At Columbus Express, we strive to provide the youth of Indiana with the highest quality soccer development in the region. Through our staff of licensed coaches and our detailed curriculum and methodology, Columbus Express staff is dedicated to improving the athletic, social, and life experience for all of our athletes, teams, coaches, and families.
Directors & Administrators
DIRECTOR OF COACHING
Smith arrived at Columbus Express as the Director of Coaching in 2017. He is responsible for the overall direction, coaching, programming, and soccer methodology for the club. Since his arrival, Express has seen increased player numbers, new programming and player development initiatives, and successes at the state, regional, and national levels.
The North Vernon native played collegiately at Thomas More College and Hanover College. Smith’s coaching career started at his alma mater Hanover College before joining Miami University as Director of Operations in 2010 where the team earned a MAC East Championship. In 2011, Smith started coaching at Xavier University before moving to the University of Dayton in 2014. At Dayton, the Flyers won an A10 Conference Championship and earned an NCAA Tournament berth.
In addition to his college coaching experience, Smith was instrumental in developing future US Youth National team and professional players at Kings Hammer Academy from 2011-2017.
Smith earned a BA in Education from Hanover College in 2010 and a Master’s in Coaching from Ball State University in 2012. Smith also has a USSF B License, USC Premier Diploma, and USC Director of Coaching Diploma. He is currently pursuing the USSF Coach Educator License. In 2020, Smith was awarded Indiana Soccer’s Club Director of the Year and was named a finalist for the same award in 2022.
Having worked with Columbus Express since 2007, Carlson has been instrumental in the club’s success on and off-field. She helped coordinate Indiana State Cup and Indiana Presidents Cup at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex. For her efforts, Columbus Express earned Tournament of the Year in 2017. Carlson’s duties within Columbus Express include player registration, financial assistance efforts, tryout coordination, and everyday operations. Carlson has earned state-wide recognition for her efforts winning Indiana Soccer Administrator of the Year in 2022 after being a finalist for the award in 2020.
A former D1 athlete and five-time state champion swimmer, Little is tasked with the oversight of the Express senior program as Seniors Director. In addition, he will also be coaching Express junior and senior teams. Little started at Express in 2018 having previously coached at Phoenix Football Club in Omaha, Nebraska.
A native of Michigan, Little earned a BA in Business Administration and a Masters in Organizational Development from Eastern Michigan. Little is currently pursuing his USSF C License.
A Columbus native and former Express player, LaVelle serves as our Juniors Director. He is responsible for the oversight of all U11-14 teams, coaches, and players. LaVelle is active within our juniors program as a coach and trainer.
The summer of 2022 saw LaVelle’s 2008 Boys Orange team win Indiana’s Presidents Cup and US Youth Soccer’s Presidents Cup Midwest Regionals earning a trip as one of the final four championship teams at US Youth Soccer’s Presidents Cup National Championships. LaVelle and the 2008 Boys are the first Express team to advance to a USYS National Championship.
LaVelle, a Columbus North graduate, played collegiately at Manchester University before earning a BS in Business Management from IUPUC. He holds a USSF D License and a TOVO Level I certification.
BOYS ACADEMY DIRECTOR
DeClue, a native of Columbus, was named Boys Academy Director in 2021. He has been coaching within Express since 2019. DeClue is responsible for the logistics, organization, and direction of our 7v7 programming.
As a player, DeClue earned letters a Columbus East and was active within Columbus Express. He earned a BA in Communications from Indiana University. DeClue possesses a USSF Grassroots License and TOVO Level I certificate.
GIRLS ACADEMY & PRE-ACADEMY DIRECTOR
Hutchinson is active within her role as Girls Academy & Pre-Academy Director. She leads our players and coaches at our youngest ages. Hutchinson has been coaching with Express since 2012.
Hutchison, a Seymour native, was a key player at Seymour High School and Columbus Express as a youth. She went on to play collegiately at Franklin College.
Hutchinson earned a BS in Education & English from Franklin College. She also has a USSF D License, USSF Grassroots License, and a TOVO Level I certificate.
BOYS PRE-ACADEMY DIRECTOR
Young was introduced as our Pre-Academy Director in 2021. The Franklin native has been instrumental in the cultivation of the Express 4v4 program.
Young played at Franklin Community High School and Columbus Express before playing collegiately at Bethel University. He has served as a coach in different roles within Columbus Express and as a coach with Columbus North.
Young earned a BA in Finance & Project Management in 2022 from Liberty University. He also has a USSF Grassroots license and a TOVO Level I certificate.