Founder of US Youth Soccer, Don Greer, honored at Awards Gala
The charter member of the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame was announced tonight at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the 2008 US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, in Pittsburgh. Donald Greer, founder of US Youth Soccer, was honored.
Hilary Kennedy, host of The US Youth Soccer Show on Fox Soccer Channel, set the stage for the night as the master of ceremonies for the more than 1,200 in attendance. This year was the first year that US Youth Soccer divided the Coach of the Year award into two categories (competitive and recreational). Several awards were also added including Administrator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Goal and Save of the Year. The Male and Female Young Referee of the Year and the Dr. Thomas Fleck Award were also presented during the Gala.
Donald Greer (1927-1996) was truly dedicated to the sport and aspired to influence its growth and organization at all levels. In 1968, he founded the California Youth Soccer Association where he served as President until 1975. That year he was inducted into the Association's hall of fame.
Greer's vision wasn't limited to the borders of California as he set to make an impact at a national level. He served as the United States Soccer Federation vice president from 1972-1984.
It was during this time that Greer founded the United States Youth Soccer Association in 1974. He served as its Chairman until 1984.
Greer's vision launched the James P. McGuire Cup, the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) and established regional and sub-regional youth programs for member state associations during his tenure. The ""McGuire Cup"" is the oldest youth sports trophy in the country and is the foundation of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series competition. This competition is the most prestigious youth soccer competition in the United States. The US Youth Soccer ODP continues to be the premier player development and identification program in the nation with such alums as Kristine Lilly, Landon Donovan, Shannon Boxx and Jozy Altidore to name a few.
Under Greer's leadership, the number of players participating ballooned from 32,000 to over 1.3 million. Today, US Youth Soccer is the largest youth sports organization in the nation with over 3 million registered players annually.
Greer's dedication and vision continues to be recognized. In 1985, he was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In 1992, Greer received the US Youth Soccer Founder's Award and in 1993 the US Youth Soccer Under-17 Boys National Championship was named ""The Don Greer Cup"" in his honor. Donald Greer is the charter member of the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame, established in 2007.
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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 www.USYouthSoccer.org.
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