We at Lonestar SC would like to congratulate one of our coaches - Zack Pope on being appointed Assistant Coach at the Austin Aztexs. Zack will continue to coach for LSC whilst in this role and we wish him the best of luck.
Read the official Press Release below for more information:
AUSTIN, Texas (February 10, 2014) — Austin Aztex Head Coach Manuel Buentello has named Zack Pope as assistant coach of the reigning USL PDL Champions as they look to defend their title in the 2014 season.
"I am very pleased to be working with Zack," Aztex Head Coach Manuel Buentello said. "He thoroughly understands the goals of the organization and what it takes to achieve them. Zack has been involved with the Aztex since the beginning and he is intimately linked to its success. He has represented the organization very well during his time as a player."
Pope, 27, was the team captain for the Austin Aztex and appeared in 32 games during their previous two seasons. Playing as a defender, Pope helped the Aztex stand among the league leaders in fewest goals allowed through both seasons.
"Zack was not only the captain of the team, but also a leader off the field,” Buentello said. “Through his hard work and dedication, he earned respect from both his teammates and the coaching staff.”
“We are Austin's team and I was looking for the perfect candidate that could represent the Aztex's heart and soul. With the success we achieved on the field last season, I felt it important to keep the same continuity. After looking at a long list of possible candidates, I was delighted to hear of Zack's interest in moving his career in a new direction. He is a product of Austin and has been a constant in Austin's soccer scene from his early beginnings as a successful local youth player to playing for the PDL National Championship team in our city.”
Pope has an extensive history of playing soccer in the Austin area. Pope attended Stony Point High School in Round Rock and played collegiately at Duke University, where he graduated with a psychology degree and a minor in sociology.
Pope was drafted 40th overall in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Chicago Fire and appeared in reserve games for the Fire and FC Dallas. In 2009, Pope made seven appearances for the Austin Aztex USL1 team.
Pope gained coaching experience as an assistant coach with Southwestern University men’s soccer team, Stony Point High School’s boys varsity team, and head coach of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School’s girls varsity soccer team. Pope served as trainer and technical director of Cen Tex Soccer Training from 2008 to 2010 and is the owner of Acurix Elite Performance Training. In addition, Pope serves as staff coach for Lonestar Soccer Club, with whom he will continue to coach.
“It is an honor to be able to continue my relationship with the Aztex organization and I look forward to being part of its growing success,” Pope said. “There's no better way I can think of making my transition to the other side of the game than to be here with Austin’s team. It means a lot that Manuel and the Aztex front office believe in me and provided this opportunity to continue with the organization on a new career path. That's what the Aztex are all about.”
Returning members of the Aztex coaching staff include Assistant Coach Ben Crawley and Goalkeeper Coach Ric Granryd.
The Aztex return to the field in 2014 to begin their title defense when they host the Houston Dutch Lions on May 10 at House Park. The Aztex will conduct their final try outs with the Collegiate Trial on Saturday, March 15 and the Open/Community Trial on Sunday, March 16.
About the Austin Aztex
The Austin Aztex compete in the USL Premier Development League (PDL) under the helm of head coach Manuel Buentello. The team won the 2013 League Championship in just their second year in operation. The Aztex finished the 2013 season with one of the top records in the league as well as individual accolades, including Coach of the Year (Paul Dalglish), PDL Most Valuable Player (Kris Tyrpak), and PDL Championship MVP (Sito Seoane). The Aztex finished the 2013 campaign with five consecutive single-game attendance records and were among the top ten highest-drawing teams in the league, earning the USL PDL Franchise of the Year award. The franchise is owned and operated by ATX SOCCER LLC, chaired by Rene Van De Zande, President and CEO of Emergo Group and founder David Markley, VP of Technology Development for Fallbrook Technologies. For more information, visit www.austinaztex.com.