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Recreation Coach of the Year

US Youth Soccer Recreation Coach of the Year

US Youth Soccer Recreation Coaches of the Year
The US Youth Soccer Recreation Coach of the Year is awarded to a recreation coach for both a boy's team and a girl's team for his or her coaching activities, sportsmanship, player development, personal coaching development and citizenship.  The national Boys and Girls Recreation Coach of the Year is announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, as a part of the US Youth Soccer Workshop.

1992-2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 20122013 | 2014

Bios of the regional winners are based on the submitted nomination forms.
 

2014 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Boys Recreation [Video]
Region IV – John McKenzie – Bremerton, Wash.

2014 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Girls Recreation [Video]
Region IV – Edward Davies – Pleasanton, Calif.

2014 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
 

Steve BaneRegion I – Steven Bane – St. Albans, W.V.
Steve Bane coaches to teach his players the mechanics of the game, build confidence in their ability to compete and create a sense of camaraderie to succeed as a group. Steve displays a great passion for the game and instills that same love of soccer in his players. He has guided the South Charleston Eagles for six years, devoting much of his time to make sure each player has a great experience.
 

James BarronRegion II – James Barron – Fishers, Ind.
James Barron cares about his players and goes out of his way to make sure his teams are having fun, even creating a website for each team with a roster, highlights and schedule. He teaches the value of teamwork and knows the best coach lets his players go out and play without micromanaging them. James is able to connect well with older recreational players, as he makes sure players of all ages have a chance to enjoy the game and all it has to offer.

Jason ButtsRegion III – Jason Butts – Kathleen, Ga.
After asking his players how they would like to improve, Jason Butts works with each individual throughout the season. He pushes the players to become confident players while also treating all opponents with respect. As a member of the U.S. Air Force, Jason has taught his players various aspects of leadership, as well as the importance of schoolwork. The proper balance of athletics and academics has helped his players be successful both on and off the field.

John McKenzieRegion IV – John McKenzie – Bremerton, Wash.
In 13 years as a recreational coach, John McKenzie has used soccer to instill the qualities of sportsmanship and teamwork in his players. Players say he taught them how to be young men first and soccer players second. John helps pass on to his player a desire to play the game and the team always has fun while competing. In addition to recreational coaching, John is involved in TOPSoccer, where he coaches and works as a buddy.

2014 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
 

Edwin MerkelRegion I – Ted Merkel – Pittsford, N.Y.
Keeping the game fun is Ted Merkel’s top priority as a coach for the Pittsford Mustangs. He plans his practices to make sure his players are always trying different things and getting as many touches of the ball as possible. Ted encourages his players to stay active in the sport, and he organizes soccer nights in the community between seasons to give kids a fun setting to play, as well as trips to local professional matches for rec and travel teams.

Ken Novak US Youth SoccerRegion II – Ken Novak – Mitchell, S.D.
Ken Novak has helped Mitchell Soccer Association fill several coaching positions to simply give the kids an opportunity to play. He has coached every age group and focuses on keeping players positive at all times, even reaching out to opposing players who had a tough game. Even with eight kids of his own, Ken devotes a lot of his time to the game he loves and making sure all players have a great experience playing soccer.
 

Tina WhaleyRegion III – Tina Whaley – Chattanooga, Tenn.
A mother of two soccer players, Tina Whaley has coached four seasons of recreational soccer and is always willing to lend a helping hand. She obtained her USSF ‘E’ License to gain more knowledge, which she has used to help her team and others. As an elementary school teacher, Tina encourages kids to have “Soccer Fridays,” where she plays soccer at recess with them — creating an opportunity for those new to the game to have a chance to play soccer.

ed daviesRegion IV – Edward Davies – Pleasanton, Calif.
Players and parents on Edward Davies’ teams learn that sportsmanship and playing the game properly are more important than winning. His four rules are to try as hard as you can, keep getting better, respect the team and honor the game. Edward encourages players to learn to make good decisions for themselves and their teammates. He helped organize a friendly tournament to allow players a chance to continue to grow and improve while playing in a fun environment.

2013 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation [Video]
Region IV – Chris Twombley – Seattle, Wash.
 
2013 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation [Video]
Region III – Michael Ericksen – Hendersonville, N.C.
 
2013 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
 
Christina FranceschiRegion I – Christina Franceschi – Buffalo, N.Y.
Coaching for Buffalo Soccer Club, Christina Franceschi uses soccer to develop wellness and character for kids — many from underprivileged families. She coaches U-6 players and middle school-aged boys, providing a fun environment to play and develop sportsmanship. Her coaching helped five players make their varsity high school teams, and she sees soccer as a learning experience for all players. As an active volunteer, Christina also uses her time to work with the Special Olympics program.
 
Karen DittbrennerRegion II – Karen Dittbrenner – Beatrice, Neb.
Sportsmanship is the focus of Karen Dittbrenner’s teams, as she believes the lessons learned on the soccer field can help her players later in life and in their careers. She creates fun ways to help her players improve and looks for training activities outside of normal practices for her team. Karen is active in the community and helped organize a soccer tournament for adults and kids, in addition to working toward obtaining her second master’s degree.
 
Mike Ericksen (Batman)Region III – Michael Ericksen – Hendersonville, N.C.
Since 2005, Michael Ericksen has volunteered to coach 15 different teams within the Henderson County Soccer Association. As a teacher during the day, he devotes much of his time to teaching youth, both in the classroom and on the field. He is one of the most reliable rec coaches year after year. Though he’s never had a child of his own on a team, Michael is always willing to step in and coach the game he loves.
 
Region IV – Jesus Cardenas – Seattle, Wash.
In one of the most diverse communities in the country, Jesus Cardenas coaches many different players, with the help of volunteers, on seven different teams. His enthusiasm and willingness to work with all children, no matter their background, has made him a key part of uniting the community through soccer. His philosophy is that the best teacher is the game itself, and he works to give kids as many chances to play as possible.
 
2013 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
 
RChris Thomasegion I – Chris Thomas – Ithaca, N.Y.
Chris Thomas encourages his players to try new things, move beyond their comfort zones and tap their inner "magic," rather than focusing on wins and losses. He brings a positive mindset to the field and emphasizes fair play. While coaching two U-10 teams and two U-12 teams, Chris is always teaching. He tries to tailor his coaching to each individual and can relate to any young player who wants to learn more about the game.
 
REric Wallin Betteregion II – Eric Wallin – Lexington, Ky.
Having fun and keeping a positive attitude are the main objectives for Eric Wallin’s teams, but he also helps his players improve their soccer skills along the way. He encourages players to participate in camps and practice on their own. During games, Eric makes sure each player gets her fair share of time on the field, and he always promotes good sportsmanship toward the opposing team and officials to make sure everyone enjoys the game.
 
RPaul Kinseregion III – Paul Kinser – Greensboro, N.C.
The calm and positive demeanor that Paul Kinser brings to his team at Greensboro United makes the game enjoyable for his players. He emphasizes that soccer should be fun, and the atmosphere around his team has helped players develop great friendships with their teammates. His coaching style makes every player feel comfortable, helping them gain self-confidence and develop an appreciation and passion for the game that keeps them involved with soccer.
 
RChris Twombleyegion IV – Chris Twombley – Seattle, Wash.
Any player looking to get in the game can find a welcoming home on Chris Twombley’s team at West Seattle Soccer Club. Twombley communicates well with his players and provides a positive energy. He uses soccer to teach lessons and build character, and acts as a role model for his players to follow. Off the field, Chris is always offering to help and volunteer in any way the club may need. 
 
2012 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation [Video]
Region I – Chris Thomas – Lawrenceville, N.J.
 
2012 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation [Video]
Region III – Thomas Velek – Columbus, Miss.
 
Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Camile Louis – Fairfax, Va.
In her first season coaching, Camile Louis began addressing her players as gentlemen. Through her 12 years of teaching integrity, her players have earned that title and truly act like young gentlemen. Louis began coaching as a volunteer with no prior soccer experience, but she has pushed herself to learn and lead by example for her players. She earned a USSF "E" License and even began playing in an adult league.
 
Pete GustinRegion II – Pete Gustin – Olathe, Kan.
Pete Gustin doesn’t restrict compliments to just his team. He encourages his players to congratulate opponents and is known to call out "good save" to the opposing goalie. He is positive and encouraging when teaching his players about the game. Although his youngest kid is now in high school, Gustin continues to coach young children as a favor to neighbors who asked him to impart his knowledge of the game on a new generation.
 
Rtom velekegion III – Thomas Velek – Columbus, Miss.
Ensuring each of his players improve is the main goal for Thomas Velek. He encourages higher levels of competition but will not leave any player behind. Velek has started a summer pick-up game program, coordinated two USSF "D" License courses in Columbus and initiated and directed the Columbus TOPSoccer program. While constantly promoting the game, he makes sure to stress sportsmanship and respectful behavior to players, coaches and parents.
 
ReMark_Paigegion IV – Mark Paige – Santa Fe, N.M.
Each player will get an equal chance to play and improve under Mark Paige. He has coached several recreational teams at varying age levels and always promotes appreciation for the game and all involved. He revived U-14 recreational teams to give middle school-aged children the option to continue playing at their own desire. Paige holds several coaching certificates and licenses, including a State "D" License and has continued to take courses to further his coaching knowledge.
 
Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
RegiChris Thomason I – Chris Thomas – Lawrenceville, N.J.
Chris Thomas emphasizes that soccer should be fun and does his best to work with individual players to increase their enjoyment. He manages to find a way to get each player touches on the ball, despite a wide range of skill levels in recreational play, which allows everyone a chance to improve. Thomas holds a "C" License and runs training sessions each week for players and coaches, in addition to his current efforts to obtain indoor space for recreational players to train.  
 
Region II – Jeff Taylor – Bowling Green, Ky.
In the Fall of 1979, 8-year-old Jeff Taylor and his family were at the forefront of starting youth soccer in Bowling Green, Ky. Now 41, Taylor is still involved in the local soccer scene as a dedicated coach of his daughters’ teams for the last six years. Since his first days of coaching recreational soccer while in high school up until present day, Taylor has provided a positive, out-going attitude for his players to look up to.
 
RegioAtef_Iskandern III – Atef Iskander – Tulsa, Okla.
Atef Iskander is currently the coach of the Under-16 girls recreational team at Metro Tulsa Soccer Club. His competitive nature balanced with a high level of respect for all opponents has made Iskander a great influence on his players. He provides his team with quality leadership and asks for his players to approach the game with the same level of respect as he shows.
 
RegRob Rittmeyerion IV – Rob Rittmeyer – Santa Fe, N.M.
A wide range of children get the opportunity to enjoy playing soccer under Rob Rittmeyer. Outside of his many talents for creating a caring and fun environment for his players, Rittmeyer is also fluent in Spanish, French and sign language. He has coached deaf youth and gives all players equal attention for instruction. There have been multiple occasions when Rittmeyer has gone out of his way to make sure any child who wants to play soccer gets an opportunity. He also obtained a "D" License in June.
 

2011 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation

Region IV – Jean Robinson – Seattle, Wash.

2011 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation
Region IV – Tom Makowski – Beaverton, Ore. 

Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
RPierre Agbadouegion I – Pierre Agbadou – Newark, N.J.
Pierre Agbadou compares his teaching and coaching philosophy to that of the famed Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian who said, "A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are." For the Just One Soccer League in Newark, N.J., Agbdaou's approach to the game he loves has helped mold young players who love the game. Agbadou holds a USSF "E" License.
 

RJesse Nesteregion II – Jesse Nester – Humboldt, S.D.
Father and banker, Jesse Nester spends much of his free time coaching youth soccer teams for Dakota Alliance Soccer Club. Nester teaches being a good player has to do with more than technical ability on the field; it's defined by how you act on and off the field. His approach to coaching makes every player a star in his own right and transforms individual players into a cohesive team.
 
ReTristan Rowellgion III – Tristan Rowell –Collinsville, Miss.
Tristan Rowell has coached soccer for four years, guiding Under-10 and U-12 teams. In that time, Rowell has earned the U-6/U-8 Youth Module License, the U-10/U-12 Youth Module License and holds a USSF "D" License. His U-12 recreational team, Manchester United, went undefeated in the fall and spring seasons and won the league championship in 2011. Each player receives specific instruction and attention to improve their skills.
 
RegiJean robinsonon IV – Jean Robinson – Seattle, Wash.
Jean Robinson faces the unique challenge of not only coaching teenage boys, but also managing a roster of half locals and half Somalian or Ethiopian youths from a nearby housing development. She has successfully crafted a team experience that fully engaged and fostered the development of the individual. As a result, her Under-18 boys went 12-0 in district play. Robinson holds a USSF "D" License.
 
Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
ReRick Brigantegion I – Richard Brigante – Colchester, Vt.
No matter the result, Richard Brigante is consistent in his post-game message to his teams—each player receives specific, individual praise. This attention to player development has left a lasting impression on the 11 teams Brigante has coached in six years at Colchester Youth Soccer League. Brigante's kind, no nonsense style has helped shape successful Under-10 teams who exude good sportsmanship and positive energy.
 
RegiTim Schwindton II – Tim Schwindt – McPherson, Kan.
In his 16 years as coach at McPherson Strikers Soccer Club, Tim Schwindt has coached range of skills and ages, from Under-7 up to Under-14 boys and girls. Schwindt never played soccer himself, but has invested time in learning the game and using his coaching skills from previous experience. Schwindt spends a great deal of time with his teams, not only coaching them but mentoring his players into adulthood.
 
RegLauren Acostaion III – Lauren Acosta – Hubert, N.C.
As a coach in the Swansboro Soccer Association, Lauren Acosta has seen the players on her team turnover year after year. The rotating roster has enabled numerous young girls to learn from Acosta's emphasis on teamwork, sportsmanship and dedication. Her commitment goes beyond teaching technical and tactical fundamentals. Acosta teaches her players to love the game and to play with passion and good sportsmanship.

RegiTomMakowskion IV – Tom Makowski – Beaverton, Ore.
Tom Makowski creates a family out of the Somerset West Soccer Club teams he coaches, encouraging participation from players’ parents and siblings. In 15 years of coaching, Makowski has never been carded, a testament to the sportsmanship he teaches. As a youth coach spanning three decades, Makowski believes the three most important things any player brings to the game are attitude, effort and skill in that order.
 

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2010 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation
Region IV – Jenifer Wood – West Valley City, Utah

2010 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation
Region I – Joe Ragusa – Hawley, Pa. (Eastern Pennsylvania)

Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
RegioPaul Franscionen I – Paul Frascione – Gainesville, Va.

Paul Frascione coaches Under-18 and Under-19 Girls in the Virginia Soccer Association. He encourages players to continue playing beyond their youth careers and instills a lifelong love for the sport. Frascione holds his USSF "E" License, is a Grade 8 referee and a club board member. He also serves as a club administrator for the Suburban Friendship League for Under-12 to 19 recreational players.

RScott Simpsonegion II – Scott Simpson – Wadsworth, Ohio
Scott Simpson co-created the WASA Grizzly Cub Academy for players 4 to 8 years old. Simpson holds a USSF "C" License as well as a National Youth License. In addition to the coaching within the Grizzly Cubs, he is on the board of directors and is the director of coaching and player development. He frequently brings guest trainers from other clubs to help promote new coaching techniques during training sessions.

ReRichard Brooksgion III – Richard "Adam" Brooks – Candler, N.C.
Richard "Adam" Brooks has been a recreational coach within the Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association for more than eight years. He upholds high standards for sportsmanship and integrity on and off the field while also building self-esteem in his players. Throughout his years coaching, Brooks continually promotes growth of the game with youth night at the local high school soccer games where the players are introduced as soccer stars of the future.

RegJenifer Woodion IV – Jenifer Wood – West Valley City, Utah
With each season Jenifer Wood has coached with West Valley Soccer Club, she has picked up an additional team. Now in her third season and three teams deep, she continues to exude a positive attitude to her players at practice and during games, instilling within them a true love for the game. Wood teaches drills that are fun and educational while also creating an environment of enthusiasm for both players and parents.

Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
ReJoseph Ragusagion I – Joe Ragusa – Hawley, Pa. (Eastern Pennsylvania)

For more than 30 years, Joe Ragusa has been volunteering as a youth coach. Beyond serving on the Walenpaupack Youth Soccer League board, he coaches Under-6 through Under-14 co-ed teams. Ragusa helps in every dimension of the league from ordering uniforms and coaching to starting a referee education system and encourages players to become certified referees in the youth league. As a coach, his players go on to earn starting positions on their junior high school teams and younger players are able to understand and perform important soccer strategies.

RegiMichael Hayeson II – Michael Hayes – Midway, Ky.
Michael Hayes has coached youth soccer in Kentucky since 1981. This season, he led the Under-10 Boys Lexington Youth Soccer Association team to their second undefeated season. His team was a quarterfinalist at the Kohl's US Youth Soccer American Cup. Hayes also serves as the player development camp instructor for Under-6 through Under-12. He is an instructor at Lexington Youth Soccer's quarterly seasonal player development clinics. Hayes holds a USSF "E" License.

ReClark Hastingsgion III – Clark Hastings – Goodlettsville, Tenn.
Clark Hasting grew up in US Youth Soccer as a player in Tennessee US Youth Soccer ODP. He now gives back by coaching Under-9 through Under-14 players for Tennessee United and running their junior academy. Last year, Hastings started as the technical director and an Under-7 through Under-8 coach for the Hendersonville Soccer Club. As the recreational program's technical director he compiled and produced a coaching manual for the volunteer coaches to further their education. Hasting has his USSF "D" License.

ReJames Logangion IV – James Logan – Applegate, Calif. (California North)
James Logan coaches not only a Under-8 Boys Placer Hills Youth Soccer Club team, but a Under-16 Boys select team and a co-ed TOPSoccer team with the 49er United Youth Soccer. He has been a coach for eight years and was the first volunteer when his club started a TOPSoccer program two years ago. Logan encourages all of his players to become TOPSoccer Buddies and continues to garner support for the program. He is the coach coordinator and board member for 49er United. Logan holds his USSF "E" License.

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2009 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation
Darrell Lemmerman, Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association

2009 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation
Jackie Zlokovich, California Youth Soccer Association-North

2009 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Darrell Lemmerman – Northboro, Mass.
Darrell Lemmerman has been coaching for over 10 years and in that time has instilled a strong work ethic and sense of sportsmanship within his players. He places winning second and individual player development first for his teams in Nashoba Valley. Lemmerman's players attest that in the 10 years he has been coaching their team, every practice has been fun and enjoyable. Lemmerman tailors drills based on players' individual strengths and weaknesses to help them achieve their personal goals for improvement.

Region II – Kandy Smith – Pierre, S.D.
Kandy Smith's sportsmanship not only spills over to her players, but also to the parents of Capitol Area Soccer Association. She creates a learning environment and has even become a teacher and mentor to other coaches in the community looking for drills to build player development. Smith's philosophy for soccer is teach them and they will learn, help them and they will grow, encourage them and they will go far. With this, the USSF "C" License coach is always positively promoting soccer.
 
Region III – Michael Wood – Broken Arrow, Okla.
Michael Wood always has an encouraging word to share and gives his time to impact the development and lives of his players at Broken Arrow Soccer Club. A USSF "D" License coach, Wood strives to get the best out of players while working to improve their fundamentals, skills and understanding of the game. After 12 years of coaching, he continues to value sportsmanship. At the beginning of each season, Wood communicates the responsibilities of players and parents with one key aspect being no negative comments.

Region IV – Eric Johnson – Redding, Calif.-North
Eric Johnson uses his voice as a coach with Redding Youth Soccer League to encourage and mentor his players, leading to them always playing with class and dignity - win, lose or draw. He organizes open field nights to bring together players of all ages and skill levels to play for fun and enjoy the game. Johnson, a USSF "D" License coach, mentors more than just his players by participating in training of new coaches who are studying for USSF "E" and "F" Licenses.

2009 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Nduna Gora – Irvington, N.J.
Nduna Gora possesses the desire to share his passion for soccer. He found the ultimate outlet to express it in Irvington, N.J., where his goal was to provide youth with a positive outlet through soccer, creating the Our Youth Soccer Academy Warriors. He began from scratch, first securing land for a field that was formerly for high school baseball. Gora, a USSF "E" License coach and certified USSF referee, is a true ambassador for the game, making it available to youth who would not otherwise have the opportunity.

Region II – Robert Peddicord – Johnston, Iowa
Robert "Bud" Peddicord of Johnston Soccer Club is the type of coach who instills such a passion for soccer in his players that even after a long practice, his players return home and continue kicking around the ball. He makes it a priority to tell players how proud he is of their hard work and courage to help boost self-confidence. Peddicord has also extended soccer into his community with a summer pick-up game program, Friday Night Soccer, for children of all ages and skill levels.

Region III – Nick Magnano – LaCompte, La.
Nick Magnano is a USSF "D" License coach whose enthusiasm is contagious, causing his players to show a true love for the game whether on or off the field. He is an excellent role model as he goes above and beyond, not only coaching, but volunteering as the president of Crossroads Soccer Association. Whether it's volunteering to referee when one is missing, or putting up corner flags, lining fields or repairing nets, Magnano is always giving back to the game.

Region IV – Jackie Zlokovich – Crescent City, Calif.-North
Jackie Zlokovich has been coaching for over 20 years, impacting the lives of players and parents. She focuses on fundamentals, good sportsmanship and respect. When her soccer association was short on coaches, she recruited other parents and taught them the skills they needed to become a coach. Because of this, no child has been turned away from Del Norte Youth Soccer for a lack of coaches. Zlokovich is known for her dedication to the welfare and education of her players.
 
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2008 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation
Kristen Saccomano, New Jersey Youth Soccer Association
 
2008 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation
Scott Howard, Kansas Youth Soccer Association
 
2008 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Tom Garbowski - Wilmington, Del.
Tom Garbowski, of Wilmington, Del., promotes sportsmanship within the Hockessin Soccer League. His ability to motivate and encourage each child to their fullest potential helps players develop. Garbowski's ability to personally connect with his Under-9 players eases their nervousness on the field. The players are coached to improve their soccer skills and be competitive. They have participated in the Kohl's US Youth Soccer American Cup for two years to expand their playing experiences and have fun. Garbowski has coached girls soccer for over six years. In addition to regularly scheduled practices and games, he holds extra practices and a kicking workshop for players.
 
Region II – Scott Howard - Topeka, Kan.
Scott Howard, of Topeka, Kan., coaches Under-7 and Under-8 Girls in the Sunflower Soccer Association. He believes the real winner is the one who tried their hardest, persevered and enjoyed the sport. Howard's innate optimism makes you want to be a better person after spending time with him. He is diplomatic, easygoing, sociable and peaceable. To inspire his players, he organizes a night to watch a local university soccer team play. The team gets to the field early to get first row seats and watch the team warm up and interact with the older players. Howard also serves as treasurer on the board of trustees.
 
Region III – Ken Hays - Cary, N.C.
Ken Hays, of Cary, N.C., began a Captain of the Week program for young recreational players. The designated player wears the captain's arm band, assists with practice drills and meets the opponent's head coach before a game to introduce themself and shake hands. His goal is to continue to provide a positive environment for children on and off the soccer field. Hays has been coaching for five years at CASL and has moved into the role of vice chair of the recreational division. To improve his coaching, Hays participates in CASL's ongoing, informal coaching education and player development clinics.
 
Region IV – Kurt Grevstad - Seattle, Wash.
Kurt Grevstad, of Seattle, Wash., has been coaching within the Magnolia Soccer Club for 10 years. Last year, Grevstad coached three teams (one Under-14 and two Under-12 Girls teams) which led him to hold a two team, 31 girl practice that resembled soccer camp twice a week. He measures success as a coach by how many players return each year, and by this standard he has been very successful. Grevstad has 40 years of playing experience and regularly attends coaching training courses. Through his leadership, his club has sponsored USSF "E" and "D" License clinics each year. Grevstad holds a USSF "C" License.
 
2008 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Kristen Saccomano - Edgewater Park, N.J.
Kristen Saccomano, of Edgewater Park, N.J., teaches and coaches in Camden, N.J., a city that consistently ranks among the top most dangerous cities in the nation. Her team in the Camden Youth Soccer Club provides an outlet for the children where they learn sportsmanship, soccer skills, lessons in friendship, respect and kindness. The children Saccomano coaches exhibit camaraderie and confidence. To improve player development, Saccomano used the information she learned in the National Youth License course to make coaching packets for each age group to provide continuity in training regardless of who is coaching. She also worked on a free soccer camp for children in Camden.
 
Region II – Michael Zovistoski - Mundelein, Ill.
Michael Zovistoski, of Mundelein, Ill., believes in giving players the ability and responsibility to make decisions on the field as opposed to making the decisions for them. Zovistoski's training environment is set up as a fun, challenging and creative one. Most of the exercises are in a small-sided game format that mirrors the decision making opportunities in larger games. He holds a USSF "B" License and has plans to complete his USSF "A" License this year. He also specializes in goalkeeper training. Zovistoski serves as the director of coaching and tournament director for the Eclipse Select Soccer Club and the tournament director for the Greater Libertyville Soccer Association.
 
Region III – Carlos Goncalves - Niceville, Fla.
Carlos Goncalves, of Niceville, Fla., serves as the Emerald Coast United coordinator of player development and coaches an Under-10 Boys recreational team. He has coached in northwest Florida for 10 years and previously was a professional player and youth coach in his native Brazil. Goncalves not only develops his players' technical skills, but also develops their love of the game and confidence in their abilities. He uses the players' strengths to motivate and their weaknesses as a learning tool. He has the right combination of competitive fire, knowledge of the game and genuine concern for his young players. Goncalves has his National Youth License and has been working on his USSF "C" License.
 
Region IV – Shirley Thompson - Tracy, Calif.
Shirley Thompson, of Tracy, Calif., makes her players feel that they have done their best, filling them with self confidence and independence. Thompson has coached for over 20 years and serves as Tracy Youth Soccer Association's league president. She coaches when and where she is needed to help teach the kids gain responsibility, teamwork and a sense of worth to the group. She is a mentor who teaches her teams to walk away from the game with their heads held high, win or lose. Her theory on life is to always make it better for someone else.

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2007 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation
Elizabeth Nordell, Minnesota Youth Soccer Association

2007 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation
Gary Waltz, California Youth Soccer Association -North
 
2007 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Mark Bragaw - Vienna, Va.
Mark Bragaw, from Vienna, Va., coaches for the Vienna Youth Soccer. Bragaw encourages good behavior and strong teamwork. He provides specific examples of positive sportsmanship for his young players. His practices are structured yet fun to encourage ongoing player development and bring out their full potential. The primary goal is represented by his first question after every game, "Who had fun today?" Even with this playful attitude, each girl learns the skills and tactics that they need to be successful. His players continue to return season after season and more continue to sign on to be part of his team.
 
Region II – Elizabeth Nordell - Duluth, Minn.
Elizabeth Nordell, of Duluth, Minn., is the head coach of a girls Under-10 team. She has been with the team for four years, moving up from assistant coach. Having fun has always been her top priority in games. It is important that her team wins or loses as gracefully as possible. She is creative and enthusiastic. Elizabeth arranges pick up games, a perk for parents and players, especially when they play each other. She always puts a lot of thought and energy into her practices and games. Her players admire her for being understanding, thoughtful and motivating.
 
Region III - Todd Warren - Jackson, Miss.
Todd Warren, from Jackson, Miss., won the Kohl's US Youth Soccer American Cup, the President's Cup and the State Games of Mississippi with the Under-10 girls division of the Jackson Futbol Club in 2007. Warren motivates his players. His players feed off of his enthusiasm in both practices and games. Warren consistently looks for ways to improve his coaching and distributes a new website address or literature on coaching techniques to his assistant coaches on a weekly basis. He also helps new coaches improve their skills.
 
Region IV - Manish Doshi - El Cerrito, Calif.
Manish Doshi, from El Cerrito, Calif., coaches two recreational girls teams and two highs school teams. He also started a TOPSoccer program in his area and coaches two of teams. He is also the president of the El Cerrito Soccer Club. He obtained his "C" License, his California Youth Soccer Association Goalkeeping License and is a certified referee. Doshi is a supportive coach and works to teach each individual player the skills that needed be successful. His players have learned teamwork and how to maintain positive attitudes. He is an excellent role model to his players and their families.
 
2007 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I - Oscar Rodriguez - Newark, N.J.
Oscar Rodriguez, from Newark, N.J., has coached for 12 years. In 1996, he helped establish the Just One League, an inner city soccer program. Not only does the program give his players an opportunity to play, but Rodriguez also encourages the participants to contribute to the program when they have completed it. Former players return as coaches, referees and administrators. Rodriguez also arranges coaching and referee education programs for volunteer parents and coaches. He believes in the organization's philosophy that just one person can make a difference. Today the program has nearly 500 children involved.
 
Region II - Davie Opie - West Des Moines, Iowa
David Opie, of West Des Moines, Iowa, has coached for the West Des Moines Soccer Club for nine years with Team Bravo. Dave is a walking model of sportsmanship for his teams and their families. He is most concerned with his team's focus and enthusiasm. He also serves on the club's board of directors and he established the club's Policy and Procedure Manual that is used to train the club's recreational coaches. Also, to push his players and give them more opportunities, Dave arranges for two professionally led practices each season. Each year his players continue to grow and take on new challenges.
 
Region III - Geron McGinnis - Broken Arrow, Okla.
Geron McGinnis, from Broken Arrow, Okla., coaches for the Broken Arrow Soccer Club. Not only is McGinnis a coach, he also mentors new coaches by teaching them the lessons he has learned over the past 17 years in the club. He was also instrumental in developing the club's Player, Parent and Coaches Code of Conduct. He prepares his training sessions to ensure that they are age appropriate. In addition to the technical aspect, McGinnis also teaches his players good sportsmanship.
 
Region IV - Gary Waltz - Fresno, Calif.
Gary Waltz, from Fresno, Calif., coaches for the North Fresno Soccer League. He works with TOPSoccer and coaches three of the teams. He knows that players with disabilities need practice to improve and learn the game and ensures they will continue to get that opportunity. Waltz is creative coaching these unique players. He lets them play to the best of their ability and teaches them to utilize each other's strengths. He educates other states on TOPSoccer and helps coaches understand the different coaching techniques.

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