Ian Barker joined United Soccer Coaches/the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as Director of Coaching Education in January 2012, tasked with the strategic direction of the organization’s educational offerings.
Barker joined the staff after serving as the men’s soccer coach at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., a position he assumed in 2003 after four years as an assistant coach for the squad. Barker posted a 97-59-15 record in nine seasons as head coach. During his 13 total years there, the Scots were 152-74-21, won six conference titles and made six appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament.
He also has collegiate coaching experience from the University of Wisconsin, where he was an assistant coach for the men’s team from 1989-97, helping the Badgers to four NCAA tournament appearances in a five-year span. The 1995 team won the Big 10 title and claimed the NCAA national championship.
Barker was also an assistant coach for the US Youth Soccer’s Region II Boys Olympic Development Program, leading teams on international tours in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Italy, Scotland and Switzerland.
Barker’s coaching education credentials are equally impressive. He has served as a staff instructor for US Soccer’s coaching education program since 1999, teaching both state and nationally-hosted residential licenses. He has also instructed the National Youth License for US Youth Soccer.
From 1997 to 2007, he also served as Director of Coaching and Player Development for the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA). During his tenure, he co-developed and advocated Parents and Coaches Together (PACT), a training program designed to create a more positive soccer experience for players, coaches and parents.
Additionally, Barker has been Technical Director for International Sports Connection, serving as part of a team funded by the U.S. State Department to assist in the creation of a youth soccer system in Uganda. Through this program he educated nearly 400 Ugandan male and female coaches.
Barker holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and literature from the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K., graduating with honors in 1987. He received his postgraduate certificate of education a year later.
Barker earned his first coaching badge while in college with the English FA’s Preliminary Award in 1986, before moving to the US in 1987. He earned his USSF A License in 1995. He holds the NSCAA’s Premier Diploma and was part of the inaugural class to receive the NSCAA Master Coach Diploma in 2006.