Derek Armstrong (footballer)

Derek James Armstrong (born 16 March 1939) is an English former professional footballer and current Director of Coaching of the Nomads Soccer Club in San Diego California.[1] He played as an inside-left, including Football League appearances for both Blackpool and Carlisle United.[2][3]

Derek Armstrong
Personal information
Full name Derek James Armstrong
Date of birth (1939-03-16) 16 March 1939
Place of birth Carlisle, England
Playing position Inside-Left
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1959 Blackpool 1 (0)
1959–1960 Blackpool F.C.
1962 Carlisle United 1 (0)
????–???? Fleetwood Town
????–???? Lancaster City
Teams managed
1974–1976 Lancaster City
1983–2007 UC San Diego Tritons
1987 San Diego Nomads
1987 United States U20
1989 San Diego Nomads
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Managerial and coaching career

Derek started coaching at Fleetwood F.C. in the inaugural season of the Northern Premier League as player-manager. He was there for 5 seasons and left after winning the Northern Premier League Cup beating Wigan in the semi-final, and Maccelsfield in the final. He had coaching/manager positions with Chorley F.C., Netherfield A.F.C., Blackpool Mechs, and Lancaster City before joining Allan Brown at Blackpool FC in the 1975–76 season as reserve coach. In 1979 he was moved to first-team coach for eight games when Jimmy Meadows had a short spell as manager before returning to coaching the reserves again when Bobby Collins joined the staff. In 1980 he worked for Notts County F.C. for a season, scouting upcoming opponents for the championships season in which Notts County were promoted to Div 1.

In the United States, he became an assistant coach with Columbus Magic in Ohio in 1980, before moving to Nomads Soccer Club in La Jolla California in 1981. He became the first paid youth soccer coach in the United States when he joined the staff of the La Jolla Nomads.[1][4] In 1986, Armstrong helped to found the San Diego Nomads in the new Western Soccer Alliance. The Nomads won the Western Soccer Alliance titles in 1987 and 1989, and were also runners-up to Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the 1989 National Professional Championship.[1] In 2001 the Nomads were asked to manage the San Diego Flash franchise in the A-leagueby the league, the side under Armstrong reaching the play-offs. He continues to work for the Nomads, currently as Director of Coaching and Board Member.[1]

College soccer

He was also coach of the UC San Diego (UCSD) men's soccer team from 1983 to 2007, during which time the Tritons won three national titles.[1] In the fifth game of the 2007 season, he coached his 500th game with UCSD.[4] Prior to taking over as coach in 1983, the Tritons had had only one season with more wins than defeats in their seven-year history. Armstrong transformed the side to the extent that the first season with more defeats than wins under his tenure did not come until the 2001 season.[4] His cumulative record of 326–138–48 makes him the winningest coach in UCSD history. He retired as Tritons coach in September 2007 with the advent of the US Soccer Academy starting that season. Also contributing to his retirement from UCSD was the fact he had an impending knee operation which could not be put off[5]

United States U20

In 1987 Armstrong coached of the United States under-20 side in the World Youth Championship (now known as the FIFA U-20 World Cup) in Chile.[4] Derek holds the unique distinction of being the first USA coach to beat Mexico at the World Cup level. They knocked off Mexico, 3–0, in the 1987 CONCACAF tournament in Trinidad. The team qualified for the World Cup in Chile.

US club soccer

He was one of the founding members and chairman of US Club Soccer in its early years, he retired from this position in January 2009.[1]


  1. "Derek Armstrong". NOMADS Soccer Club. Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  2. "Blackpool 1946/47-2008/09". Neil Brown. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  3. "Carlisle United 1946/47-2003/04 & 2005/06-2008/09". Neil Brown. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  4. "Derek Armstrong joined in 1983 UCSD as a part-time coach where he stayed for 27 years and is to be inducted into the Hall of fame in 2017". UC San Diego Tritons. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  5. "Derek Armstrong retires from coaching". UC San Diego Tritons. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
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