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Internship paving the way for Sport Management major, soccer player

Charlie Johnson Sport Management York College
York College Sport Management major Charlie Johnson turned his work experience semester into the first step of his post-collegiate career.

While many former athletes say they eventually want to coach, York College of Pennsylvania men’s soccer player Charlie Johnson started his coaching career before he even finished college.

As a student in York College’s Sport Management program, Charlie was required to complete a full academic semester consisting of 450-500 hours of work experience before graduating. He landed the perfect opportunity when he interned at McDaniel College with the men’s soccer team.

“McDaniel head coach Steve Corrieri was very helpful in making sure I became fully engaged in what a collegiate soccer coach job entails,” Charlie says. “Instead of me just shadowing him every day, he always gave me tasks to do and really threw me in the fire.”

It was an experience he really embraced.

“It tested me to see if this was something I wanted to do in my near future,” Charlie says.

A YCP connection

Fortunately, Charlie wasn’t a total stranger when he arrived at McDaniel. Former York College teammate and fellow Sport Management graduate Justin Kaiser was finishing up his two-year term as a graduate assistant for the McDaniel soccer program.

“By knowing him, it made it easier to ask questions, and he was willing to give me advice throughout my time at McDaniel,” Charlie says. “During my internship, it was interesting because I was there at a time where it was the offseason, and then later the spring season. So, I got a real opportunity to see the perhaps 'boring' side of being a coach, and the more hectic side during an actual season.”

Justin, a 2015 York College graduate, worked closely with Charlie during the spring.

“As a player, you don’t really understand what the title of coach fully entails – all the work that goes into recruiting and scheduling,” Justin says. “Charlie seemed to have somewhat of a grasp of that. It was more getting him used to and comfortable with things.”

Made his mark while there

At McDaniel, Charlie was more than a glorified water boy.

He used Photoshop to help with graphics for the team’s Twitter page and to draw up potential new logos. Using Adobe Premier Pro, Charlie completed a special video project that was part of his internship.

“Coach Corrieri wanted me to create a video of certain soccer concepts and convey to the players what the coaches were trying to accomplish,” Charlie says. “I found clips from McDaniel's games last season and picked out good and bad things that they did. Then, I compared them to clips I found from professional games and showed them what should be done in certain situations.”

Charlie also provided information on recruits and coached on the field during the spring season. It was his favorite part of the experience.

“Spring season gave me the chance to connect with the players and a chance to become part of conversations amongst the other coaches,” he says. “Prior, I had no real idea of how the team was or what to expect from players.

“For the players, spring season gave me a perfect setting to just coach the players and talk to them. I learned more about their personalities on and off the field, which made me earn more respect amongst them.”

Ready to hit the ground running on next challenge

As hoped, the former soccer player who wants to be a coach completed his internship and also landed his next stop: Charlie will replace Justin as graduate assistant coach at McDaniel.

Thanks to what he learned in York College’s Sport Management program and the work experience requirement, Charlie says, he’s ready for the challenge.

In fact, he has already started a couple of months ahead of time.

“I have been looking forward to it since the first day I decided I wanted to be there in the fall,” he says. “I have already sketched out some practice plans for the goalkeepers and field players that I may implement in the fall.”

His former teammate thinks Charlie has what it takes to succeed.

“We knew if Charlie was interested, he would ultimately take over the position,” Justin says. “He’s a sharp kid and really bright.”