DAPHNE, Ala. – An accomplished soccer player, coach and administrator at virtually every level of the game, United States Sports Academy alumnus Lance Noble is using his skills as the soccer club director for one of the nation’s largest youth recreation and athletics organizations.

Noble earned his Master of Sports Science degree in Sports Coaching at the Academy in 2005. He is club director for Texas Thunder, a youth soccer organization of the Plano Sports Authority (PSA), which offers the largest non-profit youth soccer program in Texas.  The PSA offers year-round youth soccer for more than 500 teams in the Plano, Texas, area. Overall, the PSA serves more than 130,000 youth in nearly 20 sports each year.

Noble has more than 20 years as a soccer coach and player and said the Academy’s flexible scheduling allowed him to work while he pursued his degree.

“My Academy degree was a great benefit to my life,” Noble said. “I was able to continue working while pursuing my education, which was great. Then I was able to jump right back in and coached in a professional league soon after earning my degree.

“Also, because of my degree, I was able to teach classes while I coached at some of my stops along the way, which made me a more ideal candidate for employment. I love coaching and teaching, because coaches are teachers. I love the Academy and I am thankful every day for what I learned from my education there.

“I love soccer – playing, coaching, and just being around the game,” Noble said. “I’m thankful for all of the fantastic professors at the Academy who showed me how to continue my career in the sport. I’ve been fortunate to have a good relationship them and I’ve been able to use them as resources and as references when I needed to. My graduation did not spell the end of my relationship with the Academy; it was almost like it was the beginning of a new one.”

As the club director of coaching education and youth player development for Texas Thunder – a select soccer program – Noble is in charge of curriculum design, hiring coaches, helping with coach education and also the education of parents. He has 19 years of coaching experience at the college level – from Division 1 to the junior college level – and 10 seasons of coaching both men’s and women’s teams, for more than 29 combined college seasons. He has coached soccer at the University of Dallas, St. Mary’s University, Stephen F. Austin University, Texas A&M International University, Cedar Valley College, Northwood University and Paris (Texas) Junior College.

Noble has also coached or managed at the professional level for the San Antonio Pumas, Laredo Heat, Texas Strikers and Alamo SC San Antonio. He is licensed as a soccer coach by U.S. Soccer, United Soccer Coaches (formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America), Royal Dutch Football Association and holds an Irish International Diploma.

A resident of McKinney, Texas, Noble also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Northwood University in Midland, Mich. He played soccer professionally for the Arizona Diamonds of the former United States Interregional Soccer League.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.

The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala.  For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.