GoalNation’s Women In Soccer Series
Felicia Kappes is well known in the youth and collegiate soccer world for inspiring passion and bringing out the best in her players. Head Coach Kappes’ Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks GU17 team is a great example of her work. Her players are well known for their talent, dedication and passion for the world’s most beautiful game. Now, the team is also known as US Youth Soccer back-to-back National Champions (2013, 2014). Coached for years by Kappes, Cal South’s Youth Competitive Coach of the Year for 2013, the 1996/97 team reached the pinnacle of youth soccer by winning the championship two years in a row.
Kappes holds a B License from the US Soccer Federation. A former collegiate player who was twice named a Division III All-American while at UC San Diego, Kappes’ team won the National Championship in 1989. Kappes also holds a Master of Science in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts. Now a youth soccer coach, Kappes has coached at UCSD, SDSU and UMASS. While she was assistant coach to Jim Rudy, UMASS reached the quarter finals of the NCAA Division I tournament.
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you first start playing soccer?
Felicia Kappes: I started playing soccer when my mother moved us to Southern California from New York City when I was 8 years old. She wanted us in a healthier environment than the rough Bronx, New York, neighborhood. She felt my brothers were growing up too quickly on the streets.
As soon as we moved here, my mother enrolled us all in recreational sports and she volunteered for everything. Soccer was my main sport and my mother was my very first coach. I instantly fell in love with this great sport. From early on this sport taught me so many great life lessons.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where did you play youth soccer?
Felicia Kappes: There were not many Youth Soccer Club opportunities when I was growing up playing. There were only 2 to 3 Clubs in all of San Diego. I had to play up by two years for several seasons due to the lack of opportunities, and I pursued a degree in Communications and Political Science at UCSD and played 4 years of College Soccer there.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where do you coach now and what teams?
Felicia Kappes: I coach a GU18 Elite team at the DMCV Sharks part time (even though this team feels more like full time).
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you think women coaches are paid the same as men?
Felicia Kappes: I think it has been documented that in general in all fields women are not paid the same as men.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where have you coached in the past – I know you have earned many awards … can you tell us?
Felicia Kappes: Of course – here you go! I coached college soccer at UCSD, UMASS Amherst and SDSU. In youth competitive soccer, I have coached at Carlsbad Lightning, CV Manchester, and DMCV Sharks Soccer Club.
I have been very fortunate and have been awarded two-time US Youth National Champion 2013, 2014; 2013, 2014 National League Champions, Cal Couth State Champions 2012, 2013; Region IV Finalist, FWRL Champion, U15 US Manchester Cup Champion (represented US at the Gothia Cup); 2013 Cal South Olders Competitive Coach of the Year.