VARSITY COACH:  Dan Woog ’71

Dan Woog grew up in the soccer hotbed that was Westport in the 1960s. He was a reserve member of Staples’ 1970 state championship team. After graduating from Brown University, where he covered the Bruins’ NCAA Division I Final Four teams for the college newspaper, he returned to Westport. In 1975 he co-founded the Westport Soccer Association. He began his coaching career at age 22, forming the first WSA U-16 and U-14 teams. His U-19, U-16 and U-14 teams won 10 Connecticut Junior Soccer Association state championships, and reached the finals of the USYSA Region I tournament once.

Dan coached soccer for five years when Long Lots Junior High School competed interscholastically, then moved to Staples in 1983 when ninth graders entered the high school. He coached freshmen and junior varsity from 1983-94, compiling a 108-16-12 record, with three undefeated teams. In 1995 he became Jeff Lea’s varsity assistant coach.He was appointed varsity soccer coach — only the third permanent coach in Staples’ history — on February 13, 2003, and named FCIAC Coach of the Year in 2006. In 2009 he received the Sportsmen of Westport’s Coaching Award, and in 2011 was honored as the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Boys Soccer Coach of the Year. In 2019, United Soccer Coaches named him its Connecticut “Coach of Significance,” for helping develop character on and off the field.

In 1991 Dan was named National Youth Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He was also honored as State Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (2012) and Connecticut Junior Soccer Association Coach of the Year (1980). In 2000 he was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame.

A full-time freelance writer, he has written 16 books, including 5 on soccer (including his coaching career, We Kick Balls: True Stories From the Youth Soccer Wars), and 1 on the history of Staples High School. His blog is Dan lives in Westport. E-mail:



Kurt’s high school team, Bethesda-Chevy Chase (Md.), was two-time state champions (1980, ’82). He was a Parade All-America selection the same year as Mark Noonan ’83. In 1983-84 Kurt played on the U.S. U-20 national team. At Columbia, where he majored in civil engineering, the Lions were NCAA finalists in 1983, and Ivy League champs in ’83, ’84 and ’85. From 1988-91 Kurt played with the Maryland Bays of the American Professional Soccer League, and won a championship in ’90. From 1993-94 he was with Club de Deportes Puerto Montt of the Chilean Second Division. He was the first American to play professionally in Chile — and the club is the southernmost pro team in the world. He spent 1994-96 with V.V. Heerjansdam of the Dutch Second Division. In 1996 Kurt joined the Columbia University staff as assistant coach, and remained there through last winter. Kurt, who holds a US Soccer “B” license, now plays with the Westport FC Over-30 state championship squad, and in ’03 received its coveted Rookie of the Year award. Kurt, his wife Lucy and 3 children live in Westport.

Kurt Dasbach



VARSITY ASSISTANT COACH: Russell Oost-Lievense ’08

After serving as Staples’ tri-captain in 2007 Russell played at Hartwick College, and majored in English and special education. He became an assistant coach at Hartwick, and also coached in the Oneonta, New York youth program. He spent several summers running a camp on Cape Cod. Russell now works as a special education teacher, and with the Beachside Soccer Club.

Russell Oost-Lievense, in front of the Staples trophy case.


 RESERVE COACH: Chris Flaherty

A member of the University of Bridgeport women’s staff — where he helped win a Division II national championship in 2018 — Chris has also won state championships with the Westhill girls program, and reached the state final with the Darien boys.

A Liverpool, England native who holds Level 1 and 2 badges from the English Football Association, and an Advanced National Diploma from United Soccer Coaches, Chris is a graduate of Mitchell College. He was a 2-time captain at the New London school, earning national 1st and 2nd team All-America honors.

Chris currently coaches for CFC. He owns the Kickerz Soccer Coaching company and is a director for FC New England, a summer program taking players to the Gothia Cup in Sweden.

Chris and his wife Elizabeth live in Trumbull.

Chris Flaherty


Elisee was a 3-year starter at Stamford High School and 4-year starter at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where he helped win a North Atlantic Conference championship, and graduated with a major in business management and a minor in marketing.

Elisee served as varsity assistant at King Low Heywood School in Stamford and at New Canaan High School, where the boys team won the state title in 2010.

He holds a US Soccer coaching license, and has worked with the MKS organization since 2011. Elisee is well known for training and mentoring players through private sessions year round.

Elisee Joseph