Coach's Corner

Meet Our Coaches


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  • Stephanie Buquoi
    Branch/Recreational Director

    Stephanie Buquoi


    Coach Steph is in her fourth season as the UFA Mountains Future Academy Coach.  She was with UFA Forsyth and Mountains for six seasons prior, coaching her daughter’s recreational team.  Her son is currently a Mountains Academy Player and has been a part of UFA for seven years.  In Florida, she coached girls academy and athena teams ranging from U10-U18.  Coach Steph also led a girls middle school soccer team in Texas.  

    Coach Steph grew up in Marietta and has played soccer since the age of five.  At the age of 10, she joined the Atlanta Hot Shots, her athena team, which she played competitively until graduating high school.   Her team won many tournaments in a variety of states, and in 2000 became Georgia state champs and went on to regionals in Texas.  She was a four year varsity letterman winner from Walton High School.  She was captain and Most Valuable Defender for the Raiders.  Coach Steph participated in the Olympic Development Program for the state of Georgia in 1999-2000 and was captain of her soccer team during the Maccabi Games at the age of 15.  

    In 2000, Coach Steph went on to play for the Georgia Southern Eagles.  There she was a defender and made lifelong friends with her teammates.  She transferred to Rollins College in 2002, where she was captain of the Tars, named to the All-Conference Second Team, and was the Most Valuable Defender for the Tars.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and began her teaching career in Orlando.  

    Coach Steph currently teaches elementary school in Forsyth County.  She has an awesome husband Shelby, her soccer loving son Carter, and her horse-back riding daughter, Burkleigh.  Aside from her passion for soccer, Steph loves to run, play tennis, rollerblade, and enjoys spending time outside.  

  • Joe Paul
    Recreational Coordinator
    USSF F license

    Joe Paul grew up all over the southeast before his family settled in Gwinnett County, Georgia. He began coaching his daughters’ soccer teams with UFA Mountains in Dahlonega in 2022. Joe became a UFA Location Coordinator for Lumpkin County in Fall of 2023. 

    Joe is a career educator and high school tennis coach in Gwinnett County, Georgia, where he previously served as a teacher, and is now an Instructional Technology and Innovation Coach. He holds degrees from the University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, and the University of West Georgia. 

    Joe lives in Dahlonega with his wife, Mallory, and three daughters: Amelia, Violet, and Lily. He enjoys cooking and fishing in his free time, as well as watching UGA football and European soccer. He currently holds a Grassroots Coaching License with US Soccer, and plans to build upon this in the future.

  • Patrice Parris
    Staff Coach
    United Soccer Coaches Premier License

    Patrice Parris is in his fifth season with UFA and fourteenth season as the Head Coach of the men's soccer program at the University of North Georgia.  

    Parris came to the University of North Georgia from Georgia Southern University, where he was a four-year letter winner for the Eagles from 1994-97, joining the Statesboro (Ga.) High coaching staff after concluding his career at Georgia Southern. In 1999, Parris was called up to train with the Jamaican (Reggae Boys) National Team. 

    Parris spent three years at Statesboro, helping the Blue Devils win back-to-back region championships. After that, he joined the Georgia Southern coaching staff for seven years, where he served in that capacity until accepting the University of North Georgia's Head Coaching position. 

    During his collegiate career, Parris played in 75 games at forward, marking back, and outside-midfield. Parris's high school days were spent at Bradwell Institute (Hinesville, Ga.), where he was a four-year letter winner. In 1993 he was named the team's Best Offensive Player, only to better that his senior season when he was voted the Coastal Empire Most Valuable Player and Bradwell's Best Offensive Player.

    Parris graduated from Georgia Southern in 1999 with a Bachelor's degree in sport management and received his Master's in sports management from Georgia Southern.  Patrice Parris recently graduated from Valdosta State University with a Doctorate in Higher Education-Leadership. Parris holds a 
    United Soccer Coaches Premier License.

  • Brandon Stewart
    Staff Coach
    USSF C license

    Coach Stewart was raised in Conyers, Georgia, playing at Rockdale Youth Soccer Association and Heritage High School.  He was a two-time semi-finalist in the Georgia State Cup and named All-State club player in 1997.  Coach Stewart graduated from Heritage in 1997 after a stellar career where he was named to multiple All-Area teams (’96 and ’97) and region player of the year (’97).  He was named to the All-State team as a senior. Coach Stewart continued his education and playing career at Berry College and graduated in 2001 with a degree in psychology and sociology. He was a 4 yr letterman and 2-time scholar athlete.  He has a master’s degree in special education from Valdosta State University. Coach Stewart’s wife, Bailey, is an elementary school teacher. She also grew up playing soccer and continued playing in college as well. They have three children. 

    From 2009-2020, Coach Stewart directed the Heritage High School Patriots to a record of 139-64-9. Ten of his 11 Heritage teams have qualified for the state playoffs, and the ’20 team was headed that way. Heritage enjoyed an undefeated region championship in 2012 and have been 5-time region runners-up, including state quarterfinalist in ’14, ’15, and ’17. He has been a 5-time region coach of the year (2009, ’12, ’14, ’15, ’17) and was named to the 2013 and 2015 Georgia High School All-Star Coaching Staff and 2016 SE Metro All-Star Game.  Coach Brandon took over at North Forsyth High School in the summer of 2020 (i'll insert this years record after this week) where they've enjoyed their best season ever as the school was founded in 1994.
    Coach Stewart holds a USSF National C coaching license and previously served as a staff coach for RYSA Revolution (2001-2010, 2015-2020).  
  • Sean Clifford
    Staff Coach
    USSF D License

    Sean Clifford has been with UFA since 2012. He spent his first six years coaching various Rec age groups, running Summer camps, and working as the Location Coordinator at Rock Creek Park for two seasons. He has been coaching at the Academy/Select level since 2019.

    Clifford was born in Burlington, VT, and his love of soccer was passed down from his father, who grew up in Germany. An active child, he also enjoyed hockey, baseball, lacrosse, and skiing. He left Vermont to attend boarding school at the Holderness School in New Hampshire, where he lettered in four sports, and in his senior year earned All-Lakes Region first team honors for soccer and lacrosse. Clifford received his BA in English from Union College (NY), where he continued to play soccer and lacrosse. He played three years at defense and striker for the Dutchmen, starting as a freshman, but his focus shifted to lacrosse his senior year, as he earned the team MVP award and All-Liberty League team honors. He stayed on with his soccer team his senior year as the strength and conditioning coach.

    Clifford’s goals as a coach are to compete at the highest level possible while still maintaining the values of sportsmanship, hustle, and togetherness. He believes in a strong work ethic, high level of fitness, preparation, and the ability to compete with class. Win, lose, or draw, Coach Clifford is committed to getting the most out of his players, and giving the most to his players.

    Sean came to Georgia in 2005, where he met and married his ultimate teammate, Brandy Clifford. They have three children: Madeline, Caden, and Colton.

  • David Purdum
    Staff Coach
    USSF D license

    David Purdum, a licensed grassroots U.S. Soccer coach, is entering his seventh year and 12th season with UFA Mountains. He has worked with ages ranging from U6 up to U12.

    He believes in a fun-first philosophy and strives to create a player-centric environment on and off the pitch. He is a member of the Dawson County School mentoring program and has worked with children in a variety of roles for 20 years.

    Off the pitch, he is a professional sports writer, currently with ESPN.

  • Kalib Denton
    Staff Coach
  • Mike Povenz
    Staff Coach

    Mike Povenz is in his 6th year of coaching with UFA. He started coaching rec soccer out of Matt Park in FOrsyth County and is now coaching at the Academy at Rock Creek Park in Dawsonville. This past Fall 2020 season, he built a U12 girls Academy team that placed first in their first end-of-season tournament.

    Mike grew up in Cobb county, playing at the select level for many years. He was selected, at age fourteen, to play on a travel team headed to Europe in the summer of 1993. His experiences in Denmark and Sweden accelerated his gameplay and soccer education. He played Varsity soccer at Lassiter High School and made the leader board for goals and assists. In 1994 he was part of a hand-picked developmental team coached by the USISL Pro League Atlanta Magic team. Upon completing high school, Mike was accepted as a midfielder for Georgia Southern University a D1 program. His Junior year, as a starting midfielder, his team went on to win the Southern Conference.

    Mike is married to Brandy Povenz. They have 3 children, 3 dogs, 4 chickens, 2 Guinea pigs, and 1 psychotic fish. He loves the outdoors, cooking in cast iron, Atlanta United, and to travel.

    Mike is currently pursuing his D License.

  • Rachel Kell
    Staff Coach
    Grassroots 7v7 License
  • David Finney
    Staff Coach

    David is in his third year coaching with UFA Mountains. Before this, David was the director of Mountain City Soccer Club in Jasper, Georgia. Mountain City Soccer merged with United FA after the fall, 2016 season. Along with a small group of parents and soccer enthusiast - David help grow an almost nonexistent soccer program in Pickens County to over 400 kids at its highest point.

    David is a USSF D Licensed Coach where he has been coaching with Georgia Soccer since 2008. David also attended the Coerver® Youth Diploma course in 2014 and has been an R8 referee for eight years.

    David grew up playing soccer with the YMCA in Rome, GA well before there was “club/travel” soccer in Rome and the coaches were dads trying to figure out what the sport was all about. He played middle and high school soccer for East Rome High School where he received All-Area recognition as a fullback his senior year. However, his true love for soccer did not happen until his freshman year of college where he played adult open league soccer where his team competed with the local college teams and the Hispanic leagues. This was also the time when the U.S. Soccer Men’s team ended its 40 year drought by making the FIFA® World Cup in 1990 . From the competivive open leagues and the “rebirth” of soccer in the United States, his passion for soccer grew and he always found ways where he could improve his knowledge and skill in the sport where he continues to try to give back to the youth today.

    David has a degree in graphic design from Kennesaw State University and is owner of a small graphics and print shop in Alpharetta, Georgia. He is married to Kristie (Smith) Finney and they have three children - Lauren, Will and Anna Grace - All of which have played or currently play youth soccer.

  • Matt Sharman
    Staff Coach

    Matt Sharman grew up in the south east coast of England where he started playing soccer. He played for local teams at a regional level, as well as playing for a Chelsea FC development Academy. He also played at the semi professional level for Ramsgate FC the year before moving to the US.

    He moved to Champaign, Illinois to play for Parkland college for two years before transferring to the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega Georgia, to finish up his degree and playing. Throughout Matt’s college career he collected many honors including:

    ·             National player of the week

    ·             First Team All Conference

    ·             First team All Region

    ·             First Team All American

    He has also played for Georgia Revolution FC and is currently playing for LSA Athletico in the NPSL.  

    Matt has been coaching since the age of 16 years old and has coached across many levels and age groups through different clubs in the US and in the UK. He has also served as the goalkeeper coach for UNG mens and womens team, along with being a goalkeeper coach at Atlanta United. Matt led his UFA Mountains 07B Blue to a SCCL division win during the Spring 2021 season. Matt also coaches for Lumpkin County High School. Matt holds:

    ·             BTEC Level 3 extended diploma in Sport Development, Coaching, and Fitness.

    ·             FA level 1 Coaching Badge

    ·             FA level 2 Coaching Badge

    ·             FA Futsal Coaching Badge

    ·             USSF Licensed

    ·             VTCT Level 2 Gym Instructors Badge

    ·             Sports Leaders Level 2.

  • Cole Dorsey
    Staff Coach

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