgavie was appointed Senior Coach off Soccer Programs by Director of Athletics Kevin McHugh. “In this newly expanded role, George will be responsible for coordinating the operational aspects of both the men’s and women’s soccer programs, as well as for providing coaching and mentoring assistance to both teams,” said McHugh. “The tutelage he will provide to the coaches and the players will be invaluable.”
“I’m excited about supporting and working with the two young head coaches, who have shown a lot of energy with their teams not only on and off the field, but also in the recruiting network,” said Purgavie, who also remains an associate professor at Bates, teaching Human Rights and Ethics in Sport and a service-learning course in coaching methodology.
Purgavie holds an “A” coaching license from the U.S. Soccer Federation and serves on the National Academy Staff of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). He spent the spring of 1999 on sabbatical studying youth soccer development for the NSCAA, working closely with the Royal Dutch Soccer Federation. He has also developed an academic course in Human Rights and Ethics in Sport.
An All-Mid-Atlantic goalkeeper at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, Purgavie was selected for the 1973 East-West Senior Bowl. Earlier this decade, he was presented with West Chester’s Gene Davis Alumni Soccer Award, given annually “in recognition of years of service, dedication and love of the game and the young people who play it.” After graduating from WCU, Purgavie went on to play for the Connecticut Wildcats of the American Soccer League.