Jim Curtin Named National Sports Ambassador for L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs & Violence)

Philadelphia Union Head Soccer Coach to Support Efforts to Teach Children About the Dangers of Drugs and Violence

ALLENTOWN, N.J. & CHESTER, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jim Curtin, one of the best-known and most successful coaches in Major League Soccer (MLS), has been named “National Sports Ambassador” for L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs & Violence), the organization announced today.

“Jim’s track record speaks for itself as a leader and role model,” said Nick DeMauro, CEO of L.E.A.D. “An amazing family man, Jim’s children are exactly the ages of the students we reach.

“His ability to work with children and his respect for law enforcement makes him the perfect person to support our program,” added Mr. DeMauro. “We look forward to hitting the ground running with Jim.”

L.E.A.D. provides services “On The Street” and “In The Classroom” as it brings law enforcement and communities closer together. The “In The Classroom” program is taught by more than 5000 trained instructors in 45 states. L.E.A.D. has a proven effective, law enforcement-focused anti–drug, anti–violence curriculum for K-12 students in the U.S. The L.E.A.D. curriculum is taught throughout a 10-week program to educate youth on how they can make smart decisions without the involvement of drugs or violence.

Curtin, a Philadelphia native and resident, has had an illustrious career as a player and coach. His soccer career began during his college years at Villanova University, where he played for the Villanova Wildcats from 1997 to 2000. He was later inducted into the Villanova University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017.

In 2001, Curtin was drafted by the Chicago Fire of MLS. During his ten-year playing career, he played more than 200 games and was named to the MLS All-Star Team in 2004. Curtin became known for his consistent performances and strong leadership qualities.

After retiring as a player in 2010, Curtin transitioned into coaching and took on various roles within the Union’s coaching staff. 2014 he was appointed head coach, becoming the youngest head coach in the franchise’s history.

Under Curtin’s guidance, the Philadelphia Union experienced a significant transformation. His meticulous approach to coaching, emphasis on teamwork, and commitment to developing young talent led the team to achieve unprecedented success. In 2020, Curtin guided the Union to their first-ever major trophy, winning the Supporters’ Shield for the best regular-season record. Curtin is one of the most respected coaches in North America and was named MLS Coach of the Year in 2020 and 2022, becoming the youngest two-time recipient of the honor and the fifth coach overall in league history to win the award multiple times.

Curtin says he was thrilled to support L.E.A.D. when he learned about the program.

“You can’t argue with the benefits of teaching young children about the dangers of drugs and violence, and I look forward to using my platform in the MLS to spread the word,” said Curtin. “Every team in our league works with young students, and we can all learn from the curriculum that L.E.A.D. employs.”

About L.E.A.D.

L.E.A.D. provides the leadership, resources and management to ensure law enforcement agencies have the means to partner with educators, community leaders, and families. L.E.A.D. succeeds by providing proven and effective programs to deter youth and adults from drug use, drug related crimes, bullying and violence. L.E.A.D. is committed to reinforcing the mutual respect, goodwill and relations between law enforcement and their communities.

For more information, visit https://www.leadrugs.org/.