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 (and now Senior Coach of Soccer Programs) George Purgavie during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
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, for the past three years 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 SoccerMaine Olympic Development Program.
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.
Flaherty has overseen an improvement in the program in his first two years, with highlights including a 2-0 win at 2007 national champion Middlebury and a 5-1 conference win at rival Colby. Out of conference, the Bobcats have beaten GNAC champion St. Joseph’s (3-1) and NAC champion Thomas (1-0 in 2012 and 2013).
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.