Meet our coaches

Laura Lauter Smith

Laura loved the game of soccer from the first time she played. By middle school, she was playing Olympic Development Soccer, eventually playing on both state and regional teams. Laura was a prolific goalscorer, scoring a record 68 goals during her senior season in high school in Knoxville, TN. Laura went on to be a Division 1, 4-year starter at the University of Tennessee where she earned All-SEC honors and left with a career-scoring record. Laura also played semi-professionally in Atlanta for the Women’s W-League. She is a member of the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame and The University of TN Sports Hall of Fame. Laura has coached at the high school and club level in TN and TX. Laura and her husband Brian have 4 daughters and have lived in Henniker since 2016.


Dana Pellerin

Dana has always loved the game of soccer since he was young, and he continued playing throughout his adulthood. Once his two girls became more interested in soccer he started coaching both of their teams.  He started coaching John Stark United in 2015 with a U10 team.  Since then his 2006 team has had an undefeated season (2017), two State Championship wins(2016, 2017), and two Capital Cup tournament wins (2016, 2017). He has also coached a boy's U13 team, which included 4 girls, they had an undefeated season and won in the championship game(2019).  Dana received his “E” and “F” coaching license(2015). He also completed the “Heads up”, concussion in youth sports course(2015), and the “Safe Sports”(2019)


Jarrod Brooks

Jarrod started playing soccer on the south shore of Massachusetts at the ripe old age of 4. His playing continued through Avon High School and New England College.  Jarrod's passion for playing hasn't diminished with age, as he can be found playing for Henniker Celtic on Sunday afternoons in the summer.  Jarrod began coaching roughly 20 years ago and has coached with club programs, middle school, and high school. He has been a part of the JSU coaching staff for roughly 8 years, where his teams annually make the NHSL state tournament.  Throughout his time at JSU, his teams have won numerous accolades without ever losing the focus on having fun playing!  Jarrod served as Soccer Director for nine years for the town of Henniker and is now serving as JSU President.


Bryan Porth

Currently coaching the Fall 2007 Boys team after coaching this same team last fall. The prior two years I was the Assistant Coach. While having no competitive playing experience, I have been immersed in soccer for a number of years watching my three kids move up from Rec soccer to various travel teams and Varsity soccer.

Outside of soccer, I have also coached Baseball, Basketball, and Softball as well as volunteering as Assistant Den Leader and Assistant Scoutmaster for Pack/Troop 24.


Hilary Gitchell

Hilary has been part of NH soccer for most of her life, as both a player and a coach. She played for Keene High School and went on to play four years at Keene State College, where she earned All-Conference and All-New England honors. Her senior year she served as captain of the team that qualified for the NCAA tournament.

Her coaching career began in college where she volunteered as the coach for a u-9 girls’ team and spent summers coaching at KSC Soccer camps. She went on to serve as an assistant coach at the collegiate level for three years - two years at Southern New Hampshire University followed by a year at Keene State College.

After taking a break from the sport to have kids, she returned to the field to coach multiple teams for the town of Weare. She can still be found playing indoor soccer year-round in Bow. This is Hilary’s 3rd season with JSU, where she works with the 2009 and 2011/2012 boys.


Timon Dennis

Tim grew up in Vermont where he played soccer throughout his youth.  Shortly after graduating from Keene State College, he moved to New Hampshire in 2000.  In 2005, he and his wife settled in Weare where they are currently raising their son and daughter, both of whom are very active in local sports.

Tim began coaching youth recreation soccer for Weare Athletic Club (WAC) in 2012 when his daughter started to play at the age of four.  In 2014, his son began to play travel soccer for JSU and Tim took on coaching responsibilities for his U9 team.  This fall will mark Tim’s sixth year with JSU as he coaches the boy's U14 team.  Throughout his time at JSU, his teams have enjoyed great success to include several NHSL playoff runs and winners of their Capitol Cup Tournament division the past two years.  Tim has also coached an indoor soccer team playing at Fieldhouse Sports in Bow each of the past five winters.  He currently holds his USSF E and F coaching licenses earned in 2016.


Jared Ward

Jared Ward developed a love of the game as a child and now enjoys coaching both his daughter Clara and his son, Charlie.  Jared followed in his father's footsteps as a coach and began coaching Clara in Henniker Youth Athletics, where he later became a Soccer Director in 2013.  Jared began coaching the U9 girl's team in 2016 and the U8 Boys team in 2017.  He holds a USSF F Coaching license as well as the grassroots 7v7 coaching license.  Jared is also a USSF Certified Grade 9 referee.  Jared currently serves as JSU's Vice President.  Jared enjoys spending time with his JSU family and often organizes events such as JSU's participation in the Rock 'n Race as well as Revs Day with the New England Revolution.  Jared believes the goal of each match is to execute what the team works on in practice.  He sometimes needs to be reminded of the score.  However, both of Jared's teams won their brackets in last year's Columbus Day weekend tournament!