FORMER SOCCER PLAYER AND MANAGER JOINS VILLAGE SCHOOL OF NAPLES AS HEAD COACH & ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT CONSULTANT
The Village School of Naples, an independent school serving students in Preschool through 12th grade, announced the appointment of former professional football player and manager Piotr Nowak as its Head Boys Varsity and Middle School Soccer Coach and Athletic Department Consultant, beginning with the 2023-2024 season.
“As an accomplished player and sports executive, Piotr has successfully built soccer programs around the world,” said Dennis Chapman, Head of School for The Village School of Naples. “We are thrilled to welcome him to our Athletics Department and look forward to building The Village School into a perennial contender at the Varsity level.”
A native of Poland, Nowak brings more than 25 years of playing experience and 19 years of executive experience in global football and business. Nowak made his debut in the Poland national team in 1990. During his playing career, he was named captain of the Polish National Team, Polish Player of the Year (1996) and Bundesliga Best Playmaker (1995). In 1998, Nowak moved to the United States and joined the Chicago Fire for the team’s inaugural season and was named as Major League Soccer Club MVP five times.
Nowak transitioned from playing to coaching in 2004, leading D.C. United in his first year as a coach to win an MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield. He was elected three times as Head Coach of the MLS All-Star Team. In 2005, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski honored him for his contributions and achievements as a player and coach, bestowing the prestigious Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
Armed with his international credentials, Nowak became an Assistant Coach to the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team under Head Coach Bob Bradley. Nowak also served as Head Coach of the USA Olympic National Team, advancing to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He has coached more than 70 national team players and orchestrated the USA’s championship run to a title in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Mandela Cup.
Nowak later became Team Manager and Executive Vice President of the new MLS Club Philadelphia Union, where he was in charge of helping design a brand new $120 million stadium and building a new MLS team and youth academy sport and financial model.
More recently, Nowak served as FIFA Chief Analyst and Football Expert under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger, former Manager of the English Premier League team Arsenal London, in a newly created program FIFA Global Talent Development Program where he speaks on how to help, improve and develop players, systems, methodology and finances.
Founded nearly four decades ago as a private institution for pre-school students, The Village School of Naples introduced an Upper School division for high school students in 2017. Since then, the school’s leadership has been aggressively renovating and expanding the academic, arts and athletic facilities to accommodate current and future growth.
Located at 6000 Goodlette-Frank Rd., The Village School of Naples originally began as The Caring Place Preschool in 1985 as an outreach at North Naples United Methodist Church. In 2000, the church relocated to the present campus location and added The Village School, beginning with K-2 and 37 students. In 2006, the school was accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Florida Kindergarten Council.
In 2009, parents asked The Village School for a middle school to be added and soon after added the middle school one grade a year to complete the eighth grade. Four years later, the Board of Directors voted to add an upper school with 17 students in the fall of 2017.
In June 2020, The Village School celebrated its first-ever graduating class of seniors. The school currently has over 135 upper school students and will graduate its largest senior class (33 students) this spring. For additional information: www.villageschoolnaples.org.