The Charlotte Eagles are proud to announce that Sam Hope has been named head coach of the Lady Eagles program effective September 2018. Hope replaces long standing coach Mitch Sanford, who will remain with the Eagles organization, overseeing international tours. “We are excited to have Sam Hope step into this important position within our organization. We are also extremely thankful for Mitch Sanford and his years of service as our Lady Eagles coach. He has spent the past 7 years not just leading our teams well but also preparing Hope to take over this position”, says Mike Freace, Eagles office director.  “This was something that has been years in the making and it is only natural to have a former Lady Eagle who has also served as assistant coach for the past four years assume the leadership role.”

Former coach Mitch Sanford steps down to focus on other aspects of the ministry, as he has transitioned to serve remotely with the organization from Colorado. "It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the coaching staff for the past 7 years. But I am also ready to get out of the way and create space for these young leaders to emerge. It has been my desire to see a former Lady Eagle, as head coach of this incredible team. Sam is qualified, not only to lead the team on the field, but to help create the transformational team culture that has made the Lady Eagles unique for 20 years”

When asked about the opportunity, Hope offered "I'm very thankful for the opportunity to coach the Lady Eagles. This team has been dear to me both as a player and as a coach. I've had the privilege to play under and coach under legends like Lee Horton, Becky Hylton, and Mitch Sanford. They have modeled what it looks like to coach for Christ and I hope to follow in their footsteps.”

Hope graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2011 after playing four years of varsity soccer for the 49er’s.  She began her coaching career at Lenoir Rhine serving as assistant coach for three seasons. In addition she played in Sweden for Kvarnsvedens IK in 2013. Hope also coached at Gardner-Webb from 2014-16. 

Sam and her husband Chuck have been married for 2 years. Please join with us in congratulating Coach Hope. 


  • Year       League                            Reg. Season           Playoffs

  • 2000     USL W-League W-2       1st, Atlantic              Championship Game

  • 2001     USL W-League W-2       1st, Eastern             W-2 Champions

  • 2002     USL W-League               1st, Atlantic              Conference Finals

  • 2003     USL W-League               2nd, Atlantic            Conference Finals

  • 2004     USL W-League               2nd, Atlantic            Conference Finals

  • 2005     USL W-League               1st, Atlantic              Conference Finals

  • 2006     USL W-League               1st, Atlantic              National Semifinals (4th Place)

  • 2007     USL W-League               3rd, Atlantic              Did not qualify

  • 2008     USL W-League               2nd, Atlantic            Conference Semifinals

  • 2009     USL W-League               3rd, Atlantic           Conference Finals

  • 2010     USL W-League                2nd, Atlantic          Conference Finals

  • 2011     USL W-League                 2nd, Atlantic           Conference Finals

  • 2012     USL W-League                1st, Southeast       Conference Finals

  • 2013     USL W-League                4th, Southeast       Did not qualify

  • 2014     USL W-League                2nd, Southeast     National Semifinals

  • 2015 USL W-League 2nd, Southeast Did not qualify

  • 2016 Academy program

  • 2017 Academy program

  • 2018 Academy program


  • USL W-League Southeastern Conference Champions 2014

  • USL W-League Southeastern Division Champions 2012

  • USL W-League Central Conference Champions 2006

  • USL W-League Atlantic Division Champions 2006

  • USL W-League Atlantic Division Champions 2005

  • USL W-League Central Conference Champions 2002

  • USL W-League Atlantic Division Champions 2002

  • USL W-League W-2 Champions 2001

  • USL W-League W-2 Eastern Conference Champions 2001

  • USL W-League W-2 Atlantic Conference Champions 2000


  • Lee Horton (2000–2015)

  • Mitch Sanford (2015–2018)

  • Sam Hope (2018–present)