PRESIDENT & GM
Jay Heaps comes to Birmingham after spending six seasons as the head coach of the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer. They qualified for MLS Cup Playoffs in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and in 2014, the Revs were crowned Eastern Conference Champions and made it to MLS Cup.
Before he began coaching, Heaps spent time in 2010 as the color commentator for the New England Revolution games on Comcast SportsNet New England and joined Morgan Stanley in Boston for three years in private banking.
Heaps played in MLS for eleven seasons, spending 1999 and 2000 with the Miami Fusion and 2001 to 2009 with the Revolution. After being drafted second overall in the 1999 MLS College Draft, he spent the season playing in midfield and defense and was named Rookie of the Year. In just his second season in the league, Heaps made the MLS All-Star team. The jump into the spotlight garnered attention from New England, who traded for him before the 2001 season.
Heaps made himself at home on the Revolution backline throughout the 2000’s. Playing on the right as a fullback in a back four or right-sided center back in a back three, Heaps helped lead the Revs to MLS Cup as Eastern Conference Champions in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007 alongside MLS legends like Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey, and Michael Parkhurst. When he retired, Heaps left the Revolution as the leader in career appearances, starts, and minutes, ranked fifth in MLS career minutes played (25,193), eighth in career games started (274), and tied for ninth in career appearances (289). He was also called up to the United States Men’s National Team in 2009 and earned four caps in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Heaps turned into an MLS-level talent in his four years at Duke University. He was a three-time Hermann Trophy finalist, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate player, before winning the award as a senior and was the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year the same season. He was a four-time first-team All-ACC selection, four-time ACC All-Tournament performer and four-time NSCAA All-South Region pick. Upon graduation, he left the Duke program ranked third in career goals (45), fourth in career assists (37), and tied for second in career points (127). He was named the Soccer America National Freshman of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year in 1995. While in school, he also earned a basketball scholarship as a walk-on point guard for the Duke basketball team under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. He graduated in 1998 with degrees in economics and history, and was named one of Duke’s “Top 10 Devils of the Decade” by the Duke Chronicle.
Heaps moved to Birmingham in January with his wife, Danielle, and three children, Jack, Olivia, and Jude, and is excited to build a culture and foundation for high-level soccer in the Magic City.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
With 25 years of pro sports communications, branding and marketing experience, Doug Hicks has joined Birmingham Legion FC as the club’s executive vice president. In his role, Hicks will oversee business operations, reporting directly to president and general manager Jay Heaps.
Hicks arrived in the Magic City following four seasons with the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. There he led all media relations and broadcasting efforts, as well as digital and social media strategy. His team was honored for the club’s digital offerings following the 2017 MLS campaign. While working with the executive team in setting and executing organizational business initiatives, Hicks expanded media relationships, built league recognized club digital and social media platforms, and orchestrated targeted transition of broadcast properties. Hicks also contributed to special projects resulting in local acquisition of 2016 Copa America matches and the 2017 MLS All-Star Game.
For 13 seasons previous, Hicks served in executive capacities at D.C. United, holding titles of Chief Marketing Officer, Sr. Vice President of Marketing Communications, and Vice President of Communications. In these roles, he managed all club communications, promotional and branding initiatives, while overseeing internal and external messaging and developing the scope of all business matters. Acknowledging the quality relationships built with local and national media, Major League Soccer honored Hicks’ work four consecutive years (2004-2007) with the Team Public Relations Award. United also earned two League community relations honors under his supervision.
Hicks has also served as a communications consultant for the U.S. Soccer Federation, an adjunct professor in the Georgetown University Sports Industry Management program, teaching leadership in management and public relations courses during his four-year tenure, as well as three seasons with the Washington Capitals (NHL) and four with the Washington Bullets (NBA).
Hicks attended James Madison University before finishing his studies at George Mason University. He and his wife Carrie reside in Homewood with their sons Jozy and Skyler.
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Morgan Trotter Copes was hired on as the first employee for Birmingham Legion FC after spending four years volunteering as the President and General Manager of the Birmingham Hammers. He co-founded the group and helped build it to a successful organization in just a few short years. For his efforts, he was awarded Birmingham Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 in 2016. It is the Hammers’ grassroots efforts helped pave the way for Legion FC to join the USL.
Prior to joining the club, Morgan spent five years at Regions Bank in various roles in business and consumer banking. He was a member of the 2012 Management Associate Program & a graduate of the 2016 Branch Leadership Academy.
Morgan currently holds a USSF B License and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Mobile where he played collegiately. During his time there he played in three national tournaments, was Co-Captain and received the NAIA Champion of Character award his senior year.
In his spare time, Morgan likes to play live music and drive his 1984 Jeep CJ7.
DIRECTOR OF SALES & SERVICE
Michael Emert comes to Birmingham Legion FC after spending two years with the University of Alabama at Birmingham athletic department. During his time as an Account Executive and Senior Account Executive for the ticket sales team, Michael was a vital player in the return of UAB Football and the overall success of the sales department. After the exciting experience of bringing football back to UAB, Michael is eager to help bring USL soccer to Birmingham.
Prior to his time at UAB, Michael spent a year with IMG College at Auburn University. He played NCAA soccer at Palm Beach Atlantic University before transferring to the University of Florida, where he played club soccer and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences.
Michael grew up in central Florida and is a passionate Florida Gator fan. He also avidly follows Arsenal FC, the Golden State Warriors, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. When he’s not in the office, Michael enjoys playing soccer, spending time in the mountains, and exploring Birmingham with his wife, McKenzie, and his Labrador named Fifa.
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE - TICKET SALES
Caleb Leon is excited to join Birmingham Legion for its inaugural season. Before joining Legion FC Caleb spent a short time in Blaine, Minnesota at Major League Soccer’s National Sports Center learning to sell for a variety of MLS clubs. Caleb graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing.
Caleb is an avid sports fan and he loves watching the Los Angles Chargers, Atlanta United, and the Atlanta Braves.
In his free time, Caleb likes playing soccer and exploring all the wonderful things Birmingham has to offer.
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE - TICKET SALES
Cason Gooch is excited to help bring professional soccer to Birmingham. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing. Before joining Legion FC, Cason spent a short time in Blaine, Minnesota at the Major League Soccer National Sales Center where he had the opportunity to sell for MLS teams across the country.
Cason grew up in Brandon, Mississippi as a lifelong sports fan. He is an avid follower of Newcastle United and all things Ole Miss. Outside of work, he plays soccer, works on his car, and spends time with family and friends.
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE - TICKET SALES
Caroline was born and raised in Birmingham, where she attended Briarwood Christian School. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor's degree in Marketing and a specialization in Professional Sales. Caroline's two favorite words are Roll Tide as she has been attending Alabama football games all her life. She discovered her love for the sports industry while working for Crimson Tide Sports Marketing during her senior year of college.
This is Caroline's second time to be a part of professional sports history in her hometown, as she was previously with the Alliance of American Football working for the Birmingham Iron. She became a member of the Legion FC team in April 2019, and is excited to help contribute bringing the city of Birmingham together to support the club.
In her spare time, she enjoys going to the lake, attending concerts, and spending quality time with her friends and family.
DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE SALES
Brandon is a Birmingham native, where he attended John Carroll High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University where is majored in Sport Management and Criminology. After his collegiate and semi professional baseball career ended, he received his Masters Degree in Sports Business from St Thomas University in Miami, FL.
His passion for sports and Birmingham led him to Birmingham Legion FC. He joins us from Marriott International where he was a Group Sales Manager. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, snowboarding, traveling and being on the water.
DIRECTOR OF NEW PARTNERSHIPS
Chris Black comes to Birmingham Legion FC after spending four years with IMG College at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During his time as an Account Executive and Operations/Recruiting Assistant, Chris played a vital role with UAB athletics. Designing and implementing new ways to expand fan engagement as well as bringing new promotional ideas to UAB Athletics, was a way to crossover from the coaching world in which he had grown accustomed to. After experiencing the collegiate side of sponsorships and fan engagement, Chris is eager to help bring professional soccer (USL) to Birmingham.
Prior to his time at UAB, Chris spent two years with Arab High School as a teacher and coach. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology where he was also a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. During his time at Alabama he spent two years as a student-assistant with the football program where he worked in Recruiting. He would later go on to get his Master’s degree in Sport Management from Adelphi University.
Although being born in Anchorage, Alaska, Chris has spent most of his life here in the state of Alabama. He is an avid follower of Chicago sports, the University of Alabama, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team. Outside of work, Chris enjoys his time with his wife Bailey and their two dogs, Ridley and Mac.
PARTNERS SERVICES ASSOCIATE
Kaity joined Legion FC in the spring of 2019 as the Partners Services Associate. She will graduate from UAB in December of 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Marketing. Before joining Legion FC, she worked for the UAB Athletic's Ticket Office as well as the Pants Store as the Marketing Assistant.
Kaity was born and raised in Florence, AL. In her free time she enjoys hanging with friends and family and exploring Birmingham.
COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING
Clayton started with Legion FC in the summer of 2018 as a Communications and Marketing intern for the final Birmingham Hammers season. Before joining the team, he worked and lived in Prague, Czech Republic and spent time in the UAB Sports Information office. He received a master’s degree in Communications from UAB, after completing his undergraduate degree in History at Birmingham Southern College.
Clayton was born and raised in Opelika, AL, loves Auburn University athletics, and is a huge Everton FC fan. When he’s not at work, he’s either watching the NBA or Premier League, playing soccer or basketball, or hanging at the Coosa River or Lake Martin with his wife, Kinsey, and their two dogs, Archie and Riley.
Matt has been a part of Birmingham Legion FC since the beginning and was the second ever employee to join the franchise. He got his start in sports with the semi-pro Birmingham Hammers as the marketing/digital media intern.
Matt was born and raised in Miami, Florida and lived in South Florida for the majority of his life. He began his college career at BYU to pursue a degree in sports marketing and has ended it at UAB as a Marketing Management major.
He is an avid Miami Hurricane, Miami Heat, US Soccer, and West Ham United fan. In his spare time he loves to play soccer or basketball, do “nerdy things,” and go to the beach.
Patrick started with Legion FC in January of 2019 as the Merchandise Manager after spending three years as a senior graphic designer for WorldSoccerShop.com. During his time at World Soccer Shop, he was able to develop designs and products for major soccer clubs like FC Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and Arsenal. His greatest accomplishment was overseeing a team of designers that created over 80,000 officially licensed products for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
Patrick was born and raised in Birmingham before graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Industrial Design. Patrick is an avid Manchester United supporter and Auburn football fan. In his spare time, he likes to watch movies and go to the dog park with his sheltie Alastor.
OFFICE AND EVENTS MANAGER
Megan Foshee joined Legion FC in the spring of 2018 as the Events and Office Manager. Before joining Legion FC, she worked at New Capital Partners as their Office Manager. Megan graduated the University of Alabama in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Communications.
Megan is an Alabama football fan, Carolina Panthers football fan and enjoys attending all kinds of sporting events. When she’s not at work, she likes to spend time with family and friends exploring the city of Birmingham.