Andy Lee was the head men’s soccer coach at Viterbo University from 2006-2012, leading them to 4 straight Midwest Collegiate Conference semi-finals and one championship game in five years. Lee previously worked in England with the Newcastle United Football Development Academy and the Northumberland Football Partnership.
Where did you grow up, and who did you play for as a youth player?
"I grew up on outskirts of Newcastle in the Northeast of England. Like most young English players, I played for a variety of different youth, senior, professional, and representative teams as a youth player. I was in the youth development programs for Newcastle United (premier league), and Carlisle United (FA League 2), I played senior football from the age of 16 with a number of “non-league” (amateur) teams, and represented Northumberland County FA (similar to a State Team, but a bit better) at U16-U18 winning the FA National Youth Cup with the U18 team."
What is your favorite memory as a player?
"It's difficult to answer that really, as it’s so different as a young player in England. Playing senior football as a teenager was a good experience. Playing with lots of former professional players, and many that would go on to play professionally."
What coaching did you do before coming to FC Wisconsin?
"I spent 7 years coaching college soccer with an NAIA men’s program at Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI), and as Director of Coaching for a club in the La Crosse area."
Why did you decide you wanted to be a soccer coach?
"I began coaching as a teenager in England. It was always something I wanted to do. Finding a playing career is incredibly difficult. In Newcastle you are lucky if you’re even the best player on your street. But to be involved in football was the only thing I ever wanted to do."
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had given you as a player?
"Not enough young players realize how much work it takes to get where you want to go. Talent is never enough. So many other players have the same goals as you, so you need to do something extra to separate yourself from the pack. Everyone gets this advice, but no one seems to believe it until it’s too late."
Why did you decide to coach at FC Wisconsin?
"I loved the philosophy and method at the club. It's very similar to my own philosophy, but its incredibly difficult to get people to buy in to it. So a brand new club was the perfect way to do everything the right way, right from the start."
How would you describe a typical ECNL player at FC Wisconsin?
"Hard working and humble. We have genuine team players here, who understand that a successful program will bring them success too. Also, our players understand that there will always be a “next level” so no matter how successful you are there is always a next step to work toward."
How would you describe the FC Wisconsin experience to another parent?
"Unlike any other club you’ve ever been involved with! Every club talks about “development” and “family” but it genuinely happens here, every day!"
Lee in 30 Seconds:
Favorite Pro Team: Everton Football Club (Barclays Premier League)
Family: Wife Jennifer (teacher) and 2 kids - Sophie (5) and Elliott (3)
What do you do in your free time? I don’t really get much free time! I try to spend it with my kids.