Dear Rapids Youth Soccer Clan,
Five unforgettable years ago, we began a worldwide search for a technical leader to guide our ever-expanding soccer family. Throughout this search, one name clearly stood out – Donald Gillies, a leader of the women’s game in Scotland and an individual dedicated to uplifting soccer communities around him. A cold call and many months later, Donald’s journey to the U.S. had started. Since landing on our doorstep, Donald has been a true maestro and an integral fixture at Rapids Youth Soccer.
More than just a Technical Director, Donald came to us with a passion that ignited our players and inspired our staff, as well as a sense of humor that kept us all on our toes. His arrival in Castle Rock, Colorado, alongside his wife and four children, wasn’t just a professional move – it was a testament to the warmth and community spirit that defines our state and club.
With a heavy heart and overflowing pride, we must announce that Donald’s time with Rapids Youth Soccer will reach its final whistle this January. Family obligations call him back to his Scottish roots, where he’ll embark on a new chapter with Rangers FC, leading the women’s game.
Donald’s impact on our organization has been nothing short of transformative. He seamlessly navigated the challenges of the merger of Rapids Youth Soccer and Colorado Storm, weaving together two proud traditions into a powerful force. In the face of the unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald’s leadership was a guiding light, and through it all, his technical brilliance shined brightly, shaping the skills of countless players and coaches. There are only so many superlatives to describe his work at this time, but what truly made a lasting impression on so many of our members was his unwavering dedication and genuine care for our club, players, and community.
Donald’s laughter echoed through our offices and resonated across our fields. He had an uncanny ability to find humor even in the most challenging moments, reminding us of the joy and pure love for the game that brings us together. And let’s not forget the times we had to turn on subtitles during video calls, trying to decipher his wonderful Scottish banter— a testament to the global reach of his wit!
While the U.S. chapter of his coaching and leading career may be ending, Donald’s legacy within the Rapids Youth Soccer family will continue to inspire for generations to come. We wish him nothing but the best as he returns to the land of kilts, bagpipes, and haggis. And, despite the thousands of miles, Donald will remain a lifelong supporter of the Denver Broncos, proving that distance won’t dampen his dedication to orange and blue touchdowns. May his path be filled with success, happiness, and perhaps even a few rounds on the golf course along the way.
Join us in a moment of virtual applause for our esteemed Donald Gillies. You were more than just a Technical Director; you were the heart and soul of our soccer family.
Best wishes on your next adventure, Donald and Gillies family!
Rapids Youth Soccer