Coaches

River City Rangers coaches share a common vision and the depth of experience that combine to make a winning soccer club. Building on extensive coaching and playing experience, Rangers coaches emphasize positive coaching, academic success, and individual talent within the framework of well-defined team goals.

Our coaching staff comprises dedicated and talented professionals, all of whom have earned coaching credentials from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) or the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

Coaches – River City Rangers Soccer Club – Spring 2014
Director of Coaching
Ben Crawley
 
512-659-5175

Credentials
USSF “A” License
 
Activities
Academy/Rec+ Program
Story
Ben Crawley loves playing and coaching soccer and has achieved excellence in all aspects of the sport. Ben grew up in Austin and attended Westlake High School. While still in high school, he was a member of the first Austin Capitals’ team that finished 3rd in Nationals in 1988 and also was a member of the U-16 National Team. In 1989, Ben entered the University of Virginia, where he was a starting player for all four years. He was Virginia’s Team Captain during his last two seasons and was honored as a 1st Team All-American his senior year, during which he led the Cavaliers to their third National Championship in four years. Ben also played on the U-20 National Team.
     Following college, Ben played soccer in Germany for two years and then returned to the States to play for the Richmond Kickers, helping them to win the National Championship and the US Open Cup. Ben was subsequently elected to the All-Star Team and entered the inaugural Major League Soccer draft. He was selected by DC United, who then went on to win the Lamar Hunt MLS Championship trophy and the US Open Cup title.
     After achieving success at the national level, Ben decided to move back to Austin to finish his playing career with the Austin Lone Stars and to start his coaching career with his old club, the Austin Capitals. During his years of coaching, Ben has held titles such as Director of Girls, Director of Goalkeeping, Field Coordinator, and even Groundskeeper. In the summer of 2011 Ben accepted a new challenge, becoming the Director of Coaching for the River City Rangers. Ben enjoys spending his spare time with his wife, Dianne, and their three boys: Landon and Griffin, who have already started their playing careers, and Andrew, who joined their family in January of 2010.
Caren Benouis
 
C: 512-426-2640
Credentials
NSCAA National Diploma
 
Activities
RCR Summer Soccer Camp, RCR Futsal
Story
Caren started playing soccer when she moved to Austin at age 11. She played at Town & Country when the old fields were cow pastures. She attended Westwood High School and helped its soccer team to reach the state tournament for three of those years. She also played for two years on the STYSA U19 Select Team, which was then what ODP is now.
     Caren attended Trinity University in San Antonio, where she started for three years before an injury at the end of her junior year cut short her tenure as a college player. At Trinity, Caren was named All-Around MVP her freshman year and was Team Captain for two years. During and after college, Caren also played briefly for the San Antonio Orange Crush and Austin Europa women’s club teams.
     Caren and her husband, Ian, have four kids, all of whom play for Rangers’ select or Academy/Rec+ teams. Caren coached her kids’ recreational teams in NASA and became a Rangers’ parent in 2005, when her oldest child joined a Rangers’ Academy/Rec+ team. Caren served for one term as a member of the Rangers’ Executive Committee, in the position of Commissioner of Boys Teams, before resigning that position in 2009 to begin her coaching career with the Rangers. Prior to the Fall 2011 season, she coached the ’99 “Black”, ’99 “White”, and ’97 “Orange” girls’ teams.
     Caren’s perspective as a Rangers’ coach is uniquely augmented by her experiences as a NASA parent coach and as an executive officer on the Rangers’ Board of Directors. She is always among the first to make an extra effort for the benefit of the kids in NASA and the Rangers, wielding her positive attitude and unpretentious expertise to mentor NASA’s parent coaches and to run Rangers’ Summer Soccer Camp and Futsal sessions.
Darrell Best
 
H: 512-329-8011
C: 512-925-4456

Credentials
USSF “C” License, NSCAA Premier Diploma
 
Activities
Academy/Rec+ Program, RCR Summer Soccer Camp
Story
As a youth player, Darrell was a member of the Houston Texans Soccer Club, where he helped to lead his team to a State Championship. He was also named an All Region player for Clear Lake High School. Darrell played collegiate club soccer at Texas A&M, leading the Aggies to a national championship in 1991. More recently, Darrell played for the Austin City Men’s Premier League while earning a degree in Elementary Education at the University of Texas. He teaches 5th Grade at Union Hill Elementary School in Round Rock.
     Darrell has coached youth soccer since the mid-1990s. For several years he served as Assistant Director for Youth Development at the Austin Thunder Soccer Club. Darrell joined the coaching staff of the River City Rangers in 2004 and has enjoyed success with both girls‘ and boys‘ teams, from exuberant U11s just starting select soccer to jaded high school seniors. He served as the Head Coach of Boys Teams from 2008 to 2010 and has devoted time to mentoring NASA recreational coaches. Darrell is a key coaching resource in the Rangers’ Academy/Rec+ Program.
Mike Brow
 
C: 512-426-1344

Credentials
USSF “B” License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, USSF Referee, NISOA National Referee
 
Story
Mike grew up in Houston. He moved to Austin in the early 1980s to attend the University of Texas, where he added to the joy of study by playing on the UT Club soccer team and earned a BA in English, graduating in 1985. Mike played at the semi-pro level with Austin Thunder and the Soccadillos, gaining a reputation as a speedy and devious striker. He coached youth players with Thunder and with the Kingwood Wave, guiding teams to success at the State and Regional levels. Mike is a National Referee for collegiate matches. In 2004, he officiated the Jr. College National Championship final, the D3 Men’s National Championship final, and the D1 Women’s National Championship semi-final. He is an active mentor/assessor for youth and adult referees throughout Texas.
     Mike joined the coaching staff of the River City Rangers in 2004. He has coached both girls and boys teams, from U9 to U19, and has shown a particular aptitude for developing precise fundamental ball-handling skills and a confident possession-oriented style of play in Academy and young select players. He has coached U9/10 teams in the Rangers’ Academy/Rec+ Program and has been an enthusiastic resource and mentor for several of NASA’s parent coaches. From 2008 to 2011 he served as the Rangers’ Head Coach of Girls Teams. Mike continues to draw inspiration from his love of English literature. He is passionate about writing and about soccer, viewing both as life-long endeavors in which the occasional achievement of beauty is the best ultimate goal and the development of true artistry requires humility, a sense of honor, and extraordinary commitment.
Dan “Danno” Busch
 
H: 512-280-0901
C: 512-626-7434

Credentials
USSF “C” License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma
 
Activities
Academy/Rec+ Program, RCR Summer Soccer Camp
Story
Danno coached for the Austin Capitals Soccer Club for 11 years during the 1990s and early 2000s, leading several Caps’ teams to State Championships. He joined the coaching staff of the River City Rangers in 2004.
     Danno has coached Rangers’ boys teams of all ages and has shown a consistent ability to increase the competitive potential of each team while continuing to focus on player development. He seems to have a knack for motivating individual players and entire teams to improve their level of play, and his commitment to the development of each player’s fundamental skills and tactical understanding is obvious in his practice sessions. (“Have a touch! Watch your shape!!”) A notable accomplishment was Danno’s shepherding of the ’92 “Orange” boys to the Premier level of competition, the first such occurrence for a River City Rangers’ team. Danno’s patience and skill with the development of U9/U10 players has been a great boon to the Rangers’ Academy/Rec+ Program.
Steve Elizalde
 
512-825-3156

Credentials
USSF "D" License, NSCAA Advanced Regional Diploma
 
Story
Steve Elizalde has coached youth soccer players ranging from four to 18 years of age, and at all skill levels, from recreational to Premier. In Steve's more than 15 years of coaching, nearly two dozen of his players have received offers to play collegiate soccer in Central Texas and across the country.
     Steve grew up in South Austin, playing first on recreational soccer teams and eventually progressing to D1. He received offers to play at several colleges, but his heart was set on the University of Texas. Steve played soccer for the UT Men's club while attending the McCombs School of Business, and graduated from UT with a degree in Business Management. After college he lived in Houston and Dallas, but soon returned home to Austin.
     Steve decided to become a soccer coach because he encountered many players who wanted to become college athletes but did not know how to do so, and did not know where to turn for the proper guidance. Steve loves coaching and believes that its importance transcends sports. His goal is to mentor and guide players, not only in how to maximize their potential as soccer players, but also in how to become successful, responsible people. Steve wants his players to achieve success in life, not just on the field.
Clifford McBean
 
H: 512-244-7935
C: 512-294-0592

Credentials
USSF “D” License,
USSF Referee
Story
Clifford has coached youth select soccer at all levels since the 1980s and also is a USSF Referee. He has been a member of the River City Rangers’ coaching staff since the early 1990s and has coached many successful boys teams. For his long and significant service to the Rangers, Clifford was named the South Texas Youth Soccer Association Coach of the Year in 2002.
     During his many years with the Rangers, Clifford has coached several U9/U10 teams for the club’s Academy/Rec+ Program. His attention to the development of each player and his consistent emphasis on the importance of commitment and personal responsibility has helped to prepare many recreational/Academy players for the demands of select soccer. Clifford’s coaching efforts currently are focused on developing to a high level the skills of the Rangers’ younger boys select teams.
Zbigniew Pala
 
C: 512-657-5385

Credentials
Polish National Federation "A" License, USSF "C" License
Story
Zbigniew Pala played professionally for 5 years with a Division I Club in Krakow Poland and holds a Polish National Federation "A" coaching license. Zbigniew began his coaching career in 1976 in Krakow, Poland and was the head trainer for the Hutnik Krakow Junior League Soccer Club. Upon moving to the United States, he coached the Polenez Polish-American Club in San Francisco, California. Zbigniew founded FC International Soccer Club in Austin. Additionally, he was Director of Coaching for Rattler Soccer Association in Cedar Park, Director of the Girl's Program for Longhorn Soccer Club, and later coached with the Austin United Capitals. Zbigniew has had a highly successful career coaching competitive boys and girls soccer teams in Austin for over 30 years. Zbigniew joined the River City Rangers coaching staff in 2010.
Stephen Roe
 
C: 512-587-4138

Credentials
NSCAA Goalkeeping Institute National Diploma (Level 3),
NSCAA National Diploma (Level 6)
 
Activities
Academy/Rec+ Program
Story
Stephen is excited to be a member of the River City Rangers coaching staff. Before joining RCR, Stephen coached with the Austin Texans as a GK trainer and also offered private training sessions at the Austin Soccer Academy. Prior to his time with the Texans, Stephen coached for Lonestar SC. He was a GK trainer for four years, a Jr. Acadmey GK trainer, and a Jr. Academy coach for three and a half years. Stephen played for Richland College and West Texas A&M, and gained the opportunity to play on the Austin Aztexs PDL team in 2009.
     In addition to his coaching and playing experience, Stephen is a Licensed Massage Therapist, a Certified Personal Traier, and a Certified SpiderTech Kinesiology Taping Specialist. He believes that teaching ability is a prerequisite for successful coaching and training, and he applies his expertise with energy and passion for the education of his players. Since joining RCR, Stephen has been active in the Club's Academy/Rec+ Program.
Jimmy Stanton
 
C: 512-635-6110

Credentials
NSCAA National Diploma
 
Activities
Goalkeeper Training, RCR Summer Soccer Camp, RCR Futsal
Story
Jimmy grew up in Dallas, playing for small soccer clubs before he moved to the Austin area in 1998. He attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, where he was the starting goalkeeper for three years. He graduated in December of 2001 with a BA in Business and started coaching for soccer clubs in Georgetown in 2002. In 2005, he moved to Dripping Springs, where he coached highly competitive youth soccer teams.
     Upon joining the coaching staff of the River City Rangers in 2009, Jimmy served as the Head of Recreational Training, leading the Club’s efforts to provide a training curriculum and mentoring for NASA’s parent coaches until that program ended in 2013. Jimmy coached the ’96 boys team for two years, preparing them for D1 competition. He now coaches three teams and is the Club’s principal goalkeeper trainer.
     In addition to coaching for the Rangers, Jimmy is a manager at Soccer Zone, which keeps him involved with the indoor soccer community. He also serves as the Director and Coach of the Ignite A Dream Foundation’s Soccer Program. Jimmy’s diligent efforts as a coach, teacher, and mentor reflect his passion for developing young athletes into excellent soccer players and community leaders.