The Spinners and Major League Ultimate announced today that Charlie Hoppes has been hired as the team’s Head Coach for 2017.
Fresh off of their 2016 MLU Championship title, the Philadelphia Spinners have announced that they have hired Charlie Hoppes as the team’s Head Coach for 2017.
Hoppes, who spent his collegiate career playing for Messiah College and Towson University, has played for several clubs in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Baltimore Medicine Men, Harrisburg Bear Proof and American Hyperbole (of which he was a co-founder).
Hoppes’ coaching resume made him an ideal candidate for the Spinners job, with experience at the high school, collegiate, club and professional levels.
Starting with a stint coaching Urbana High School to two Maryland State Championships (2007 and 2009), Hoppes has coached Messiah College (D-III) since the fall of 2010. Under Hoppes’ leadership, Messiah has won the West Penn Conference in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
In the professional leagues, Hoppes was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Phoenix in 2014 before joining the Spinners as an assistant under former Head Coach Billy Maroon, helping lead the team to their first playoff appearance in franchise history.
Development of the Philadelphia ultimate community has been a goal for Hoppes over the several years. Starting in 2014, Hoppes became the Head Coach of the newly formed club team, Philadelphia Patrol, which he has led to back-to-back Club Nationals appearances (Finishing 12th in 2015 and 7th in 2016). Through their affiliation with Philadelphia’s other premier open club team, Citywide Special, Hoppes and Patrol have begun to revive a Philadelphia open program that had fallen somewhat dormant.
“What we have begun to build in the Philadelphia open community has been incredible,” said Hoppes. “Patrol was founded with the goal of being a sustainable Nationals-contending team in the city that constantly pushes to improve each year. We’ve been able to do that in our first three years, and our partnership with Citywide is a key reason as to why. Every year since our program started in 2014, new Citywide alumni make the leap to Patrol (and to the Spinners). The quality of play in ultimate within the city of Philadelphia is on a steady rise, and we are very proud for our role in that.”
While both Patrol and Citywide are competitive club teams in the open division, they have joint tryouts and practices while actively working together to develop local talent into elite national players. As the Head Coach of Patrol since its founding, Hoppes is well acquainted with the vast majority of the Spinners’ roster. In 2016, 17 Spinners played Patrol, while 6 played Citywide. Several other Spinners have played under Hoppes in years past.
While familiarity with Spinners veterans will help Hoppes transition into his new role with the team, he will have some big shoes to fill. In his one year with the team, Coach Darryl Stanley took the Spinners to a 9-1 record in the regular season and brought the city their first MLU Championship title. Following the 2016 season, Stanley accepted a job opportunity outside of the area, opening the door for Hoppes to join the team.
“Darryl Stanley is an outstanding coach,” said Hoppes. “We’ve had the opportunity to work together at nearly every stop in our coaching careers, and it was a thrill to watch the Spinners win a championship under him last year.”
While the Spinners will enter the 2017 season as reigning champions, Hoppes has no intention of letting the team rest on their laurels – his goal is clear.
“The goal on the field has to be another title, right?” Hoppes asked. “We want to play better every time we play together, so taking another step forward will hopefully mean a repeat. I am especially looking forward to digging into our [defensive] line and the way we both generate turns and convert them. My hope is that the rest of the division knows that coming to Philly means coming to a track meet. We are going to find new ways to score on [defense] as many times as possible.”
2016 was a banner year for Philadelphia ultimate, with the Spinners winning their first MLU title and Patrol making their second appearance at Nationals, finishing in the Top 10 for the first time. Hoppes has played a significant role in the city’s recent resurgence, and with him at the helm, Spinners’ fans can have something to look forward to again in 2017.
“It’s an honor to coach in front of the most loyal fan base in ultimate, in front of the city’s sports fans–the most passionate fans in sports,” said Hoppes “The Spinners are always going to show you the most hard-nosed, gritty ultimate out there. That was true in 2012, and it’s true today. We can’t wait to get to work defending our title.”