Director of Coaching
Tom Garigen

Tom is a life long Western New York soccer resident.  After his youth career, which included time with Northtowns Soccer, Germania, and Gaymar, he attend and played at the University at Buffalo and Canisius College.  While at Canisius he earned 1st team all-conference honors as a senior and was named to the 1st team all-tournament team despite the team's overtime loss in the semi-finals.  

After college he decided to dedicate himself to the coaching side of the game.  At the age of 19 he was already working with club teams like the BSC Dynamo and Germania.  Soon he was involved with Olympic Development Program at the State and Regional levels and assisted the women's soccer program at the University at Buffalo. 

Putting his business and educational psychology degrees to use he began working on the administrative side of the game, until eventually he found himself as the Director of Coaching for Empire Buffalo. Later he also founded the Buffalo Soccer Club, which is a program that serves children in the city of Buffalo.  

Tom has his USSF "B" and his USSF National Youth License.  In addition to his Director of Coaching duties, he has spent time working for New York State West running coach education and licensing classes.  In 2008 he began coaching and overseeing Empire's Development Academy teams.  In 2010 he earned Eastern Conference Coach of the Year Honors. 

His real priorty now is his role as husband and father of three.



EUSA Buffalo will continue to lead the way in the movement to change the youth soccer culture for the better. There is an over-emphasis on winning, too much organized ball and not enough free play, not enough days of rest and recovery, and too many tournaments where kids play too much competitive soccer in too short a period of time. These are all areas of the game that need to be addressed and changed. EUSA will do its best to not contribute to these problems, but rather make efforts to change them. Changing culture can be slow and methodical, but we will always strive to move our program in the right direction.

Our players will be coached to do the correct things based on the game, not the things that will yield the best short term results. At the younger ages if you attempt to play the game the right way you will lose more often than not. Younger players will have a difficult time managing the demands of the game and will not be able to execute consistently. Our staff will encourage players to play the game appropriately regardless of the results.

EUSA will spend a lot of time and effort in parent education. An educated customer will make better decisions for their children both inside and outside of the EUSA arena.

Soccer is a game that requires the players make decisions and solve problems on their own. Our coaching style and learning environment has to foster that idea. We must empower and enable our players to handle these challenges.

See Claudio Reyna’s articles on youth coaching!