Dale Parker and Gus Pederson

Former Lees-McRae soccer players help usher in a successful inaugural year for Appalachian FC as members of the coaching staff

When Dale Parker ’10 and Gus Pederson ’16 heard that a National Premier Soccer League team would be starting in Boone, North Carolina, they jumped on the chance to get involved.

Parker, who had been working as a coach in various capacities for the last 10 years, leveraged the connections he made through Lees-McRae to secure the head coaching job. Pederson had already been living locally, working with local school teams, and reached out to Parker about the possibility of joining the staff.

Appalachian FC was created to bring men’s soccer back to the High Country after Appalachian State University cut their program in 2020. Through support from soccer fans and local businesses, Appalachian FC was accepted into the National Premier Soccer League, ending their inaugural season as third in their region.   

Lees-McRae alums discuss their experience coaching Appalachian FC's inaugural season
By Travis Stanley, Emily WebbSeptember 23, 2021