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Recreational Coaches of the Year Regional Winners Announced

January 27, 2008 09:00 PM
US Youth Soccer honors regional Recreational Coaches of the Year
National winners to be named at US Youth Soccer Awards Gala
US Youth Soccer announces the regional winners of the US Youth Soccer Boys and Girls Recreational Coach of the Year Award. The Recreational Coach of the Year is awarded to a recreational 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 Recreational Coach of the Year will be announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Friday, February 8 as part of the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop in Pittsburgh.
Brief bios of the regional winners are below based on the submitted application forms.
Girls Recreational 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, MN
Elizabeth Nordell, of Duluth, MN, 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, MS
Todd Warren, from Jackson, MS, 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, CA
Manish Doshi, from El Cerrito, CA, 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.
Boys Recreational Coach of the Year Regional Award Winners:
Region I - Oscar Rodriguez, Newark, NJ
Oscar Rodriguez, from Newark, NJ, 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, OK
Geron McGinnis, from Broken Arrow, OK, 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, CA
Gary Waltz, from Fresno, CA, 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.
For more information about US Youth Soccer's Recreational Coach of the Year award or the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop, visit
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) – US Youth Soccer -The Game for ALL Kids!® is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3.2 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member state associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit
Media Request: When referring to the United States Youth Soccer Association, the largest youth sports organization in the United States, please refer to the association only as US Youth Soccer, and never as USYS or USYSA. We appreciate your cooperation.



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