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2017 Recipient of the Dr. Thomas Fleck, US Youth Soccer Excellence in Coaching Education Award Announced


Nick Zlatar of New York honored at Awards Gala in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 13, 2017) — US Youth Soccer honored Nick Zlatar, of New York City 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 Los Angeles. The Awards Gala was held in conjunction with the 2017 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 YearVolunteer of the YearGoal and Save of the Year and the TOPSoccer Buddy and Coach of the Year were also presented during the Gala, and the latest US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame inductee was honored.

Zlatar is a firm believer that the fastest way to improve the American soccer player is to improve the American soccer coach. He has been involved with coaching education on both the state and national levels. Zlatar has presented in Europe and South America, but his greatest joy comes from being a part of the success of soccer in the United States. Zlatar has devoted a huge portion of his life to improving soccer in America, and he has done so as a player, coach and mentor.

Zlatar moved to New York City from his native Belgrade, Serbia. He was an All-American at New York University in 1962 and soon after his college career ended, Zlatar played professionally in the ethnic New York City leagues. Moreover, upon finishing his military obligation in 1967, Zlatar began coaching at Pratt Institute. He then became the head coach at Kingsborough Community College from 1971-1976. During that time, Zlatar received his USSF “A” coaching license. In addition, Zlatar was a coach at his Alma Mater, New York University for 10 years, which then led him into coaching at Wake Forest University.

To add on to an already impressive list of accomplishments, Zlatar was named East Regional Coach, a position that he held for eight years. His responsibilities included the selection of the East Regional players for the Youth, Olympic, Senior and eventually, the Women's Teams competing in National Sports Festivals. In 1985, Zlatar was an assistant coach for the New York Cosmos and an assistant for the New York Express in 1986. Furthermore, Zlatan is a United States Soccer Federation National Staff coach and he is currently on the US Youth Soccer ODP coaching staff in Region III.

Nick Zlatar and his wife, Doris, reside in New York City, as well as the Isle of Palms in South Carolina.

Past winners:
2016 Bobby Howe – Bellevue, Wash.
2015 Dr. Lewis Atkinson - Dover, Del.
2014 Bob Gansler - Brookfield, Wisc.
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


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