Daniel is a former player and head coach for several local club teams in central Ohio and now a HappyFeet-Legends franchisee.
At the young age of 15 Daniel started his coaching/training career under the guidance of his father, Ron Wigg (former English League Professional player and Professional coach in the United States). This is where he instantly developed a passion to better develop players in an educational yet fun and positive environment. At the age of 19 he successfully captured the USSF National “C” badge, the youngest to do so.
After playing for one of the top clubs in Columbus, Daniel went on to play college soccer at Columbus State. It is here that he led the team in goals and assists in the first season of the program.
Daniel then moved on to Soccer First as the “Director of Soccer” where he started youth training and development classes as well as heading the Summer Camp program as Camp Director. It was at Soccer First where he first met Andy Barney when the “National Indoor Championships” came to town. Daniel and Andy hit it off from the start as they both believed in the same philosophy on how to better develop each player, which is now known as the “HappyFeet Legends” way.
Daniel continued his coaching in the Columbus area which, over the years, included team State titles and a #1 National ranking. He has also helped develop many players who have progressed to Division 1 college soccer and even the MLS.
And now, years later, there is finally a full program that supports the entire process on how to help take children to another level in the most enjoyable way possible. Daniel takes every opportunity to work with children very seriously and loves to make a positive difference in all of their lives!
Things to know about Daniel: What is your coaching license level? I currently hold the USSF National “C” Badge which I captured at the young age of 19.
How many years have you coached? I started coaching in 1989 at the age of 15.
What is your playing experience? After playing for one of the top youth clubs in Columbus I went on to play at Columbus State, led team in goals and assists first year.
What is your greatest achievement as a coach? Having the chance to see former players make it to play in college and the MLS. Being a positive influence in soccer and in life.
Who is your favorite player in the world? Steven Gerrard…. Toughest and most talented midfielder on the planet. Plays with pure passion for his club and country.
Who is your favorite soccer team in the world? Liverpool… You’ll Never Walk Alone.
What’s the most rewarding thing about coaching youth soccer? Just watching them grow and develop. Coaches must take on a huge responsibility with each and every child. We are obligated to be positive role models for them. I take this responsibility very seriously. It’s not just about soccer, it’s about life. I enjoy being a part of that.
What are your interests outside of coaching soccer? To be a good father to my two children and to be everything to my beautiful wife.
Growing up playing in Central Ohio took Jimi as far as the Mid-West Regional competition after multiple appearances in the Ohio South State Championships as a youth player. Finally the hard work paid off, and that championship was achieved on the high school stage playing at Westerville North high school, where the senior led group captured the 2003 Div. I State Championship.
Jimi played at the University of Findlay from 2004-2007, where he was a four-year letter winner, three-year starter, and a member of the all conference academic team twice.
His coaching career began immediately after the playing finished, when Jimi coached the reserve squad at the University of Findlay, and was an assistant to Coach Andy Smyth’s Varsity team. After graduation Jimi coached U15 Boys in Findlay, OH, and U15 Girls in Westerville, OH the following season. Jimi returned to Westerville North high school to coach the Boys Freshman team and assist the varsity during the 2010 season. In 2011 Jimi took over as Boys Head JV coach at New Albany High School.
Currently Jimi is a trainer and an administrative assistant with the HappyFeet Legends program in Columbus, OH. Jimi Holds a USSF state level “D” License.