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MWVSC thanks Kelly Gagnon for 10 years of leadership, announces new executive director

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Success in soccer takes dedication, team work, and leadership. As we reflect upon the accomplishments of Mount Washington Valley Soccer Club over the past year (six NHSL finals appearances and two state championships), it’s a good time to celebrate the effort that has gotten us here. After 10 years of service including 8 as the executive director of MWVSC, Kelly Gagnon is stepping away from the role. We asked her to share her thoughts on her decade-long tenure with MWVSC.

MWVSC: What was your soccer background prior to MWVSC?

Kelly: In my senior year of high school, our team won the state championship and I was named to all state and the All-New England team. I was recruited to play soccer at UNH. I played for the UNH Women’s Soccer team for four years. After college I went into coaching high school soccer and club. I was coaching my first high school Varsity team at 21 years old. I coached high school soccer for 14 years. I was Coach-of-the-Year for 5 seasons. I earned my US Soccer D license while coaching for Seacoast United. I got my C license while coaching at Bow High School. I got my B license coaching NH ODP (Olympic Development Program). When Jaxsen was born I left high school coaching and got involved in MWVSC. My daughter Lexie was 3 (she is 14 now).

 Kelly at the NH SportsDome in Hooksett
Kelly at the NH SportsDome in Hooksett

MWVSC: What is your first memory of MWVSC?

Kelly: My first memory of MWVSC was when I called John Skelton, founder of MWVSC in 2007. I had 14 girls from Gorham High School that wanted to play and I asked him if there was room for the 14 girls on a girls team. He said they had coed teams and had never had a girls team. I also remember during that season that I had to call my husband Pete to bring the string trimmer because the KMS field was not mowed. We trimmed the lines before the game.

MWVSC: When and how did you first get involved?

Kelly: The MWVSC director of coaching sent out an email inviting everyone to an annual meeting. I went to Flatbread and began attending meetings. I started helping with Sunday Soccer. I started a Parent & Me Program. Lexie joined me!

Kelly and Lexie (3-years-old ) observing their first MWVSC session. Alissa Clark photo.
Kelly and Lexie (3-years-old ) observing their first MWVSC session. Alissa Clark photo.

MWVSC: When you became executive director, what opportunities did you see? What goals did you have for the club?

Kelly: We began with strategic plan meetings. At the time we went to the Capitol Cup in the Fall and then played in the league in the spring. My first goal was to get league games in fall. Of course, I wanted girls teams too! I also knew we needed a program in the winter. Gym space was tough but once I saw that futsal used hard courts, we worked as a group to bring futsal to the Valley.

MWVSC: What was the most challenging part of being Executive Director?

Kelly: The hardest part was talking to Jimmy McCarthy’s mom on the phone about his accident. It seemed like we were just giving Jimmy the Rocco Scholarship at the Shannon Door and knowing we would not see him again is so hard. Losing Esamae and Jimmy both this fall was by far the most challenging part of the last ten years.

Memorial patches worn on MWVSC uniforms this spring.
Memorial patches worn on MWVSC uniforms this spring.

MWVSC: What was the most rewarding part?

Kelly: I think the most rewarding part was working with teams that lost all their games when they were younger and then eventually won league championships. I knew there would be growth and I explained to parents this is a process. Another rewarding part is when players have opportunities with soccer to travel the world. Club member Lydia Wiggin recently traveled to Europe to represent NH/VT ODP.

MWVSC’s Spring 2019 Girls U11 Championship Team. Kelly: “I spent 3 hours coming up with a rotation ahead of time to get every girl playing time!”

MWVSC: What are you most proud of?

Kelly: I am most proud of the partnership with Winston Haughton and Elite UK. He is the ultimate professional and it is great to bring someone with his expertise into the Valley in the summer and the winter. I love seeing the growth in players that come out to work with Winston and his coaches.

I’m also very proud of the club’s growth over the years!























MWVSC: Why soccer? Why have you made it such a large part of your life?

Kelly: Soccer is unique in that it is a player’s game. The coach does not get to call time-out and plays. The athlete gets one shot at a volley. It’s so fluid and creative!

MWVSC: What's next?

Kelly: I will be staying involved in the MWVSC community as a soccer mom!


MWVSC board members and directors would like to thank Kelly for her work over 10 years as executive director and other positions. Under her leadership, the club saw unprecedented growth in participation and skill development among players, evidenced by numerous state championships and the individual accomplishments of club members both as MWVSC players and in their soccer careers outside of the club.

Scott Laine, former MWVSC Youth Head Coach and board member, has been voted in by the MWVSC board as the new executive director.

“Kelly has been a huge part of the growth of soccer in the valley,” said Laine. “The growth and development of the programs and the players would not have been possible without her tremendous hard work and commitment. I am thankful to her as a fellow soccer person and a father to several kids in the Mount Washington Valley soccer club. Thank you, Kelly! I am hopeful that we as a club will continue the growth and development of soccer in this area for players and families.”

Winston Haughton, director of Elite UK Soccer Training which runs MWVSC’s summer soccer camp and winter futsal clinics, adds:

“I would like to express my admiration and gratitude towards Kelly for her dedication and tireless efforts towards developing soccer at MWV. During my 7 years working with Kelly I have witnessed year on year the selflessness that has gone into the role she has played in coordinating summer programming and the vision she has for bringing players together year round at the club level. Kelly always seeks to operate with the highest of standards whilst paying close attention to the needs of the ever changing greater soccer community.

“Kelly's pride for the region's soccer players is palpable. In all my interactions she has shown a willingness to include ALL, with her underlying mission to bring soccer to everyone. In doing so she has helped to nurture a decade of young athletes, helping them to develop not just as soccer players, but as confident and conscientious individuals. The impact of her mentorship and the graduates of the programming she has overseen will undoubtedly be felt for years to come. Good luck to Kelly in her future endeavors!!”

MWVSC invites all to get involved in the club. In addition to player opportunities, the club is always seeking coaches, board members, volunteers and referees. Those interested in getting involved should visit our website:


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