Boyds, MD (February 12, 2018) – The Washington Spirit has finalized its technical staff ahead of the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League season with the hiring of former Puerto Rico men’s national team manager Jack Stefanowski as goalkeeper coach.
“It is a great opportunity to join the Washington Spirit organization and technical staff, and I look forward to working together in developing success,” Stefanowski said. “I am excited to join a team with some of the best female players in the country, and will strive to help them reach their goals.”
Stefanowski joins the Spirit organization with 17 years of experience coaching soccer in the United States and around the world, highlighted by successful tenures as head coach of the Puerto Rico and Nepal men’s national teams.
He helped Puerto Rico rise 46 places in the FIFA World Rankings from 158 to 112 while serving as interim coach in 2016. He also led Nepal to its first victory over India in 28 years, while climbing 15 spots in the FIFA World Rankings during his tenure from 2013-2015.
Stefanowski succeeds Nicci Wright, who served as Washington’s goalkeeper coach for the 2017 NWSL season. Wright will depart the club at the conclusion of the preseason to continue her full-time role with Arlington Soccer Association.
“Jack has incredible experience and having him work with our goalkeepers is a great opportunity for us all,” said Spirit Head Coach and General Manager Jim Gabarra. “We want to thank Nicci for her quality and commitment last season and through the transition.”
In addition to his national team experience, Stefanowski has an extensive background at the professional, college and competitive youth levels. The Polish-American dual citizen is UEFA and USSF “A” License certified, and served on a Puerto Rico Islanders FC technical staff which led the club to four league titles. He has five years of coaching experience in the CONCACAF Champions League, highlighted by a run to the semifinals and a victory over Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy.
At the college level, Stefanowski has coached for NCAA Division I men’s programs Stony Brook and St. Peter’s, as well as his alma mater of New York University. His youth experience includes tenures with major New York City-based club Downtown United SC as well as the Eastern New York Olympic Development Program.
Prior to his coaching career, Stefanowski played professionally for the Long Island Rough Riders in the Premier Development League.
Stefanowski rounds out Gabarra’s technical staff for the 2018 NWSL season, which will feature returning assistant coach Kati Jo “KJ” Spisak, as well as first year assistant coaches Briana Scurry and Tom Torres.
Scurry, a FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and two-time two Olympic gold medalist as a goalkeeper with the U.S. Women’s National Team, was hired in December as First Assistant Coach of the NWSL club and as Technical Advisor for the Spirit Academy programs in Maryland and Virginia.
Torres first joined the Spirit in March 2017 as the Spirit Academy – Virginia director, and has now taken on an expanded role with the club, managing video analysis, and continuing to solidify the connection between the Development Academy and the pro and reserve teams.
Washington Spirit 2018 NWSL Coaching Staff
- Jim Gabarra | Head Coach
- Briana Scurry | First Assistant Coach
- Jack Stefanowski | Goalkeeper Coach
- Tom Torres | Assistant Coach
- Kati Jo Spisak | Assistant Coach