PS Math Teacher Andrew Chappell Named Assistant Coach of USA Women’s Soccer Team for the 2019 Maccabiah Games

Andrew Chappell, head coach of both Girls Varsity Soccer and Girls Varsity Basketball and Prep School math teacher, was named as an assistant coach of the USA Women’s soccer team for the 2019 Maccabiah Games. The games will be held in Budapest this summer.


A multi-sport international Jewish sporting competition, the Maccabiah Games is the third-largest sporting event in the world, with over 10,000 athletes competing. Often referred to as the “Jewish Olympics,” it is an official regional event supervised by the International Olympic Committee.


We checked in with Mr. Chappell to find out learn more about his experience as a coach at CGPS, and to get his thoughts on being chosen to coach in the Maccabiah Games.


How did you first become involved in coaching women’s soccer?

Mr. Chappell: I've been coaching girls soccer since I arrived at Columbia Prep in 2004. I was originally slated to be the assistant varsity coach, but then we had a coach not show up last minute and I ended up being the head coach that season. We only had 12 girls on the team, but I loved it. We worked pretty hard in the offseason to try to get more girls on the roster and ended up having 28 show up for tryouts the next season, which was amazing.


How did the Maccabiah Games assistant coach position come about?

Mr. Chappell: I've known the head coach, Jeff Katz, for a long time. He's currently the Associate Head Coach at MIT and he is my mentor when it comes to soccer.  He actually came to talk with our team briefly during preseason this year. When he got offered the position, he asked me if I wanted to be his assistant, and it sounded like such a great opportunity, so I said yes.


How do you feel about being chosen to coach in the Maccabiah Games?

Mr. Chappell: I'm really excited. I think it’s going to be a great experience for me. To be able to go somewhere and have USA gear on and be able to represent our country is an unbelievable honor. And I think I'm going to be able to learn so much working with Jeff and the great athletes that are part of the experience. The thing I love the most about team sports is watching a group of individuals come together for a common goal — can we help this group come together in just 14 days? I'm fired up for that challenge.


Why is it important to mentor women in soccer, and sports at large?

Mr. Chappell: I love coaching girls in sports. I think they respond to coaching in such a positive way, and the bond they form with their teammates can be incredible. A lot of times its that bond that they have with their teammates that allows them to reach new levels and push themselves harder. I know that lots of my athletes have struggled with confidence and tend to second guess themselves on things while they are playing, so helping them have confidence and see what they do well is a really rewarding experience, and hopefully they take that confidence with them for the rest of their lives. I also think, for high school athletes, teaching them that it’s ok to be aggressive, that its ok to go after what they want, is really important. That passion and energy makes all the difference in the world.