VARSITY HEAD COACH: Russell Oost-Lievense ’08
Russell Oost-Lievense is only the 4th permanent head coach in Staples soccer’s 64-year history.
After serving as the Wreckers’ tri-captain in 2007, Oost-Lievense played at Hartwick College, where he majored in English and special education. He became an assistant coach at Hartwick, coached in the Oneonta, New York youth program, and spent several summers running a camp on Cape Cod. After working with the Beachside Soccer Club, he now coaches Inter and CFC club teams. He also works as the soccer program director for Bridgeport’s Brighter Lives for Kinds Foundation, an after-school mentoring project.
Oost-Lievense joined the Staples staff in 2017, as freshman coach. He spent 2 years in that role, 2 as reserves coach, and the past 2 as varsity assistant. Last year he earned a US Soccer “coaching license. He is a special education teacher at Darien High School.
VARSITY ASSISTANT: Chris Flaherty
A member of the University of Bridgeport women’s staff — where he helped win a Division II national championship in 2018 — Chris has also won state championships with the Westhill girls program, and reached the state final with the Darien boys.
A Liverpool, England native who holds Level 1 and 2 badges from the English Football Association, and an Advanced National Diploma from United Soccer Coaches, Chris is a graduate of Mitchell College. He was a 2-time captain at the New London school, earning national 1st and 2nd team All-America honors.
Chris currently coaches for CFC. He owns the Kickerz Soccer Coaching company and is a director for FC New England, a summer program taking players to the Gothia Cup in Sweden.
Chris and his wife Elizabeth live in Trumbull.
FRESHMAN COACH: Chris O’Dell
Chris O’Dell has dedicated 16 years to coaching Staples High School soccer. He resumed his role as freshman coach in 2023, bringing his passion back to the program. From 2005 until 2020 he led the freshman program, fostering a culture of teamwork and discipline and nurturing young talent. (In 2016 and ’17, Chris served as varsity assistant coach.)
His teams rarely lost more than one match a year; they were often undefeated. More importantly, Chris provides freshmen with a superb introduction to Staples soccer. He instills great pride in the program, and sets high standards that all players strive to reach.
Chris’ links to Staples soccer are long and deep. He was a starting defender as a junior on the 1993 state champion team, and captained the ’94 squad. He also played varsity baseball.
After graduating from Michigan State University in 3 1/2 years with a degree in construction management, he founded his own firm. The O’Dell Group specializes in restoration work, with an outstanding reputation throughout Fairfield County.
Besides coaching, Chris is the founder and head of operations at The O’Dell Group. The Westport-based design-build construction firm creates environmentally conscious, smart living spaces that blend modern and historic elements with quality craftsmanship.
Chris and his wife Mary live in Fairfield, with their 4 children.