Newest members of Sun Devil Soccer coaching staff making immediate impact
One of the trademarks of Sun Devil Soccer over the last six years has been the outstanding coaches head coach Graham Winkworth has surrounded himself with since arriving in Tempe.
Over the offseason Winkworth had to replace two important positions on his coaching staff to join him and assistant coach Jo Chubb, who has been a member of Winkworth's staff at two different programs since 2013 in addition to playing for Winkworth in college.
Not long before the start of fall camp, Winkworth hired a pair of experienced coaches and remarkable teachers in the form of assistant coach Ross Alexander and volunteer goalkeepers coach Ollie Richardson.
"I am blessed to work with incredible people," Winkworth said. "Our staff this year will look a little different but I am excited to see the skills and personalities that everyone brings to the table.
"[Jo Chubb], Ross and Ollie will bring a lot of knowledge, energy and ideas to training. They will also bring even more to the magnificent culture we have here. They are all wonderful people and I know the team loves working with them every day. We have an environment that we all look forward to being around daily, while giving every ounce of effort that is in us to being the best we can be."
Alexander impressed Winkworth while serving in a voluntary capacity with the Sun Devils since 2019.
"Ross is a young, hungry coach who just loves to learn," Winkworth said. "The players respond well to him and his knowledge and energy will be crucial to our success. With him already being around the team before it is proving a very smooth transition."
Alexander has served as the Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer Club since 2018. In that position, Alexander is the Director of ECNL Boys & head coach of MLS Next Professional Academy program and is the Technical Lead and head coach of education for 9v9 & 11v11 game models. In 2019, Alexander was named assistant coach for the International Champions Cup West All Star Team, a position that included working with the U14 age group and was the Lead for Talent ID and recruitment.
From 2015-18, Alexander held a graduate position with Grand View University's men's soccer program, a stint that included a trip to the NAIA Final Four, the program's most successful season to date. During that same time frame, Alexander was also an assistant coach for the Des Moines Menace Women of the WPSL (2016-18) and Age Group Director and head coach of theU13 Boys, U12 Girls, U16 Girls and Director of Pre-Academy, U7/U8 for the Sporting Iowa Soccer Club (2015-18).
Alexander started his coaching career in 2014 as a volunteer coach for the Scottish Football Association (Graeme High School).
Alexander had an illustrious college career playing for Grand View University (Des Moines, Iowa). A four-year starter, Alexander was a three-time NAIA All-American, a three-time All-Region first-team honoree, a four-time All-Midwest Collegiate Conference selection – including MCC player of the year honors in 2014 – and was the first player in program history to be named to the NAIA National Tournament All-Tournament Team. Alexander stood out as a tremendous leader, serving as a three-year captain and a two-time NAIA Champion of Character.
Alexander's additional playing experience includes time playing with Falkirk Football Club (2003-09/served six years as Academy team captain and was also a Pro Academy player in Scottish Premier League U19 for one year), St. Johnstone Football Club (was a Pro Academy player in Scottish Premier League U19 and was a first-team reserve player) and one year with Stirling Albion Football Club (Scottish First Division squad player and reserve team captain).
Alexander holds several coaching licenses, including United States Soccer Federation A, B, C, D and E licenses and also Scottish FA level 2 & 3.
Alexander earned his B.S. with honors in physical education from Grand View University in 2015 and holds a pair of master's degrees in sports management (Grand View University in 2018) and social and cultural pedagogy (ASU in 2021). Two of Alexander's degrees were achieved with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Richardson is a former English professional goalkeeper who has both English and American coaching licenses – US Soccer 'A' License, United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma, United Soccer Coaches Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma, United Soccer Coaches Instructors License for Level 1, 2, 3 & Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma, UEFA 'B' License among the several licenses he retains – included to back up his experience. Richardson has worked as a full-time soccer coach in the state of Arizona since 2006 and is a lifelong member of the English Professional Footballers Association.
Most recently, Richardson was the Goalkeeping Director and head coach at Phoenix Rising FC Youth for 10 years. In addition to goalkeeper and head coaching responsibilities, Richardson also worked with the Performance Team, Coaching Education and served as a mentor.
Richardson, who has also been a national goalkeeping instructor for the NSCAA, has also been the goalkeeping coach for Arizona's Olympic Development Program and the goalkeeping coach for U.S. Club Soccer Player Development Program in Arizona.
"Ollie is an extremely well organized and knowledgeable coach," Winkworth said. "He is loved and well respected in the US goalkeeper community and is a great addition for our family."
With his tremendous foundation of experience, Richardson oversaw his own business as the Founder, CEO and President of Richardson Goalkeeping, LLC for 14 years. Richardson's company specialized in teaching all elements of goalkeeping – both playing and coaching.
Richardson has also made a name for himself in the local professional ranks. For four seasons (2017-20), Richardson was a volunteer assistant coach for Phoenix Rising Football Club. While with the United Soccer League squad, Phoenix Rising won four USL Western Conference Championships in addition to earning a pair of USL Finalist finishes.
Richardson's diverse coaching resume includes serving as director of goalkeeping and assistant coach for Phoenix Country Day School and director and coach for SC Del Sol (was head coach and also was the goalkeeping trainer).
Richardson's coaching experience abroad includes an assistant coaching assignment with the U13, U14, U15 and U16 boys teams at Grimsby Town FC and assistant coach at the Football in the Community in Grimsby, England.
Richardson's playing experience includes competing for Grimsby Town FC (2003-06) in addition to being a member of the England National Youth Team (2002) and the N.E Lincolnshire Regional Team (1999-2002). Richardson's time playing for Grimsby Town FC earned him lifelong membership of the English Professional Footballers Association.
Richardson received his degree from the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education (Grimsby, England).