Denny Sago joined South Carolina's staff in the summer of 2014 as its new volunteer assistant coach in charge of goalkeeping, bringing a wealth of experience from his days as a top coach in the Palmetto State's youth circuits.
Last year, Gamecock goalkeeper Marco Velez garnered NSCAA National Player of the Week honors after his work in the win over nationally-ranked Clemson.
Sago has spent the past 20 years at the youth soccer level in South Carolina, serving as an assistant at Emerald High in Greenwood, S.C., for four years before joining Irmo High in the same role. He's coached in seven state finals in 12 years with Irmo, winning three AAAA championships. He also served as the junior varsity head coach at each school during his tenures. He's also worked in higher levels, serving as an operations intern with the MLS' DC United for a year as well as working with the Charleston Battery for three seasons.
In the club soccer scene, Sago has worked with the South Carolina United group, serving as a staff coach for eight years while also taking the role as Director of Goalkeeping for eight years combined in two different stints. He currently serves as the US Soccer Development Academy's goalkeeper coach with the United's Battery team. During his time with the academy, the U-16 team won two southeast division titles and made three playoff appearances. The U-18 team has two playoff showings and one division crown in that time as well.
Among Sago's many certifications, he holds the NSCAA Advanced National and Goalkeeping Level III diplomas.
Sago finished his bachelors' degree in history at South Carolina after transferring from his hometown Lander University, where he was a member of the men's soccer program. Sago finished his masters in 2003 in teaching in social studies. He is married to the former Kelly Elingburg, also of Greenwood. They have one daughter, Kyleigh Elizabeth.
Sago's Employment Timeline
2014-present -- Volunteer assistant coach, South Carolina
2003-14 -- Assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach, Irmo High School
1996-99 -- Assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach, Emerald High School
Sago's Other Soccer Coaching Timeline
2009-present -- Goalkeeper coach, US Soccer Development Academy
2003-11 -- Staff coach, South Carolina United
2003-05, 10-present -- Director of Goalkeeping, South Carolina United
2002-04 -- Staff intern, Charleston Battery
2000 -- Operations intern, DC United
Sago's Education Timeline
2001, B.A. -- History, South Carolina
2003, M.A. -- Teaching, South Carolina