Rory Dames and the Chicago Red Stars announced three new hires and the return of another in putting together the club’s 2020 coaching staff.
Scott Parkinson will serve as Dames’ lead assistant, continuing the league-wide trend of hiring English men into prominent coaching positions. Parkinson moves over from the Utah Royals, where he served in the same capacity for Laura Harvey for the previous two seasons. Prior to the Royals, Parkinson was the head man for Rogers State University for two seasons earning Heartland Conference Coach of the Year for the 2017 season. He also currently holds a USSF A license.
Former Red Stars defender, Julianne Sitch, returns to the club as a first team assistant as well as serving as the bench boss for the Red Stars Reserves. Sitch played for the Red Stars for three seasons overall (2010, 2013-2014) making a total of 44 appearances grabbing one goal. Following her retirement from pro soccer, Sitch has spent the previous five seasons as a collegiate assistant coach. First spending three seasons as an assistant for the University of Chicago women, and the previous two seasons on the UIC bench.
The Red Stars again turned to its defensive past to find the new Director of the Red Stars Academy with the hire of Michelle Lomnicki. Like Sitch, Lomnicki also played for the Red Stars in both the WPS and NWSL. She made one appearance back in 2010 for the WPS Red Stars and 40 appearances between 2013 and 2015 netting three goals. Since retiring in March of 2016, Lomnicki had been serving as the Female Assistant Director for Chicago Empire FC winning the 2019 ISSA Women in Soccer Award.
Rounding out the bench for the 2020 season will be returning Goalkeeper Coach Rade Tanaskovic. Tanaskovic is entering his second season with the Red Stars after serving in the same role for the University of Iowa for two seasons.
“These latest additions reflect our continued commitment to bringing in superb talent while identifying opportunities for former players to move into new careers,” Red Stars Owner and CEO Arnim Whisler said via a news release.
This keeps in line with Rory Dames’ idea that, “The Chicago Red Stars truly are a family,” Whisler said.
With the hiring of the best available NWSL assistant coach along with two former players, both the owner and bench boss are certainly setting out to make both of those statements true.