Mark Girard
Founder/ Head Coach

Mark, the founder of The Edge Soccer Programs, has over 25 years coaching experience. Many players whom he trained have advanced to the top level clubs, colleges, and professional teams. Mark has coached and trained teams for CASL (including U23s), TFC, Cary Clarets PDL, and Raleigh Elite. He was also an Assistant Coach for the Carolina Railhawks.

Karen Retzlaff
Business Operations

Karen is The Edge's office manager that handles all aspects of day-to-day business operations including our go-to "mom" for anything and everything. She has worked in the soccer industry for over 17 years and a true soccer mom at heart. Her oldest son played for NCFC's Academy team, NC State University, the U23 North Carolina FC team (during the summer) and played professionally for the Richmond Kickers in Virginia. He has since retired and works full time in the financial industry now. Her youngest son played for NCFC and Heritage High School.  He currently plays for Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte and you can find Karen at the games cheering him on!

Jared Girard
Lead Coach
Jared played youth soccer for CASL and was named 2009-2010 CASL Club Captain. He played college soccer at Campbell University and Drexel University. Jared played professional in Sweden and Germany. He has coached and has provided youth technical training for 3 years.
Chris Girard
Lead Coach

Chris played youth soccer locally for CASL and Green Hope HS. He graduated from UNCC with a B.S.B.A in 2010. His background includes 10 plus years of youth soccer coaching experience. 

Tyler Long
Lead Camp Counselor
Tyler is Camp Epic's lead camp counselor and brings ALLLL the Fun to our summer & track out camps!  He has 4+ years of camp experience and loves to entertain the campers and help them have an absolutely Epic time! He's from New York and lucky for us, has recently moved to North Carolina and joined the Edge family.  Join Tyler for track out camp, teacher workdays/school holidays, or summer camp and have the most EPIC day ever playing all kinds of games!
Akira Fitzgerald
Goalkeeper Coach

Akira was born in Japan and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He played collegiately at Wake Forest University from 2006-2010 where the teams went to four College Cups and won the 2007 National Championship. Akira started his professional career with the Carolina Railhawks (now North Carolina FC) and has played for over 13 years. For the last three years he has also been the Goalkeeping Coach for the Richmond Kickers pro team and holds his US Soccer B Coaching license.