Men's Soccer Coaching Staff

Stewart Flaherty

Head Coach

Email: [email protected] | Phone: (207) 786-6348

Stewart Flaherty became head coach of the Bates College men’s soccer team after the 2011 season, promoted into the head spot after assisting former head coach George Purgavie during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

In 2015, Flaherty led Bates to its most wins since 2008 as the team finished 7-5-3. The Bobcats forced a 0-0 draw against 2014 national champion Tufts and defeated Williams for the first time since 1996 by a score of 2-1.

A 2004 graduate of Loughborough University in England with a master’s degree in sport psychology, Flaherty has accumulated extensive experience with player development and recruitment in the US. In addition to his coaching at Bates, he has served as assistant coach with the Portland Phoenix senior team in the PDL, the third level of  soccer in the US under MLS and the USL.

Flaherty helped the Phoenix make the PDL playoffs in all three seasons, including a Northeast Division title in 2012. In 2013, the team advanced to the second round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, losing 1-0 at professional franchise Rochester Rhinos.

Players Flaherty has coached at the PDL level include MLS draft picks Charlie Rugg (Los Angeles Galaxy 2013),  Aaron Schoenfeld (Columbus Crew 2013) and Pierre Omanga (New England Revolution 2014). Additionally, Michael Donald (Ayr United) and Clement Bopart (Marseille) have continued onto professional careers in Europe.

With the Phoenix, Flaherty also coached the youth academy teams and served as a college liaison for all boys and girls players at the club.  Flaherty's teams have won three State Cups and also made an appearance in the Final Four of the US Youth Soccer Region I Finals. Flaherty also serves as a coach for the Soccer Maine Olympic Development Program.

In 2014, both Sean Moyo and Peobo Knoth started multiple games on the Phoenix, including a game at the 80,000    capacity Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL franchise New England Patriots. 

In the summer of 2015, Bates players competed in the PDL for both the Phoenix and Westchester Flames. Bobcats will also play in the elite NPSL league for Seacoast United Mariners, Rhode Island Reds, and FC Buffalo. 

After graduating from Loughborough University, Flaherty served his first coaching role as a volunteer assistant with Loughborough College in England. He accepted his first head coaching position as girls’ soccer coach at Cody High School in Wyoming, where he helped the Fillies break the school’s all-time record for wins in a single season in 2005 and landed Cody’s first two all-state players, Sarah Kramp and Crystal Umphlett, who also won the Gatorade Player of the Year Award for Wyoming in 2005 and went onto play for the University of Wyoming.

Flaherty then spent over a year working as a youth development coach for MLS Camps and the MLS franchise Real Salt Lake.

At the end of 2006, Flaherty moved east and spent time coaching with TSF Academy and the MPS Cape Cod Crusaders. He led the TSF U23 Women to a USSF Region I Championship, as the team went the entire season undefeated and had players from Seton Hall, Penn State and Rutgers on the roster.

In 2009, Flaherty entered the NCAA coaching ranks with Division II Felician College in Rutherford, N.J., where he served as goalkeeper coach under head coach Patrick Snyder and current New York Red Bulls Youth Director Simon Nee.

Flaherty moved to Maine in the summer of 2010 and began working with the Bobcats and the MPS Portland Phoenix.

Taking the healm in the aftermath of an 0-10 NESCAC season, Flaherty has led an upswing in performance by the Bobcats on the field. In the past few years, Bates has registered impressive wins including a 2-0 victory at Middlebury to win the Reynolds Cup, and a 5-1 win over Colby. After a slow start to the 2014 season, Bates went on a run of scoring 19 goals in seven games. This hot streak included a 3-0 win at Trinity, and a dramatic 2-1 OT win over Connecticut College. Both Trinity and Connecticut College were nationally ranked in the top 20 by BennettRank on the day of the game. Bates also registered a 1-1 draw with 2012 and 2013 NCAA Final Four team Williams during the season. 

During his tenure at Bates, the team has put considerable time into off the field endeavors in the community. The Bobcats have volunteered at Hillview School, Tree Street Youth, Trinity Soup Kitchen, and MLK Reading Day. In 2013, Flaherty became the first athletic department staff member to earn the Harward Center Award for community volunteerism, leadership, and engagement.

Additionally, the team has played two 9/11 memorial games after which commemorative jerseys were auctioned off. The team rose over $10,000 in these auctions with the money benefitting the Lewiston Fire Department and Families of Freedom, a fund which gives college scholarships to children who lost their parents in 9/11.


Joshua Thornton

Assistant Coach

Email: [email protected]

Josh begins his second season as an assistant coach with Bates in 2018.

"I can't wait for the season to start," Thornton said. "There is a fantastic group of boys at this school and they have the right attitude. If they can keep this kind of dedication up then I believe they are destined for big things."

He started coaching for youth academies in England when he was young. He went to Brunel University in West London to persue a degree in teaching. After completing his degree he taught for two years in London while coaching Harrow Borough school's team. Josh then moved to Michigan where he coached many premier teams before settling in Gorham, Maine with his wife. 

Since being in Maine, Josh has been the premier director "GPS maine" of which he coached some of the GPS national teams and also has been a part of the ODP coaching staff for Maine. Josh has also been a part of the coaching staff for a PDL team, the Portland Phoenix.

Josh won the GPS coach of the year award in 2015 and then won the Southern Maine High Cchool Coach of the Year award in 2016 after winning the Maine Class B state championship with Yarmouth High School. 

As a player, Josh had been part of professional academies in England and played for Winchester City up to 18. He represented Winchester City at the world renowned Gothia Cup in Sweden where they managed to get to the semifinals.

Josh holds an FA level 2 as well as a USSF C license. He also holds qualifications in Speed, Agility and Quickness.


Matt Williams

Goalkeepers Coach

Email: [email protected]

Matt Williams joins the the Bobcats after spending the last two seasons as the goalkeeping coach with NESCAC foe Colby. Prior to his time with the Mules, Williams was the goalkeeping coach at Division 1 Wright State, aiding coach Bryan Davis in all facets of the program but specializing in team travel, budget, and compliance. Williams spent one year with the Raiders and helped lead them to the Horizon League final, where they ultimately fell short to Oakland University.

A product of Cheverus High School in his native Portland, Maine, Williams was heavily recruited by several Division 1 schools and ultimately landed in the Big East at the University of Cincinnati. A three year starter for the Bearcats, Williams was named Third Team all Big East his senior year while setting the single season goals against average in school history. Coach Williams finished his career with the second most shutouts at UC.
After a successful career at UC, Williams spent three seasons in the USLPro, now known as the USL, the second tier in the American Soccer Pyramid below the MLS. In each of his three seasons, Williams lead the league in saves while manning the net for the Dayton Dutch Lions. In his three year pro career, Williams made 84 professional appearances. 
After the 2014 USLPro season, Williams retired from professional soccer, opting to move back to his native Maine with his girlfriend Heather, whom he married in the summer of 2017. They current reside in Cumberland Foreside, ME with their dog Brady.
Williams says: "I couldn't be happier to join Coach Flaherty at Bates. As an amateur, Stu was instrumental in helping me reach my goals of becoming a pro soccer player and I'm really excited to join him at Bates and build on the already strong foundation he and his guys have established"