The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that Tulsa Athletic head coach Levi Coleman has been named the 2021 NPSL Coach of the Season.
“I am very pleased to be named NPSL Coach of the Season as it is a representation of the hard work of our entire club to achieve success this season,” Coleman said. “Our coaching staff has the perfect balance of needed skill sets that complement each other. There is no chance this award is won without my coaching staff and the talented roster at my disposal. For me, it’s very important our entire coaching staff is recognized, from player/coach Jaime Gilbert who leads the culture and accountability to my game management staff of Bret Cromwell and the experienced Joey Ryan. Our main goal is to match this award with a national championship.”
Coleman is in his first season as the head coach for the NPSL Tulsa Athletic side in 2021 after serving as an assistant coach for Tulsa for two seasons in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
In his first season as the head coach, Coleman led Tulsa Athletic to their first-ever South Region
Championship and the club’s second straight Heartland Conference championship. Aboubakr Diallo, Joe Garcia, and Joe Ruiz were all selected to the Heartland Conference XI. Coleman was named both Heartland Conference and South Region Coach of the Season.
“Tulsa Athletic has been successful because of the talent that we have had and the club being able to provide an environment to attract and maintain those players,” Coleman said. “The club has done well with taking care of elite players that come through the club.”
Coleman is a Tulsa Athletic legend as a player as he is the all-time leader in goals with 37,
playing seven seasons with the club. As a player, he helped the club capture three conference championships and advance to two South Region Finals.
“Tulsa Athletic, to me, means family,” Coleman said. “A core of the club has been around for many years, and we spend a lot of time together each season. Teams have always provided that opportunity for family, and Athletics have always valued that. It also means opportunity, as mentioned earlier, allowing me the chance to play at a high level in my hometown and follow that up with coaching that same team. I think Tulsa Athletic means a lot of things in the community of Tulsa. It has provided opportunity to countless players to be the springboard into their college or professional careers. It represents a hard-working club that will fight and grind to succeed. The city has been evolving into a place where young professionals can launch their career.”
Coleman is an assistant coach for NCAA Division I Oral Roberts, joining the staff in 2019. He is also the Boys Director for West Side Alliance Soccer Club. Coleman previously served as the
head coach of Booker T. Washington HS for two seasons. He was an assistant for Union
HS for three seasons, helping the boys advance to the 6A State Championship one season.
Coleman played professionally with the Charleston Battery in the USL and won the 2010 USL
Championship with the Battery. He also played four seasons for the Kansas City Comets and Tulsa Revolution in the professional indoor game.
“We’ve always been a team who try and play an entertaining brand of soccer,” Tulsa Athletic owner Sonny Dalesandro said. “Putting our club’s all-time leading scorer at the helm made a lot of sense, but the way Levi has embraced the role is a credit to his work ethic, tactical knowledge of the game, and his ability to build relationships and trust with our group is nothing short of remarkable. Our club is a family and the hard work of coaches Jamie Gilbert, Joey Ryan, and Bret Crowell are far from unnoticed, and we’re delighted that they share in this wonderful award as well.”
Photo Credit: Niko McWilliams