Former Quinnipiac Coach Shines at the National Team Level

Ben Kane

The music around the stadium is on full blast.  Balls are flying through the air as your keepers launch punts past the halfway line.  Everyone on the field is extremely tense knowing what is at stake. 

You can’t help but become overcome with nerves on one of the biggest stages of your career, but as a coach you need to stay composed. Stay in the moment. Think about your family and friends. Think about people you’ve lost along the way. Most importantly remember to never forget the previous head coaches you worked for. 

On July 3rd, 2022 the United States U20 national team took on the Dominican Republic in the Concacaf Championship Final. On arguably one of the biggest stages of his young career, Jason Grubb was able to remain grounded and focus on the task at hand as he ran his goalkeepers through their paces. 

The United States won the game 6-0, hoisting their third straight Concacaf Championship title. When the whistle blew, it was Grubb who was in shock and couldn’t believe just how far his career had come. Grubb grew up on the pitch but quickly learned that where he wanted to be was behind the touchline, not across. 

“At the age of 15 I had an inkling that I wanted to become a full-time coach so I started obtaining my coaching qualifications, and the club I was with helped me with that,” Grubb said.  

Having already attained some of his UEFA coaching licenses, Grubb began working in Connecticut and eventually landed a job on the Quinnipiac University coaching staff. Working under current head coach Eric Da Costa, Grubb instantly fell in love with the program and ran with the opportunity he was given. 

“What made me fall in love with the program was Eric Da Costa,” Grubb said. “He created an environment that was so enjoyable to turn up to work every day. Each day was a lot of fun, but at the same time we were there to work and develop the program.” 

While working at Quinnipiac, Grubb was given opportunities from not only Da Costa, but also the head coach for the women’s team, Dave Clarke. Working for the United States women’s setup was a huge opportunity for Grubb, one that he to this day will never forget. 

“Once every month we would go to different locations and work with the top female players U13-15,” Grubb said. “From there I got the opportunities to work with the U18 and U20s. I’ve been very fortunate to work with the goalkeepers at the U20 men’s and women’s.” 

Grubb was the goalkeeping coach in Hamden for several seasons before eventually moving to IMG Academy to work with their keepers. Like every opportunity he has had in his career, this one was once again tied to the Q. 

“It was during my time at Quinnipiac where Dave and Eric paved the way for me to get a Goalkeeping license with the USSF,” Grubb said, “The license was actually held at IMG and it was a week’s course with the national license. During my time there I roomed with a former goalkeeper in the league called Kevin Hartman, who just joined IMG as the Technical Director.”

Spending just 11 months at IMG, Grubb quickly moved on to the MLS where his good friend Paul Rogers was appointed the head goalkeeping coach position at the Houston Dynamo. 

Navigating how to work and speak to players across a variety of ages can be very difficult. With Grubb’s role at the Dynamo working with all academy goalkeepers, he would need to learn this skill quickly. However, time and time again the lessons he learned at Quinnipiac have been a contributing factor to his success. 

“Quinnipiac was the first opportunity I had to work with different players from different parts of the world,” Grubb said. “If you look at the roster in the past, not only are there a lot of top local talent, but top international players from all these countries around the world. Having the opportunity to work with different cultures, allowed me to learn about people in different ways.”  

Stepping into the U20 national team setup in 2022, Grubb was able to take these lessons and apply them to a side looking to gain their third straight Concacaf Championship. 

“For me to just play a small part in that, I am extremely proud,” Grubb said. “Once we’re in there everybody’s so driven to have success, and that’s a trait that was grounded into me at Quinnipiac.”  

Although he is still young, the Dynamo man has had a very impressive career. While he has worked in local leagues, at prep schools and even the MLS, he still looks back on Hamden being the best time of his career. 

“I refer to my time at Quinnipiac as one of, if not my happiest, memories coaching football because it was such a great time in my life and a great time for me to develop as a young coach,” Grubb said.