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Mar, 2019

Welcome to our new Director of Coaching

ROFC hires Steve Shelton as its new Director of Coaching and Player Development

ROYAL OAK - After a nearly-two month long nationwide and international search involving more than 100 applicants, Royal Oak Football Club (ROFC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Steve Shelton as its new Director of Coaching and Player Development. Shelton comes to Royal Oak having most recently served as an assistant coach at Ball State University and as the director of coaching for the Delaware County Futbol Club, both in Muncie, IN.
"We are extremely excited to add Steve Shelton to the ROFC family as our new director of coaching,” said ROFC vice president and premier committee chairman Glenn Wicka. “Steve brings experience as both a college coach and a club DOC from a club that is very similar to ours in both size and position in their market.
“Steve has experience in growing a top quality premier program as well as working with the rec side to further develop players and coaches. Those qualities, along with his connection to Michigan, led us to feel he would be a great person to continue to build on the past growth and development of the club.”
A Michigan native who grew up in Grosse Ile and helped lead his high school team to a state championship in 2002, Shelton returns to the area after spending the past 2 ½ years as the top assistant coach for the Ball State University Women’s Soccer program. He helped the Division I Cardinals to the 2016 Mid-American Conference regular season championship, a pair of MAC West Division titles and an appearance in the 2018 MAC Championship game.
During that same period, Shelton was the director of coaching for the Delaware County Futbol Club, one which features 25 premier teams and 1,000 recreational players. Shelton was responsible for all facets of coaching, strategic planning and coaching education, along with organizing local camps and clinics. He expects his experience will translate well into his new position within ROFC.
“I am very excited to join ROFC,” Shelton said. “ROFC is a quality club with a lot of potential. When speaking to everyone involved I was really impressed by the commitment to the community as a whole and the value that is placed on player development.
“I really appreciate that the club sets a high priority on building relationships and values developing our players in a holistic way, both on the field and off of it. I think that this aligns with my values as a coach perfectly, as we will strive to not only teach soccer at a very high level, but also to give players life lessons and tools to succeed in the future.”
Prior to coaching at Ball State, Shelton had spent six years as the head women’s soccer coach at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. In his time at the helm of the Cardinals, he led a resurgence which saw the program rise from an RPI ranking of No. 178 to No. 27 by 2015. From 2012-16, Shelton was on the staff of the Michigan Rush club in Northville. He coached a variety of age groups, including those participating in State Cup competition. He also coached a Rush Select Team, featuring the top players from each branch of the club. Shelton also spent two years as an evaluator for Michigan’s Olympic Development Program.
Dave Cain, ROFC board member and the club’s recreational division manager, is excited about what Shelton can bring to the club, both on the premier side as well as the recreational side.
“What I was drawn to the most about Steve in the interview process was his experience and vision combined with his willingness to step toward our ROFC rec program and really figure out what the program currently offers in comparison to maybe what it should or could offer our families from a development standpoint,” Cain said. “I think having him as the soccer professional leading us through some integral changes will be highly beneficial to our community and club.”
ROFC is the third largest club in the state of Michigan, providing the best recreational program in the area as well as a top-notch premier program. The club typically has more than 1,500 recreational players each fall and spring and close to 500 players on the premier side.
Along with his college and club coaching experience, Shelton has also coached at the high school varsity level at his alma-mater, Grosse Ile, as well as at Ann Arbor Huron as the head coach of the girls program. After winning a state title at Grosse Ile, Shelton went on to play at Kalamazoo College before graduating from Western Michigan University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in public policy. He currently holds a USSF National B coaching license and is an A-license candidate.
Shelton began his new duties effective March 18, 2019.
“It is great to be back in Michigan, and so close to home,” Shelton said. “I am really excited to meet the players, coaches and families that make this club so special.”

- Jason Schmitt, ROFC Director of Communications