Toledo -- The Premier League of America’s Toledo Villa FC hired its first-ever head coach Tuesday. Charlie Edwards, who is currently in his third season as head coach of Adrian College men’s team, will lead Villa into its first season, according to general manager David Hebestreit.
Edwards says, “First of all, I would like to thank Toledo Villa FC, David Hebestreit, and Jimmy Walker for this unbelievable opportunity. As I entered this process David and Jimmy gave me a vote of confidence, and that was a big part of why I wanted to do this.”
Hebestreit commented that “Edwards was the unanimous choice among the soccer operations team…” which includes Pacesetter directors Jimmy Walker, Danny Fisher, and Hebestreit. “In discussing what we wanted in a head coach, we considered what we’re trying to build, as well as the caliber of player that we’re planning to attract, and it became an easy decision. He has the collegiate experience we are looking for, and has worked with players at this level for many years.”
Villa is looking to build a team that will not only be competitive, but will also represent the community positively in the long term. Edwards agrees with this philosophy, stating, "I am extremely excited to work with the club because they are looking at the big picture. They want to do things the right way, and that was important to me. I want to be a part of building something special, that we can prolong and maintain over many years."
While Villa is an expansion team in the PLA, it has already identified a talented core of local, regional, and nationally-based players. Edwards will look to build that core even further with his connections in the game. He says, “I know how competitive the PLA is, having seen a handful of games last year. It’s a very good level, and every single game will be a challenge. All of the teams do a great job of finding guys that can play, but our expectation is to be competitive right away, which I think is realistic, given some of the names that are already in the pool.”
After graduating from Louisville in 2008, Edwards spent time at the University of Central Florida as the goalkeeper coach. His next stop, in 2010, took him to the University of Dayton where he served as the volunteer assistant, training the team’s five goalkeepers and taking care of other administrative duties.
In From 2011-2014, Edwards was an assistant at Bowling Green State University. At BGSU, Edwards was instrumental in helping the team record consistently strong defensive teams. In most of his former coaching roles, Edwards has been responsible for training of the team’s goalkeepers.
As a goalkeeper at Louisville, Edwards was a two-year starter and part of the 2007 team that went to the NCAA second round and was a Big East Tournament semifinalist.
Edwards holds a B.A. in sports administration, as well as a USSF national D license and NSCAA Level I, II, and III goalkeeping diplomas.