Clover High School has hired Graham Stafford as its new varsity boys’ soccer coach.
For the past six years, Stafford, a 38-year-old native of Milton Keynes, England, has taught physical education at York Road Elementary School in Rock Hill and served on the coaching staff at perennial soccer powerhouse Northwestern High School. He replaces Chris Dundr who resigned his coaching duties following the 2013 season, one year removed from a birth in the Class AAAA Upper State championship. Dundr will continue to teach P.E. at Oakridge Middle School.
Stafford has been heavily involved with the expansion of Discoveries Soccer Club across York County as the club’s boys technical director. He’s led coach and player clinics with Clover’s recreation department and the Lake Wylie Athletic Association, and his familiarity with local recreation and club soccer leagues will benefit him greatly as he looks to build a program that embraces the community.
Stafford brings a wealth of knowledge to Clover in both the classroom and on the field. He has 12 years of teaching experience with the last six at York Road where he was responsible for teaching approximately 400 students and managing Challenger, the school’s afterschool program. With Northwestern, he helped coached the team to three state championships in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Stafford’s playing and coaching experience is extensive. He played semi-professional soccer with Milton Keynes Football Club and then capped a four-year college career as a national champion at Brunel University College in London. As a youth player, he trained with and had trials with two English Premier League sides.
Stafford has coached at the youth, high school, and collegiate ranks for 18 years. Before relocating to South Carolina, he worked with NOGA Soccer on Long Island, N.Y., Wilton High School (Wilton, Conn.), Emerson College (Boston, Mass.), Rhode Island Olympic Development Program, Sporting Cristale Soccer Club (Mass.), New England Revolution (Boston, Mass.), Cape Cod Crusaders (Buzzards Bay, Mass.), and Duxbury High School (Duxbury, Mass.). At Emerson, an NCAA Division III member, he was head coach for three seasons. With the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer, Stafford directed summer camps, clinics and academies alongside current Anderson University head men’s soccer coach John Murphy.
Stafford will teach P.E. and health at Clover High School. He and his wife Stephanie have two children and live in York.