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Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Crestwood soccer’s Eric Sway

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Crestwood soccer’s Eric Sway


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The “Getting to Know” series was created to learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Today, we get to know Crestwood High School boys and girls soccer head coach Eric Sway, who is in his second year leading the Red Devils’ programs.



Q: Hometown?

A: Streetsboro, Ohio.


Q: High school?

A: Solon High School Class of 1992. Played football.


Q: College?

A: University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Class of 1999. School of Journalism, Communications, Marketing and Athletic Coaching.


Q: Current occupation?

A: Construction Supplies Territory Manager. Head coach for Crestwood High School boys and girls soccer. Head coach for FC Evolution high school girls.


Q: What inspired you to become a coach?

A: I always wanted to be a coach from the age of 18. I started my coaching career as a head coach for Saint Mary’s Middle School boys basketball, where I am an alumni. I am a huge fan of all sports. When my playing days were over, I had to be involved in sports somehow, someway, and coaching was a lifelong dream.


Q: What makes being a coach at Crestwood special to you?

A: All of my kids make this so special. I have established such a great bond with all my student-athletes and it makes my heart so full. The athletic department and athletic director (Mr. Spiker) have embraced me so much, along with many faculty and parents. All of my coaches are so incredible and supportive that I believe I have the best coaching staff around.

I absolutely love the small-town community and getting to know and work with so many. In my time at Crestwood, I have fallen in love with everything and everyone involved. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. My decision to choose Crestwood has been a decision I will never regret and I can’t say enough that I made the right decision. I honestly get emotional when I think about what we’ve accomplished already, with not just wins, but the stuff that really matters and that’s all of my kids learning and growing into young women and men.


Q: Who has been your biggest influence?

A: Some of my coaching mentors that really stand out are coach Louis Nanchoff from Internationals Soccer Club and Paul Krzeminski from Streetsboro High School. They have both been instrumental in how I coach and what makes me “me.” Both have completely different styles that I have incorporated into my style over the years.


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?

A: I was walking out of the locker room for a night game under the lights and didn’t see a garbage can since there were no lights coming out of the visitors locker room. I ran right into it and fell to the ground. Pretty embarrassing.


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?

A: I received a red card 10 minutes after the game ended while coaching a National Premier League club game in New York just for asking a question to the referee (possibly a bit too sternly. Lesson learned).


Q: Favorite TV show?

A: Seinfeld.


Q: Favorite movie?

A: Casino.


Q: Favorite musical artist?

A: Eminem.


Q: Favorite food?

A: Seafood.


Q: Best vacation?

A: Trip to Iceland last summer, but Las Vegas always has my heart.


Q: Shoutout to former teammates?

A: Jim Pelcarsky, Brian Barron, Charlie Mersinas, Miles Eston.


Q: Favorite quote?

A: “I’m going to be honest with you…”


Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?

A: I’m a tough coach. I believe in fitness and making my kids mentally strong from it. I coach my kids with constant movement and incorporate fitness into every drill we run. I am aggressive and teach it. I am very technical and believe every kid can do what they don’t believe they can do. My kids practice advanced drills that they are challenged at all times, I don’t want to see kids standing around ever. We run two hours of hard training. I believe in 100 percent discipline and will carry out the rules set forth for the team, first and always. I believe in my assistant coaches and take all of their observations and words to the table every day. I like to coach as a coaching unit. I believe in trust and completely trust my staff to the fullest. I want us to win and lose together and will always give credit to my kids and coaches over taking credit for anything.


Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: Nobu Las Vegas.


Q: Favorite teacher from high school?

A: Gary Brezina (architecture). I aspired to be an architect, but I couldn’t do the math, unfortunately.


Q: Advice you would give your younger self?

A: Take more chances, fail and fail, don’t aim to please, listen and be open to every opportunity you get offered.


Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: Keith Woodecki.


Q: Coaching resume?

A: Streetsboro High School boys soccer assistant (2020-22); Crestwood High School boys soccer head coach (2022-present); Crestwood High School girls soccer head coach (2023-present); Galaxy FC U16 regional futsal champions; 330FC Cleveland City FC U19 Super Y League national champions (2019); FC Evolution U19 National Premier League Great Lakes regional champions.


Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Cleveland Browns.


Q: Favorite athlete then?

A: Bernie Kosar.


Q: Favorite athlete now?

A: LeBron James, Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi.


Q: First job as a teenager?

A: Geauga Lakes weight and age game.


Q: Family member that always gave you the best advice?

A: My father.


Q: Halloween costume last year?

A: Beach bum.


Q: Favorite video game?



Q: Can you play any instruments?

A: FAILED the flutophone in third grade. Unfortunately, no musical talent, including a failed karaoke try on a cruise.


Q: Favorite candy?

A: Reese’s peanut butter cups.


Q: First car?

A: 1988 Ford Mustang GT.


Q: Best friends?

A: My wife, Stacee, for putting up with me and supporting everything I do — even if I’m gone countless hours, she supports my love to be a positive influence in all of my student-athletes’ lives through sports.

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