Established in 2015, the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Coach of the Year award is awarded for extraordinary accomplishments as a TOPSoccer Coach. The nominees demonstrate patience, understanding, dependability, flexibility and ability to adjust to ever-changing on-field situations. The Coach of the Year is also an invaluable volunteer who facilitates the program by filling many roles, including being a coach, cheerleader and role model as well as assisting when needed with administrative responsibilities. Coaches show leadership and support while assisting, guiding, directing and teaching the game of soccer and its skills while creating a fun learning experience. The national TOPSoccer Coach of the Year award is announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, as a part of the US Youth Soccer Workshop.
2015 | 2016
2016 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Beth Keeling – Chepachet, R.I.
Beth Keeling has a unique way of connecting and reaching out to children with special needs. Keeling actively contacts public schools in her area to enlist students who are willing to volunteer their time to work with special needs children. As a TOPSoccer coach, it is Keeling’s responsibility to teach players how to socialize with one another and learn the game of soccer along the way. Going above and beyond to cater to each child and parent is an area in which Keeling excels.
Region II – Randy Corey – Mason, Ohio
Randy Corey’s coaching style was described as “a combination of love for the kids while providing solid direction of teaching them the fundamentals of the game,” by a peer. Making new TOPSoccer players, families, volunteers and other coaches feel welcome is on the forefront of Corey’s focus. One of Corey’s greatest achievements is the largest annual TOPSoccer Fall Tournament in the nation. Something of this magnitude takes many months of preparation to be successful, which can be attested to Corey’s hard work.
Region III – Katie Steinert – Birmingham, Ala.
With a background in soccer, as well as special education, Katie Steinert has been an integral part of the TOPSoccer program. Steinert demonstrates leadership in the community by promoting TOPSoccer wherever she goes, telling students all about the program. Social media, word of mouth and handing out flyers are just a few ways that Steinert informs others about TOPSoccer. She takes the time to make each individual player feel special and wanted within the program.
Region IV – Linda Kautz – Snohomish, Wash.
For the past 16 years, Linda Kautz has been involved with Snohomish TOPSoccer. When the program was first started, there were only a few players. Now, there are more than 80. As an active board member and director of the club’s TOPSoceer program, Kautz treats everyone with the same patience, kindness and respect, which makes for a great experience for all of the players. The SYSC TOPSoccer program is the longest-running and largest TOPSoccer program in the state of Washington.
2015 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Coach of the Year [Video]
Region I – Ed DeMulder – Williston, Vt.
2015 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Ed DeMulder – Williston, Vt.
Ed DeMulder started the Essex, Vt., TOPSoccer program nine years ago with a handful of volunteers, about 20 players and 30 buddies. He travels to local high schools to promote TOPSoccer, speaks to players and explains the commitment of the program — which has led to having students on waiting lists hoping to become a buddy. The program now features 50 players and 90 buddies, and DeMulder spends countless hours teaching special needs children how to play soccer and believe in themselves.
Region II – Tom Keller – West Chester, Ohio
After reading an article on the program, Tom Keller joined Cincinnati TOPSoccer. He coaches the youngest players in the program and also stepped into a director role, in which he organizes seasons, recruits volunteers and helps with instruction. Despite not having a child in the program, Keller treats all of the kids as his own while ensuring the program continues to thrive — creating a welcome environment for players, buddies and parents to enjoy the game.
Region III – Jim Carr – Hendersonville, Tenn.
In 2013, Jim Carr started Tennessee Stars TOPSoccer to provide a fun activity for his friend’s son with disabilities. The program now includes 12 players and counting, and Carr continues to promote the program to attract more players and volunteers. He also coaches high school soccer, and his players enjoy coming out to be buddies, as Carr makes sure all TOPSoccer players feel engaged and welcome each time they play the game.
Region IV – Ken Dandrea – Yorba Linda, Calif.
Ken Dandrea became involved in TOPSoccer in 1991 as a parent and volunteered to coach in 1993. Because of his commitment to provide quality coaches to TOPSoccer players, Dandrea took on the role of TOPSoccer Educational Instructor. He has been instrumental in promoting TOPSoccer in his state and region, and he continues to provide a place for kids to develop not only skills on the field, but life skills that can be used every day.
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