Hannibal-LaGrange hires native of Brazil as next men’s soccer coach

soccer coach

Lucas Almeida | Photo courtesy of Hannibal-LaGrange University

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Hannibal-LaGrange University Athletic Department recently selected Lucas Almeida as head coach of the men’s soccer program.

In a press release, HLGU Director of Athletics Clay Biggs said, “We are extremely excited to have Coach Almeida join our team, and we welcome him and his family to Hannibal-LaGrange University. His strong connections to the regional club soccer community and professional playing experience set him apart from other candidates. We are confident that Coach Almeida will continue our rich tradition of high-quality men’s soccer at HLGU.”

Almeida, a native of Brazil, joins HLGU after spending the past five years as an assistant coach at Fontbonne University, where he received a master’s degree in business administration (2020). During his time at Fontbonne, he assisted with recruiting, execution of practices, game day operations and fundraising.

Almeida played professional soccer for the past eight years with the St. Louis Ambush of the Major Arena Soccer League. Almeida was elevated to the coaching staff of the Ambush in 2022. His responsibilities include planning training sessions, team meetings and video sessions. Before signing with the Ambush, Almeida played for the Tulsa Revolution in 2014-15, leading the team in points, goals and assists and received honorable mention accolades for the rookie team of the year in the MASL. He participated in the WFM World Cup (indoor soccer) in 2015 as a member of the Brazilian National Team.

Almeida also has ties to soccer clubs in the region. He has served as the director of the Girls Prospect (U17-U19) team for Lou Fusz Athletics since 2021 and is the head coach of Maritsa FC in St. Louis since 2020. As director, he has been responsible for player development, working directly with many coaches to help in roster formation and planning for competition.

Almeida was the director of coaching for the St. Louis Hawks soccer club from 2019 to 2022. He was responsible for player development, planning practices and the evaluation of coaches. Almeida has served as the head coach for the Missouri Rush (2017-2019) and The Fulton School at St. Albans (2016-2017) and as assistant coach for Clinton High School in 2015.

Almeida received a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2014 from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, where he was a four-year starter and captain of the soccer team. He recently was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

“It is an honor to be hired as the new head coach for such a great soccer program,” Almeida said. “From playing against them in college to now, HLGU has always been a very competitive program. I look forward to maintaining its tradition. I would like to thank Clay Biggs and the administration for their trust in me. I cannot wait to get started.”

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