Wilco Ravestijn has a history of innovation and entrepreneurship.
In 2001, Wilco partnered with the Plano YMCA and formed Club Classic Soccer. A club emerged from a single skills session consisting of only 3 players. Over the subsequent 11 years, Club Classic Soccer became an exclusive boys soccer club with the merger of Texas Spirit, an all-girls soccer organization. As the originator and Executive Director of the Brother-Sister club concept, Wilco grew the clubs to over 60 teams with 25 coaches in 3 YMCA locations.
During this tenure, Wilco also revolutionized the way young players under the age of 10 received training by forming the Super Development League (SDL). At the time, North Texas State Soccer Association (NTSSA) only allow recreational soccer to be coached by volunteer parents, restricting teams to be formed under 10 years of age with no more than 1 skills session per week from a professional youth coach. Mostly volunteers and well-meaning yet uncultured soccer administrators unknowingly were prohibiting key developmental years with these regulations out of fear and stereotyping professional youth coaches. Having the experience of growing up in the Dutch Soccer Youth System, and understanding other developed soccer cultures, Wilco innovatively created the SDL to foster a positive development environment for young players to enjoy and learn the game sooner. The league grew to over 350 teams within 2 years and advanced the North Texas youth soccer landscape forever.
Wilco’s key strengths exist in strategic thinking and vision. The current footballing soccer pyramid and culture in North Texas has remained static and is due for significant advancement. This pursuit will evolve through the DFW Dutch Lions FC.
At the age of 10, Wilco began playing for his local home town club VFC (Vlaardingse Voetbal Club). At the age of 15 he transitioned to the regional professional club at the time called SVV (Schiedamse Voetbal Vereniging), who's youth program played in the upper levels of the Netherlands.
In 1993 he was recruited by West Virginia Wesleyan College where he was a four-year starter. During his time there he led the Bobcats to the Division II National Championship and received honors for 1st team All-Conference, 1st team All-South Atlantic, Conference Most Valuable Player of the Year, All-American and Wilco was selected to the Collegiate All-Star team of the East, where the top 18 players are picked from the NCAA Division II, III, and the NAIA. Wilco was signed by the Dallas Sidekicks in ’97 and in ’98 signed with the A-League team the Richmond Kickers before returning to Dallas to play for the Dallas Toros and other semi-professional teams for a subsequent 4 years.
In addition to the experience of the reputable Dutch club systems, Wilco obtained a National USSF "A" coaching license in 2001, an NSCAA Premier Diploma and also holds a National Youth Coaching License which are the highest licenses attained by very few career coaches. He has over 15 years of coaching experience with diverse age groups and levels helping 54 players reach the collegiate level of play of which many received scholarships and some went on to play professionally. Wilco resides in Frisco with his wife Kelly and sons Nico and Koen.
Wilco says his favorite moment as a player was the Cinderella story during the US Open Cup when playing for Dallas Roma FC. A team of amateurs took on goliath A-League and MLS professional teams and beat them against all odds.Read More......