Chattanooga Pro Soccer announced former CFC general manager Sean McDaniel has been named the president and general manager of the new team, which will begin play next year in the United Soccer League Division III. McDaniel brings a decade of experience in managing a team and a lifetime of playing and supporting soccer in the Southeast, officials said.
“To lead this new team in Chattanooga and take soccer to the next level, I knew we wanted someone dedicated to his community and this sport,” said Bob Martino, owner of the new franchise.
“In Sean, I found an exceptional leader, who constantly strives to elevate the game and those around him. This is a Chattanooga team, and we wanted local leadership to guide our people and operations.”
He said in the coming months, McDaniel will be putting together staff to oversee the Chattanooga organization, which is a founding member of the new USL Division III. The Chattanooga franchise plans to hire about 40 full-time jobs in addition to event-related staff during home games.
“I love Chattanooga. I love soccer, and I’m honored to accept this opportunity to advance soccer in our community,” said McDaniel. “Chattanooga’s renaissance and the rise of soccer are lockstep. The future of soccer goes beyond playing more games. It builds community infrastructure. More soccer draws more people, more resources, more businesses and more jobs - it’s an economic incubator itself.”
While Chattanooga has been home for decades, McDaniel started playing soccer when he was six years old in Florida and grew up watching the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He competed through high school before choosing Covenant College for its soccer program and Christian base as well as the area’s mountains and seasons.
McDaniel went on to coach youth soccer in Chattanooga and played for the Chattanooga Express, which had its last season in 1999. McDaniel is a founding member of Chattanooga FC, and led the club for six seasons.
Martino said, “McDaniel and the entire soccer base in Chattanooga have played a tremendous part in the resurgence of soccer in the Southeast. Sean knows Chattanooga, the trajectory of professional soccer in the area and the exciting potential for the game and all its fans. He’s going to continue to take us in a direction that is positive for our community and our sport.”
McDaniel met his wife Angela, who is from Chattanooga, here and they have four sons: Trevor, Conner, Gavin and Declan, who all play soccer.
To stay up to date on the latest developments for the Chattanooga professional USL Division III team, please follow @ChattanoogaSocc on Twitter, @ChattanoogaProSoccer on Instagram, and Chattanooga Pro Soccer on Facebook.