2014 Recipient of the Dr. Thomas Fleck, US Youth Soccer Excellence in Coaching Education Award Announced
Bob Gansler of Wisconsin honored at Awards Gala in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 17, 2014) — US Youth Soccer honored Bob Gansler, of Brookfield, Wis., as the recipient of the Dr. Thomas Fleck, US Youth Soccer Excellence in Coaching Education Award at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala Friday in Philadelphia. The Awards Gala was held in conjunction with the 2014 US Youth Soccer Workshop at the NSCAA Convention.
The Excellence in Youth Coaching Education award is also known as the Dr. Thomas Fleck award. It is designed to honor a lifetime of dedication where one has led with integrity, honor, humor and humility and has made extensive and far reaching contributions to the process by which youth soccer coaches are educated in America.
Hilary Kennedy, host of The US Youth Soccer Show, set the stage for the night as the master of ceremonies for the more than 1,000 in attendance. Boys and Girls Recreation and Competitive Coaches of the Year, Young Referees of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Goal and Save of the Year and the TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year were also presented during the Gala, and the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame inductees were honored, as well.
When Bob Gansler was named to U.S. Soccer’s national coaching staff in 1975, coaching education became an aspect of the game where he excelled. Since then, he’s taught countless National “A,” “B” and “C” courses and was named a FIFA instructor in 1994. He served as the Director of Coaching for two state associations, Wisconsin Youth Soccer and Idaho Youth Soccer, where he preceded Dr. Thomas Fleck. He has been a role model and mentor to numerous coaches and instructors throughout the country. His philosophy that “coaching is teaching in short pants” serves as a foundation for the many coaches he has inspired.
As a high school freshman, Gansler’s first coaching assignment was to coach a fifth-grade basketball team. Later, while a sophomore at Marquette University, he coached the soccer team at Country Day School. Gansler then started the soccer program at Marquette University High School, leading the team to a state championship. He also coached the Milwaukee Bavarians to the National Amateur Cup championship.
Starting in 1975, Gansler served in various coaching positions with the U.S. National Teams. He was eventually named Director of Coaching and the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team in 1989, leading the U.S. to its first World Cup appearance in 40 years in Italy in 1990. Gansler also coached at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and in the professional ranks, including the Milwaukee Rampage’s A-League national championship in 1997, and seven years with the Kansas City Wizards — where he won the 2000 MLS Cup, 2000 Supporter’s Shield and 2004 U.S. Open Cup.
The Dr. Thomas Fleck Award is another in a long list of coaching recognitions for Gansler, including the “Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award,” the 2013 NSCAA “Long Term Service to Youth” award, and a 2011 induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Still active in the game, Gansler is a frequent instructor for U. S. Soccer and the NSCAA, as well as a clinician for soccer clinics across the county and beyond. When not traveling out of state, he can be found at the local Elk Grove Soccer Club working with children of various ages.
2013 Bill Buren — Satellite Beach, Fla.
2012 Gary Allen — Manassas, Va.
2011 Jimmy Conway — Portland, Ore.
2010 Virgil Stringfield II — Orlando, Fla.
2009 Dr. David Carr — Barboursville, W.Va.
2008 James "Jay" Hoffman — Virginia Beach, Va.
2007 Dr. Ron Quinn — Cincinnati, Ohio
2006 Dean Conway — Jamaica Plain, Mass.
2005 Dr. Thomas Fleck — Philadelphia, Pa., Inaugural Recipient