Michael “Pao” Paolini has been coaching youth soccer for over 18 years in diverse roles through Premier Club Soccer, College, camps, clinics, and volunteer programs. “Pao” played his High School soccer at Liverpool HS and played his Collegiate soccer at SUNY Plattsburgh. While at Plattsburgh he was an All-SUNYAC, All-Region and All-American player as well as the teams Most Valuable Player. After college he went on to play professional soccer with the Rochester Rhinos and New Hampshire Phantoms. With the Phantoms he tallied 6 goals and 2 assists in his rookie season. Pao is currently the Director of Coaching with Syracuse Development Academy (SDA).
In 2007, Pao was named NYSWYSA Girls’ Coach of the Year. In the same year, he led the Syracuse Football Club U12 Girls to a Regional Championship.
Pao won a second Regional Championship in 2011 and a third championship in 2016. In 2016 that regional team was one of 3 SDA teams that went to Nationals in Frisco Texas.
Pao holds a United States Soccer Federation National “B” License and NSCAA National Diploma.
USSF B License
NSCAA National and Advanced National Diplomas
2004-present – Director of Soccer-Syracuse Development Academy (Empire Revolution-Syracuse, Syracuse FC)
2012-present – WPSL Coaching Director
2011- U12Girls Empire United SA Regional Champions
2009-2011- Lemoyne College Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach
2008- NEAC Coach of the Year-Wells College
2007- NYSWYSA Girls’ Coach of the Year – U12 SFC Girls Won a Regional Championship, a historic first for New York State
2005-2009- Wells College Head Men’s Soccer Coach – Was the first Men’s coach at Wells College where he led the team to the playoffs in the first 3 years of existence
2005-2007- NYSW ODP Staff
2002-present- Director of Pao’s Soccer/Pc2 Futbol Training
2001-2004- LeMoyne College Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach
Following his career at Plattsburgh, Paolini participated in the USL “A”-League Rochester Raging Rhinos training camp and then went on to sign with the USL New Hampshire Phantoms in 2000-2003. Paolini tallied 16 goals and 9 assists in his three years with the Phantoms.
Paolini is a graduate of Plattsburgh State University, where he was a four-year starter and First Team All-SUNYAC. In his senior season, Paolini was elected All-American and team MVP.
Plattsburgh State University Men’s Soccer had great success with Paolini in the lineup, posting a 59-14-4 overall record from 1995-98, advancing to postseason play every fall. In his senior year, Paolini lead his team to the NCAA tournament only to eventually losing to the eventual National Champions. Paolini was selected to the NSCAA All-American 2nd Team in 1998.
“Mike’s training program prepared me to play at the next level, Division I Soccer at Brown University!” –Brian Perry (BP), Division I Men’s College Player
“Coach Mike helped me gain confidence with the ball in a game situation.” –Jordan Stinson Youth Soccer Player New Hampshire Stars
“Coach Pao has really taken my game to the next level, and has prepared me to play in College. The intense 1v1 training sessions have improved my overall game!” –Brooke Barbuto, Professional Player in Australia
“Ever since coming to Syracuse from Maryland, Coach Pao has brought my game to a higher level. Working under Pao has made me more knowledgeable about the game.” –Andy Plum, Division II Men’s College Player
“Working with Pao challenged me physically and mentally which prepared me for the next level.” –Genna Michitti, Division I Women’s College Player
“Many coaches tend to overlook foot skills, which I consider to be the basic building blocks for soccer players at all skill levels.”