LANSING, Mich. – Lansing Lansing Ignite FC announced on Friday the addition of assistant coaches Joel DeLass and Tim Daniels and goalkeeping coach Wail Zenga to the club’s technical staff for the 2019 season. The trio joins Head Coach Nate Miller to help the team prepare for its inaugural season in USL League One.
A graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, DeLass played professionally before transitioning to coaching and made 92 appearances in the USL Championship from 2011-2014. He earned All-League honors during the 2012 season and served as team captain for Dayton Dutch Lions FC from 2012-14.
DeLass has been coaching since 2009, serving as an assistant coach for Western Michigan Christian High School, Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, Michigan), Chicago Sockers FC and his alma mater – Wheaton College. Since 2016, DeLass has served as the Head Coach for the Northwest Nazarene University men’s soccer program, developing 15 All-Conference players and two NSCAA All-Region players during that stint.
“Having grown up in Michigan my excitement level to be joining Lansing Ignite FC for the inaugural season is incredibly high,” DeLass said. “When I was playing in the USL, I always hoped that Michigan would get a professional soccer team because the state is such a hotbed for soccer from the youth to the collegiate level. It’s awesome that Michigan and the Lansing community are finally getting that team, and I’m super blessed by the opportunity to be a part of this and can’t wait for the season to get underway as we work to put together a team that competes for championships and represents the state of Michigan well.”
Daniels has worked with Miller for the past three years on collegiate and pre-professional teams, serving as an assistant coach at Spring Arbor University and Lansing United. As a part of Miller’s staff at Spring Arbor in 2018, Daniels helped the Cougars to one of their most successful seasons in program history, finishing the year with a 17-5-1 record and a Crossroads League regular season title. In three seasons, Daniels helped Spring Arbor to a 48-13-6 overall record, two national tournament sweet 16 appearances and multiple conference titles.
“After coaching in Lansing the past couple seasons and getting connected here, I am really excited to be a part of the club,” Daniels said. “I am ready to work hard and give everything to help make the players and the club successful.”
A former Egypt men’s national team goalkeeper, Zenga started his coaching career in 2012 after an illustrious playing career for Zamalek SC – one of the most successful soccer clubs in all of Africa. Zenga won numerous titles with Zamalek SC, including multiple Egyptian Premier League trophies, and received several awards at the international level, including a bronze medal in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship and third place in the 2001 African Youth Championship.
He joins Lansing after serving as a Goalkeeping Coach for Michigan Wolves-Hawks SC, a premier soccer club based in Livonia, Michigan, with teams competing in both the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and Elite Clubs National League.
“I’m very happy to be a member of the great Lansing coaches and the strong ownership group who has a proven track record of building a successful sports franchise here in Lansing,” Zenga said. “I’m looking forward to making a strong team and developing great goalkeepers to help the club win the league.”