Denton, TX – On Tuesday October 2nd the Denton Diablos named Chad Rakestraw their first head coach in the clubs history. With a rich and storied soccer background in both the D/FW metroplex and in Denton itself, Chad was the perfect choice to help establish the Diablos brand of soccer.
Chad is the current head coach of Flower Mound Marcus High School in southern Denton County where in 2017 he took charge of a program with 26 consecutive seasons of playoff competition. Chad grew up in Grapevine, TX and graduated HS from Denton Ryan HS serving as the foundation for his deep ties to the Denton Community. After high school Chad attended Midwestern State University on a soccer scholarship where he received All conference honors and served as a team captain his Senior season. After finishing his playing career, Chad started his coaching career as an assistant at Denton Guyer HS for 3 years, before Chad received his first opportunity to be a head coach at Northwest HS 2008, where he helped lead them to their first and only 6A playoff appearance.
In 2011, Chad was given the opportunity to take over the boys Soccer Program at Coppell HS. In the following 6 years, Chad and company won 5 district championships, while playing and competing for the ultimate prize, a State Championship, on three separate occasions. While they didn’t win all 3 trips, in 2013 and 2016 Chad and team found themselves lucky enough to hoist the 6A State Championship trophy high above their heads. In Chad’s brief 6 year tenure at Coppell High School, he and staff helped send over 25 players to play at the next level including schools like University of New Mexico and SMU. Chad was the birth year 1998 & 1999 NTX State ODP Head Coach, working with future MLS homegrown talents like Reggie Cannon and Paxton Pomykal. In addition, Chad has served as the Region III ODP Staff Coach and a NTSSA license instructor. Chad currently holds a USSF B Coaching License, while also serving as the liaison between our state soccer association, TASCO and the USC (United Soccer Coaches), in addition to serving on the United Soccer Coaches High School Advocacy group as a staff member.
Chad will be the first to admit his greatest accomplishments come far from the soccer pitch in his 12-year marriage to wife Shelley Rakestraw, and his 4 little girls Madison (9), Kamryn (7), and twins Brooklyn and Katelyn (5).
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Chad representing and leading our club into what is an exciting time in our club’s journey” remarked Damon Gochneaur, Denton Diablos co-founder. “Creating a winning culture from thin air is no easy feat, but we know we’ve got the right person to help us establish a brand of soccer and club identity that any Dentonite or Texan can be proud to call their own.”
“It’s a tremendous honor to be named the first head coach of the Denton Diablos.” remarked Rakestraw. “I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead this club in our first season within the NPSL. It’s an exciting time to be a part of growing the game of soccer in the DFW area. There are a lot of great players in the metroplex that this club will give an opportunity to play at the next level.”
Starting any team from scratch can prove a formidable task, but when asked about his expectations for their first season Rakestraw had the following to say: “The expectations for our inaugural season are high. We expect to come out and compete with the teams in our conference right away. There’s plenty of quality soccer players within Dallas/Ft. Worth. Our success will depend upon our ability to unite and establish a culture that breeds excellence in all we do. The Denton Diablos will show a determined spirit that will inspire the community of supporters!”
Chad’s staff will be rounded out with the addition of three assistant coaches.
Ben Clarvis is in his second year (2018-19) as an assistant coach with Quincy’s men’s soccer program and was the assistant coach at FC Cleburne (PDL) in the summer of 2018.
In 2016, Clarvis coached for Falls Town FC at the 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2007 boys age groups. He holds an FA Level 2 coaching badge and a USSF C License.
He was previously a standout player at Division II Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas, earning NSCAA all-region honors as a defender in 2015 when the Mustangs posted an undefeated regular season. From 2012-15, MSU earned two Sweet Sixteen appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
During his collegiate summers, Clarvis was a member of King Warriors (Bluefield, W.Va.) and Midland Sockers (Midland, Texas) of the USL PDL. Prior to enrolling at Midwestern State, Clarvis was an apprentice at Plymouth Argyle FC from 2008-11 in southern England.
Clarvis graduated from Midwestern State in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and is on course to graduate Quincy University with an MBA in May.
Sam Garza will be a player/coach for the Diablos. Sam played college soccer at the University of California-Santa Barbara for two years before being drafted as the 6th overall pick for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012. Sam brings invaluable experience as a player but will also be a great addition as an assistant to the Diablos staff.
Warren van der Westhuizen
Warren is an assistant Coach that holds a USSF A License and NSCAA Goalkeeping License. He brings professional coaching experience from his time with the Atlanta Silverbacks, West Michigan Edge – PDL and with multiple College programs.