Rob is a co-founder and director of Elite Soccer Ithaca.
Rob was hired as head coach for the Cornell women's soccer program in February 2020 after serving as an assistant coach for the Big Red during the 2019 season.
In his first year on East Hill, he helped guide the Big Red to four consecutive victories to start the season – including three straight clean sheets against Siena, Bucknell and St. Bonaventure. Cornell ultimately finished the season with a 4-10-1 record after the rigors of one of the strongest Ivy League competition seen in recent years. Rob helped get the Big Red’s impact freshman class acclimated to collegiate competition, a group that includes 2019 All-Ivy League honorable mention selection Ashley Durik.
Rob first joined the Big Red after a very successful stint as the Director of Coaching with the WNY Flash Academy. He helped turn the program into a player development leader in Western New York, expanding the program's footprint from 15 teams to 34 teams and moving them into national recognition in Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). Under Rob's leadership at the Flash their 03G ECNL and Flash 02G ECNL advanced into the Elite 8 in June 2018, and the club had their first US Youth National Team Camp call-up.
Before joining the WNY Flash Academy, Rob was the head coach of both the men's and women's soccer programs at NAIA Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of Business for Lonestar Soccer Club from 2008 until 2015. One of the largest and most successful youth soccer clubs in the country, He advanced the 95G Red to the USYSNC Region III Championships in June 2013 and 2014 and assisted the 96G ECNL in their ECNL National Championship in 2011.
Previous stops for Rob included a stint as the head coach with Albion Hurricanes FC in Houston, where he guided the AHFC 94G Blue to the USYSNC Regionals for the first time in their history. Before that, he was the Director of Coaching for FC Arsenal for three years in Bastrop, Texas.
Kelsey is a co-founder and director of Elite Soccer Ithaca.
Kelsey has completed two seasons as an assistant coach with the Big Red, helping the squad start the 2019 season with a four-game winning streak. She joined the Big Red after three years as an assistant coach at Buffalo State and head coach of ECNL teams at the WNY Flash Academy. Before joining the WNY Flash Academy, Kelsey spent seven years with Lonestar Soccer Club, one of the largest and most successful youth soccer clubs in the country. She served as a head coach to several teams and was the S2/D2 South Assistant Director of Coaching.
A collegiate competitor herself, and captain, on the women’s soccer team at the University of Richmond, Kelsey also had stints with the WPSL’s SoccerPlus Connecticut Reds and W-League’s Vermont Voltage. She started her coaching tenure as a volunteer assistant coach with St. Edward’s University.
Originally from Saranac Lake, Kelsey earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a minor in studio art. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Sports Management with an expected completion date of December 2019. She holds a USSF ‘B’ Coaching License, a USSF National Youth License, and a La Liga Formation Methodology-Level 3 qualification.
Jackie is a soccer director at Elite Soccer Ithaca.
Jackie Firenze joined the Big Red in August 2020 after four years as an assistant coach at Binghamton, including two seasons as the lead assistant. She helped the Bearcats accumulate a 34-29-10 record in that span, including a 2017 season that ended with a 11-4-4 mark and a share of the America East regular-season title. Following that season, Jackie and the rest of Binghamton’s staff were honored as America East Co-Coaching Staff of the Year.
“We are delighted to be adding Jackie to our staff,” Ferguson said. “She shares our commitment to prioritizing culture, across the board, to underpin everything we do as a program, with a view to creating long term success in an environment which is intense, competitive and fun. There was a clear connection philosophically regarding the importance of relationships, values and togetherness.”
A native of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Jackie was a four-year starter at Syracuse. She started 71 games for the Orange over her career, serving as a captain during her junior and senior seasons. She was chosen for the 2012 All-Big East Rookie Team and was an ACC Scholar-Athlete multiple times before graduating in 2016 and joining the Binghamton staff later that year.
“Jackie holds a USSF B License and was instrumental in the development of Binghamton’s attacking play in recent years – an area of Binghamton’s play which really stood out to us on a tactical level this past season,” Ferguson said.
Prior to her days with the Orange, Jackie was a two-time scholastic All-America selection at C.W. Baker High School. In 2011, she was an ESPN Rise Gatorade New York Player of the Year finalist. Firenze led C.W. Baker to five CNYCL league championships, two regional titles and a state runner-up finish. She also participated at the U.S. U14 national team camp in 2007 and with the U.S. Youth National Team training camps in 2008 and 2010. Firenze was a member of the ODP Region I international team that competed in Ireland and Russia.