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Coaches

Coaching Director

Gary Kagiavas

Gary Kagiavas is from Springs, Jauteng, South Africa just outside Johannesburg. He played professionally in South Africa for Boksburg Two for Joy and later for Wits University professional team. Gary came to the United States on a scholarship to Gannon University where he was a 4-year standout. He started at defense and midfield finishing his career 58-14-8 and making the NCAA Final Four twice. After graduation, he and his wife then moved back to South Africa where he was the head coach of Springs Old Boys professional team. He returned to the US and joined the Gannon men’s soccer coaching staff where he was assistant for 3 years.

Gary became head coach of Edinboro University in 1996. He has amassed a 231-184-40 record, ranking in the top 25 in wins amongst active coaches in NCAA Division 2. He is also 2nd in wins among PSAC coaches. As Edinboro’s only head coach in the history of the program, he has made 12 PSAC playoff appearances, 8 in the last 10 years. The Fighting Scots have also made the NCAA tournament 5 times, making it as far as the Sweet 16 in 2015. Gary has been named PSAC Coach of the Year 4 times (‘01, ‘05, ‘07, ‘19).

Gary brings a wealth of club coaching knowledge as well. He’s been a club director at Erie Regional Soccer Club, the Erie Admirals, and Millcreek Soccer Academy. He holds numerous coaching licenses including a South African coaching license, the USSF National B license, and the United Soccer Coaches National license.

Technical Director

Colin Petersen

Colin Petersen is a Vereeniging, South Africa native. He came to the United States in 1993 on a soccer scholarship to Gannon University. His freshman year, the Knights advanced to the NCAA Final Four and he contributed 13 goals and 6 assists. Colin went on to earn All-Region honors twice and All-GLIAC honors their first 2 years in the conference.

Colin started his college coaching career as an assistant on the men’s and women’s program at Gannon before transitioning to head coach in 2002. He’s the winningest and longest tenured coach in Gannon’s 31-year history. Colin holds the record for most wins in a season with 158 wins. His program has developed 52 All-Region athletes and 48 All-PSAC athletes in the last 14 seasons. There have also been several Academic All-Americans. Colin enjoyed arguably his best season ever in 2015 when his team finished the regular season 17-1-0, #1 in the PSAC, #1 in the Atlantic Region, and #1 in the entire country for NCAA Division 2. They ended their playoff run with an 18-3-0 record and hosted the NCAA regionals.

Colin has 27 years of club coaching experience in several of the local clubs. He holds his United Soccer Coaches Advanced National coaching license.

Community Directors

Tony Turini

Tony Turini grew up in Carbondale, IL. He came to Erie, PA to play soccer at Gannon University in 1993 where the Knights made the NCAA Final Four his freshman year.

After graduating from Gannon, Tony went on to start his collegiate coaching career at local Edinboro University as a graduate assistant. He then moved on to the University of Maine at Machias and became the men’s and women’s head coach. At Maine-Machias, Tony earned Sunrise Conference Coach of the Year 3 times as well as coached numerous All-Conference players and Academic All-Americans. He had his best season ever in 2011, winning the conference and making the NAIA National Tournament. Tony went on to become head coach at Bethel College in Kansas where he enjoyed several successful seasons before returning to Erie, PA. In Erie, Tony is the Head Girls Coach for Fairview High School.

Tony brings 25 years of club coaching experience and holds his USSF National B coaching license as well as his United Soccer Coaches National license.

Evan Beutler

Evan Beutler joins the coaching staff with notable playing and coaching experience. Evan started his collegiate career at Division 1 Lipscomb University and eventually transferred to the University of West Alabama and graduated as a team captain and All-American. He then decided to take his playing career to the next level where he signed a professional contract with the Detroit Waza Flo in the Major Arena Soccer League. He was then awarded a 2-year contract to play for the York Region Shooters in the Canadian Soccer League. Evan is currently playing for the Erie Commodores as a player/coach.

Evan has coached for numerous soccer clubs throughout his playing career and has his USSF National E license. Evan was the Gannon University assistant in 2018 and then moved on to become the head girls’ coach at Girard High School where he currently coaches. Evan is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Performance Specialist and has started an individual training company called TekEVO.

Team Coaches

Lia Petersen

Lia Petersen is an Erie native who graduated from Academy High School. Lia attended Gannon University where she was a starting goalkeeper and field player. Lia ranks 13th in career saves. She went on to become the head coach at Fairview High School for 11 years. During her tenure, the Tigers earned 10 Region 2 titles, 9 District 10 championships, and 3 Western Finals appearances.

Lia went on to become the assistant coach at Gannon University where she’s been for 11 years. She helped the Knights to its best season ever in 2015 where they finished the regular season 17-1. They finished the regular season first in the PSAC, first in the Atlantic Region, and ranked #1 in the nation.

Lia brings 19 years of club coaching experience in the Erie region.

Jamie Sallie

Jamie Sallie is an Erie native who graduated from McDowell High School. Jamie went on to earn a scholarship to Central Michigan University where she was a starter before transferring to local Edinboro University. She earned All-PSAC and All-Region twice in her 3 seasons with the Fighting Scots. Jamie still holds the single season scoring record with 21 goals and single season points record with 48 points and sits 3rd in career goals and 4th in career points.

After graduation, Jamie joined the Edinboro coaching staff where she is entering her 18th season as the assistant. She’s helped the Fighting Scots reach the conference finals twice and helped them get to their best season ever in 2015, with a top 16 in the nation finish. Jamie was inducted in the Edinboro University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jamie holds her United Soccer Coaches Youth National coaching license as well as National Coaching license and bring 20 years of club coaching experience.

Dale White

Dale White joins the staff as the Head Coach of the Erie Commodores men’s professional team. Dale grew up in Scotland and came to the United States on a scholarship to Gannon University. Dale went on to become the assistant coach at Mercyhurst University for both the men and women. They enjoyed a ton of success during his time, including the women winning a conference title.

Dale was named the head coach of the men’s program at Mercyhurst in 2009 and stayed thru the 2014 season. In 6 seasons, his program made 4 PSAC tournament, winning 2. They also made the NCAA tournament all 6 seasons, making it as high as the Final 4 in 2012. After leaving, Dale became the head coach at rival Gannon University where he led the Knights to 3 conference tournaments and was the NCAA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in 2018.

Dale has been the head coach of the Erie Commodores for the past 3 seasons and brings 21 years of youth coaching experience.

John Melody

John Melody is a native of Ireland and brings a wealth of youth, collegiate, and professional coaching experience. John first came to the United States to play for Mercyhurst University. He then went on to become the head coach for men and women at Mercyhurst where he had tons of success. During his tenure, they won multiple GLIAC titles and NCAA Regional titles with both programs perennially ranked in the top 20 in the nation. He personally won several GLIAC and NCAA Regional coach of the year awards as well as sent many players on to the professional ranks.

John also had a stint as an assistant at Gannon University in 2007 in which the Knights won the PSAC and received an NCAA tournament bid for the first time in 15 years.

John went on to become the head coach of the Erie Commodores men’s professional team from 2009- 2013 and again in 2016-2017. During his tenure the Commodores have been one of the most successful organizations in the National Premier Soccer League with 6 conference championships, 3 regional championships and multiple invites to the US Open Cup.

Many of John’s players have gone on to sign professional contracts and he is well known for the development of young players to go to the “next level.”

Brian Kightlinger

Brian Kightlinger joins the Junior Commodores as a Gannon University graduate where he played goalkeeper for 4 years. Brian is the current Fort LeBoeuf boys high school coach and was also the assistant at Fort LeBoeuf right after college. He also served as the goalkeeper coach at Gannon University for 10 years.

Brian holds his United Soccer Coaches Level 1 and 2 Goalkeeping license.