LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Brad Estes, the president of Soccer Holdings, LLC, the Louisville company that owns Louisville City Football Club and the NWSL's Racing Louisville FC, is leaving his position to pursue a local business opportunity not related to soccer, the club announced Monday.

James O'Connor, the organization's executive vice president, has been named interim president.

Estes will leave in the coming weeks. He joined LouCity FC in 2016 and has presided over the professional soccer fortunes in Louisville through the founding of Soccer Holdings, the construction of Lynn Family Stadium and the addition of Racing Louisville, which just completed its inaugural season. During his tenure, the organization also constructed the Lynn Family Sports Vision & Training Center and a growing Youth Academy.

The club has scheduled a news conference for 2:30 p.m.

“We thank Brad for his efforts these last five years and know that we wouldn’t be where we are today without his diligence and leadership,” said John Neace, Soccer Holdings’ chairman and CEO. “We wish him well and know that he will continue to do great things in his career. As we all know, you don’t replace a Brad. He will always be a part of the purple family.”

The 43-year-old Estes is a Louisville native who got involved with the club through his position as president of Neace's company. He first did consulting work, then came on full-time, where his business background was an asset to the club.

LouCity won USL Championship titles in 2017 and '18. In 2019, the NWSL awarded Louisville an expansion team. The organization established its youth academies a year later.

Estes helped LouCity during its time without a coach when O'Connor left for an MLS opportunity in 2018, and in this past season oversaw the dismissal of both LouCity coach John Hackworth and Racing's Christy Holly. The club has refused to discuss details of either personnel move.

“Working for this organization has been the most rewarding five years of my career,” Estes said. “I’m excited to start my next adventure, which will allow me to be a supporter on the weekends. I owe a massive debt of gratitude to our board, ownership, players, staff, supporters, sponsors and Metro government. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.

“I wouldn’t be leaving unless this business was set up for success. It is thriving, and it will continue to do so under John and James’ leadership.”

O’Connor was LouCity’s first head coach from 2015-18 and returned in 2020 as Soccer Holdings’ executive vice president.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Brad over the years,” O’Connor said. “He has brought so much to the organization and has played a huge part in our success with tireless work over the last few years. We wish Brad, his wife, Emily, and the rest of his family every success in the future. We are all better for having Brad work with us, and he will be missed.

“However, we are all determined to continue moving our organization forward to achieve even more success in 2022.”

Copyright 2022 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.