This article was written by PrepSoccer staff writer, Matt Smith. Matt Smith is a special news and communications correspondent with SF Elite Academy and will providing viewers with an inside look into SF Elite and what makes our club so special.
If you look at the San Francisco Elite contacts page, and you see Chance Daniel's title as Chief Diversity Officer and wonder what that is, think about it like this... the goal of the position is to help bridge gaps. To overcome barriers to entry. To help create a comfortable and welcoming environment for everyone regardless of social or economic status, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender. It's about inclusion. It's about giving people the ability to ask questions, to make mistakes and to do so in the pursuit of being better. Boiling it down even further, it's about helping people understand people who are different from yourself.
Daniel grew up in a comfortable place, Huntington Beach, and had a comfortable life. He did not necessarily want for anything. But growing up as a kid of mixed-race (a black father from Haiti and a white mother from Florida) Daniel dealt with racism and issues of race. As a young man, he saw the opportunity that youth soccer provided for people of different backgrounds to come together for a singular purpose. "I've always seen value in being what I am to the youth soccer population in America. I represent that," Daniel said. "But also, as a youth soccer coach, I am a leader of all kinds of kids. In that role, people have to interact with me and get to know me and see me interact with their child, and through all that I've found that as a coach in those environments you become what the representation of that is." What Daniel is saying is that when people meet him, and see that he is a person, one who has interests, one who can lead young women and men, they can then associate other people from various ethnic backgrounds as being human as well as opposed to being fearful or trepidatious.
"I've always seen value in being what I am to the youth soccer population in America. I represent that. But also, as a youth soccer coach, I am a leader of all kinds of kids. In that role, people have to interact with me and get to know me and see me interact with their child, and through all that I've found that as a coach in those environments you become what the representation of that is." -Chance Daniel | Chief Diversity Officer Daniel became the Chief Diversity Officer of San Francisco Elite Academy in 2020 and has made SF Elite become the gold standard when it comes to inclusiveness and creating opportunity in and around the Bay Area. His impact goes far beyond the field, and far beyond any administrative duties – he is a walking force for change. He joined the Club as a coach in 2017, taking a U19 girls’ team and displayed his coaching ability and is now leading girls GA teams.
He got his start coaching in San Francisco after moving to the city in 2009. He started by running the soccer program at the SF Jewish Center, got connected to the Club scene and coached at SF Vikings. While at SF Vikings he met Joe Dugan, the President and Executive Director, and after it became clear the two aligned from a value and philosophical standpoint, he joined SF Elite. Daniel's first coaching job was with the club he played for in Southern California called Wolfpack (now part of Pateadores). He started coaching after a very good career playing at Huntington Beach High and Orange Coast College. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Long Beach State and his Master’s Degree from the University of San Francisco.