Greetings Chattanooga FC Academy Families and Coaches:

There is a lot of attention surrounding soccer in the Chattanooga region these days. With this increased focus, we’ve been asked a lot of questions about our future plans for youth soccer and hope this helps you understand our perspective on things.


Chattanooga FC (CFC) was born in 2009 out of a love for our city and a love of soccer. And when we spearheaded the founding of CFCA in 2012, we did it for one reason: to unify the youth soccer community to better serve our children. Among our board members, we have coached at the college, travel, and recreation levels, so we have experienced the good, bad, and ugly of youth soccer.


In recent years, CFCA has experienced success in areas that we believe are essential to building the foundation of CFCA culture. The launch of our IDP program for pre-select players has added energy to the culture and development on which CFCA can grow on. Also, steps have been taken to further educate our coaches and work towards building curriculums under a consistent focus and philosophy. Creating this groundwork is the start to developing a culture that can also produce consistent results. Over the last two years alone, CFCA has experienced some landmark moments like winning three D1 state championships and have seen nearly 50 players sign to play college soccer.


Despite CFCA’s recent success, we recognize that we can be much better. For a full-service club like CFCA, there needs to be more consistency in coaching culture and philosophies, higher quality and quantity of communication from all levels of leadership, improving turf field availability, and allowing teams to have more input and support with game scheduling and team fees.

For CFCA to step to the next level, we need better alignment and involvement between CFC and CFCA. This is something we are committed to making happen! We’ve already begun to invest resources with CFCA in ways we never have before.

Over the last few months, members of CFC’s board have been working to understand the youth soccer landscape to find opportunities for leadership. Here are several key areas we see needs:

  • Take an active role in the management and accountability of CFCA leadership to better connect the CFC family of organizations and improve the soccer landscape in Chattanooga. We’ve been at arm’s length too long and CFCA will be stronger under a more unified structure.
  • Start with leadership and culture with a unified CFCA leadership team that is focused on developing players at all levels of the club with a healthy culture, philosophy, and atmosphere for players, parents, coaches, and referees.
  • Invest resources into the development of our coaches so they are better equipped to invest in our players and parents. We just demonstrated this two weeks ago by hosting Tom Byer (read his book!) for 48 hours to talk about player development. We are also working on ways to engage VfL Wolfsburg from the Bundesliga in Germany with CFCA.
  • More turf facilities are needed, plain and simple. We are actively working to develop additional turf space for community and CFCA use. Two of our founders were also founders of Highland Park Commons so we understand how to do this.
  • Reduce costs for families by putting fresh eyes on the budget to find ways to make CFCA more accessible to more families.
  • Increase transparency and give parents clear understanding in how team fees are calculated and allocated.
  • Improve transportation through a 28-seat team bus shared with the CFC Foundation.
  • Support the whole soccer ecosystem by helping foster a love for the sport in local rec leagues and CFC Foundation programs. Throughout the whole system, we need to cultivate an atmosphere for players that helps them compete at state, regional, and even national levels.
  • Free access to CFC’s home games for all CFCA players. We are excited to now extend this to all CFCA coaches as well!

Neither CFC nor CFCA will ever be perfect, but we will always strive for excellence. We won’t be afraid to innovate. We will ask for your feedback and listen to you. CFCA’s name and colors are known throughout the region. That legacy will grow in 2019-20 as we renew our focus on a healthy culture for players, coaches, and families at all levels of the club.

In the upcoming weeks and months, you’ll see some of these items begin to take shape. We will keep you informed as best as possible!

Thank you for being part of CFCA in the past and for joining us now. We look forward to a shared future with you. Spread the word…

Something beautiful is happening with CFC Academy!

With great expectation,

Sheldon Grizzle
On behalf of the board of Chattanooga Football Club