Director of Coaching
Mike Thompson has been the Director of Coaching since 2011. But Mike is a familiar face to our club and has been part of the coaching staff since 2000. He was also one of the first Sting players 1985-1996. Mike’s prior position was at Gonzaga University. Were he was a valued member of their men’s coaching staff for the past 10 years. Mike holds a USSF “B” License. He was on the coaching staff for the Idaho State Olympic Development Program in 2003-2006. Mike also was Region 4 staff coach from 2004-2006. Mike not only coached at Gonzaga but also played four seasons for the Bulldogs from 1996-99. During that stretch Mike helped lead Gonzaga to back-to-back West Coast Conference co-titles in 1997 and 1998. During his four years at GU, Mike was one of the top assist men in the WCC, setting both the single-season and career record for assists at Gonzaga. He still ranks fourth in career assists with 16 and tied for first in single-season assists with 8. His 18 career goals still rank sixth. In 1998 he earned first-team All-West Coast Conference honors and wrapped up his playing career in 1999 with an honorable mention All-WCC selection. He played three seasons with the Spokane Shadow of the United States Premier Developmental League. A native of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he completed his B.A. in history in December of 2000 and is M.A. in Sport Management/Athletic Administration in 2010. He was married to former Gonzaga women’s soccer player Molly Bales in April, 2004. They welcomed a son, Caden, in 2005 and a daughter, Natalie Paige, in 2007
Julio Morales joins the Sting Premier SC full-time staff in July of 2015. Julio is no stranger to the Inland Northwest Soccer scene as he hails from Missoula Montana, playing club soccer for the Missoula Strikers Soccer Assoc., MT ODP and a 4 year starter at Gonzaga University Mens Soccer.
He brings a wealth of experience as a coach at various levels and age groups. In addition to Club Technical Director, Mike Thompson, Morales’ experience includes Division I collegiate experience as a women’s assistant at both the University of Montana and most recently, Eastern Washington University. Prior to his collegiate stints, he coached high school girls soccer from 1998-2006 in his hometown of Missoula, ﬁnishing 3rd in the MYSA HS State tournament in 2006 before leaving to join the staff of UM rivals EWU in the fall of 2007.
Morales’ most recent club duties began in 2010 with the Spokane Soccer Club Shadow. Morales coached both boys and girls RCL teams, recently winning a Washington State President’s Cup Championship in 2014 with the girls U17. Julio has coached players that have excelled at the collegiate and international levels.
A current holder of the highest coaches license offered by the US Soccer Federation, USSF A, Julio continues to instruct coaches license courses for Washington Youth Soccer, as he did previously in Montana as well. Coaches education will remain and important role for Morales as he is tasked with providing relevant information and up to date experience to the coaches of Sting Premier SC. Morales earned a B.A. in Political Science from Gonzaga University and has three grown boys, Julio V, Marcelo, Diego and grandson Angelo.
Assistant Director of Coaching
Matt Ruchti has been the Assistant Director of Coaching for Sting since 2006. He holds a USSF "C" License. Matt Ruchti has coached Sting Soccer since 2002, is the club’s Assistant Director of Coaching, and currently coaches our U13 Boys. Since becoming a Sting coach, he has led five teams to the state finals including the 2010 U18 Boys’ State Champions. He’s taken three teams to Far West Regionals, and in 2007, he coached our U17 Boys to the USClub Regional Championship. The team advanced to Nationals. Coach Ruchti has been the Girls’ Varsity Head Coach at Lake City High School since 2003 and recently won the state title in 2012. Coach Ruchti has also coached Idaho ODP at the state level for three years. In 2004, he earned his USSF ‘C’ License. An Idaho native, Coach Ruchti grew up playing club, ODP, and high school soccer in the state. He holds a B.A. in History from Idaho State University where he also played club soccer. He earned Gonzaga University’s M.A. in Initial Teaching in 2004. He was married to Misti in July 2006, they welcomed Lukas in 2007 and Tayla in 2010.
Assistant Director of Coaching
Nick Funkhouser is our newest Assistant Director of Coaching, and a tremendous addition to our leadership team. He played club soccer in Spokane and four years on varsity at East Valley High school. He was inspired to pursue a career in the sport after serving as captain from his Freshman year under renowned coach Cor Van der Meer at Community Colleges of Spokane. He began his coaching career in 2006, and has achieved notable success with both University High school and the Spokane Shadow. Nick coached the University boys’ varsity program to the GSL championship game twice, and in the past six years has coached four different Shadow teams to promotion in the Regional Champions League. He currently holds his USSF B license and is working towards the A license. Nick married to Sharon in September 2011. We are extremely excited to have this talented and driven coach as a resource to both our players and our coaching staff.