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Speakers and Clinicians

Po Bronson - Best Selling Author and President of San Francisco Youth Soccer

Po Bronson is the author of seven bestsellers, including NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, which was a New York Times bestseller for nine months. His most recent book is Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing. As a volunteer, he serves as President of San Francisco Youth Soccer (formerly San Francisco Vikings League), the home league for almost 500 Cal North teams, and over 7,000 Cal North players.

Tara Koleski - Head Women's Soccer Coach, Dominican University of California

Tara Koleski has had stints as associate head coach at University Northern Iowa and as head coach for two seasons apiece at UMBC (2006–07) and West Chester University (2004–05). Koleski was named the 2005 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Northeast Region Coach of the Year, the Southeast Pennsylvania Coaches Association (SEPCA) Women's College Coach of the Year, and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East Coach of the Year. She currently is the head women’s soccer coach at the Dominican University of California. In addition to her coaching career, Koleski has also had successfully career as a player. After playing on the Women’s U21 National Team in 1996-1997, she played professional in Germany (1999 and 2000), and afterwards with the San Diego Spirit, the Philadelphia Charge, and New York Power of the Women's United Soccer Association.

Bret Simon – Former Head Coach, Stanford Men's Soccer

In 10 seasons at Stanford, Bret Simon has guided teams to two a pair of College Cups, a Pacific-10 Conference title and has guided several players onto play in the professional ranks. Now in his 22nd season as a collegiate head coach, Simon has a history of winning. He has an overall record of 267-148-52, including nine appearances in the NCAA tournament. In his 15 years in Division I, Simon has built a 184-105-36 career mark, including an impressive 17-9-2 (.654) record in NCAA postseason competition, thanks largely to four appearances in the College Cup. Since arriving at Stanford in 2001, Simon has compiled an 88-79-28 overall record for a .527 winning percentage. Simon is one of only two coaches in NCAA history to take two different programs to the NCAA College Cup, and has been named Coach of the Year in two conferences.

Michelle Cappello, MSPT, Physical Therapist

Michelle Cappello received her MS in physical therapy from Boston University. She is certified in PNF, a manual training method for stretching and strengthening. Michelle has worked with local young athletes in a variety of sports, including rowing, soccer, baseball, swimming, basketball, track, skiing, gymnastics and volleyball. Her rehabilitation programs are based on function and performance tailored to each individual athlete. Michelle is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association in both the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine sections. She is also an avid soccer player.

Kai Edwards - Head Coach, Saint Mary's College Athletics

The fifth head coach in the 31 years of women's soccer at Saint Mary's College, Kai Edwards will enter his sixth season as the Gaels' Head Coach in 2014. At the conclusion of the fall 2011 season, Edwards became the program's winningest coach since 2002 with a combined record of 39-50-8 (2009 - present).

Bruce Valentine, PTA, ATC

Bruce received his BS from California State University at Hayward in 1993. He majored in Kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training. He has been a board-certified member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) since 1993. Bruce became licensed as a physical therapy assistant with a degree from Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado in 2003. Bruce served for 13 years as an athletic trainer and later as program director of the Sequoia Hospital Center for Sports Health. Bruce was a head athletic trainer at the high school and collegiate levels during that period of time. He has extensive experience working with football, soccer, basketball, baseball and softball teams as well as cross-country, track and field, and swimming.

Tommy Pass - Director/Founder National Athletic Training Service

Tommy Pass, has worked as a Board Certified Athletic Trainer for over 20 years.  He completed his undergraduate work at California State University, Long Beach and a Masters degree in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University.  Tommy has worked in many of the traditional athletic training settings including the National Football League, World Football League, Canadian Football League, professional soccer, minor league baseball and the United States Youth Soccer Association’s Olympic Development Program.  In addition, he is the current director and founder of National Athletic Training Service, an educational and technical recourse for coaches, players, parents and administrators in the area of sports medicine and athletic performance.

Mary N. Henderson PhD, RD Sports Nutrition Dietitian, Children's Hospital & Research Center, Oakland

Originally a Northern California native, Mary currently is a Postdoctoral Researcher and Pediatric Dietitian at Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland. As well, she is a Lecturer in the Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Nutrition is and has been her major field of study for the past twelve years! The field has allowed her to pursue my passion for research, education, as well as practicing in the clinical setting. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at UC Davis in Clinical Nutrition with a minor in Human Development and then went on to complete a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition at Tufts University in Boston, MA. While working on her Masters, she completed her Dietetic Internship at Tufts Medical Center and is currently a Registered Dietitian. She then returned to UC Davis to complete her PhD in Nutritional Biology, with an emphasis in Developmental Nutrition. 

Mary chose Nutrition because she has always felt that following a healthy lifestyle and eating pattern are very important and have always incorporated (as well as encourage) this philosophy into her own life as well as the life of others. She is one who likes to have a little variety in her life so as of right now, her future plans include pursuing a career that involves research, clinical work, teaching, and translating science into community outreach efforts.

When not focusing on her professional life, Mary enjoys spending time being active and outside (she runs ultra marathons and plays soccer), traveling, reading, and being with her family and friends.


Nate Failing, Director Of Goal Keepers at Pleasanton Rage Soccer Club

Nate Failing is an accomplished goalkeeper coach, having done it all across the United States at every level. Currently he is in charge of the ODP women's goalkeepers, and Director of goalkeepers at Pleasanton Rage soccer club. He holds a master's degree in Sport Psychology, and a master's in Education, while holding a teaching credential as well. He has USSF A license, US Youth National License, USSF National Goalkeeper license, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.


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