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Recreational 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 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

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

2017 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Boys Recreation
National Winner – Ricardo Oliva – Rohnert Park, Calif. 

Sportsmanship is paramount to Oliva when he coaches his teams. Oliva understands and reiterates to his players that while it is wonderful to win, one has to accept losses with grace and acknowledge the other team’s success. Oliva is known to lead by example, always sharing a friendly smile and kind words for those he meets, exhibiting his own personal practice of good sportsmanship on a daily basis. 

2017 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Girls Recreation
National Winner – Allie Goff – Viera, Fla. 

Goff is the epitome of a strong female coach who leads by example and always gives complete support and honesty to her players. She has a U.S. Soccer “D” License and is always open to new ideas as she seeks to inspire her players to reach for their fullest potential. Goff’s coaching helps give girls starting in the game a solid foundation and provides a role model to her female athletes.

2017 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

East – Walter Oliver – Glen Burnie, Md.
Midwest – Michael L. Harris – Dearborn, Mich.
South – Scott Demers – Greenbrier, Ark.
West – Ricardo Oliva – Rohnert Park, Calif. 

2017 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

East – Paul Glover – West Hartford, Conn.
Midwest – David Mueller – Rapid City, S.D.
South – Allie Goff – Viera, Fla
West – Tom McManus – Roseville, Calif.

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2016 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Boys Recreation
National Winner – Steve Reid – Tucker, Ga.

In April of 2015, Steve Reid suffered from an aneurysm, which led to a stroke, and he was in a medically induced coma for 26 days. When he first came out of a coma, he asked, “Will I still be able to coach?” That alone shows the passion and dedication Steve Reid has for his team and the sport of soccer. His soccer career has stretched over the last 40 years, and he has often been described as the type of person who makes those around him better. 

2016 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Girls Recreation
National Winner – Joe Matthews – Woodinville, Wash.

Player safety, having fun and developing soccer skills are three coaching philosophies that Joe Matthews has for his team every season. Matthews empowers his players to make decisions and communicate among themselves during a match. Avoiding injuries in teenage girls is important to Matthews, so he holds extra conditioning sessions to ensure the safety of his players. Moreover, Matthews and his team do community service in their area by volunteering at the local community kitchen. 

2016 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Brienne Sembrat – Mt. Lebanon, Pa.
Region II – Matthew Rose – Canton, Mich.
Region III – Steve Reid – Tucker, Ga.
Region IV – Raul Guerra – Fresno, Calif.

2016 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Philip Keefover – Fairmont, W.Va.
Region II – Mas Ionna – Cincinnati, Ohio
Region III – Emma Greenwood – Birmingham, Ala.
Region IV – Joe Matthews – Woodinville, Wash.

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2015 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Boys Recreation [Video]
National Winner – Patrick McCrory – Vilonia, Ark.

Patrick McCrory and his wife, Barbara, took over the struggling Vilonia Soccer program a few years ago and turned it into a club for which the town can be proud. McCrory began as a volunteer coach and has since obtained several coaching licenses and certifications. He is a regular at coaching meeting in the state and focuses on the physical and emotional development of young athletes. He has been instrumental to his club as both a coach and leader.

2015 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Girls Recreation [Video]
National Winner – Angela Huber – Rochester, Wash.

One word to sum up Angela Huber’s coaching style is “fun.” In more than three years as their coach, her players have increased their competitiveness but continue to enjoy their soccer experiences. Huber mixes in drills she knows the girls will love, and she has an ability to relate to each individual on her team by understanding how to motivate each player. She encourages her players to compete on their school teams and supports them in whatever athletic pursuits they take on.

2015 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Pete Leida – Hockessin, Del.
Region II – Tim Feldman – Cincinnati, Ohio 
Region III – Patrick McCrory – Vilonia, Ark.
Region IV – Michael Calvillo – Fresno, Calif.

2015 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – David Stephenson – Fairmont, W.V. 
Region II – Rich Mulvaney – Cincinnati, Ohio 
Region III – Timothy Michaud – Melbourne, Fla. 
Region IV – Angela Huber – Rochester, Wash. 

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2014 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Boys Recreation [Video]
National Winner – 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 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year – Girls Recreation [Video]
National Winner – 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.

2014 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Steven Bane – St. Albans, W.V.
Region II – James Barron – Fishers, Ind.
Region III – Jason Butts – Kathleen, Ga.
Region IV – John McKenzie – Bremerton, Wash.
 

2014 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Ted Merkel – Pittsford, N.Y.
Region II – Ken Novak – Mitchell, S.D.
Region III – Tina Whaley – Chattanooga, Tenn.
Region IV – Edward Davies – Pleasanton, Calif.
 

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2013 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation [Video]
National Winner – 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. 

2013 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation [Video]
National Winner – 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.

2013 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Christina Franceschi – Buffalo, N.Y.
Region II – Karen Dittbrenner – Beatrice, Neb.
Region III – Michael Ericksen – Hendersonville, N.C.
Region IV – Jesus Cardenas – Seattle, Wash.

2013 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Chris Thomas – Ithaca, N.Y.
Region II – Eric Wallin – Lexington, Ky.
Region III – Paul Kinser – Greensboro, N.C.
Region IV – Chris Twombley – Seattle, Wash.

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2012 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation [Video]
National Winner – 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.  

2012 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation [Video]
National Winner – 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.

Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Camile Louis – Fairfax, Va.
Region II – Pete Gustin – Olathe, Kan.
Region III – Thomas Velek – Columbus, Miss.
Region IV – Mark Paige – Santa Fe, N.M.

Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Chris Thomas – Lawrenceville, N.J.
Region II – Jeff Taylor – Bowling Green, Ky.
Region III – Atef Iskander – Tulsa, Okla.
Region IV – Rob Rittmeyer – Santa Fe, N.M.

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2011 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation
National Winner – 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.

2011 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation
National Winner – 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.

Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Pierre Agbadou – Newark, N.J.
Region II – Jesse Nester – Humboldt, S.D.
Region III – Tristan Rowell –Collinsville, Miss.
Region IV – Jean Robinson – Seattle, Wash.

Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Richard Brigante – Colchester, Vt.
Region II – Tim Schwindt – McPherson, Kan.
Region III – Lauren Acosta – Hubert, N.C.
Region IV – Tom Makowski – Beaverton, Ore.

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2010 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation
National Winner – 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.

2010 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation
National Winner – Joe Ragusa – Hawley, Pa. 

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.

Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Paul Frascione – Gainesville, Va.
Region II – Scott Simpson – Wadsworth, Ohio
Region III – Richard "Adam" Brooks – Candler, N.C.
Region IV – Jenifer Wood – West Valley City, Utah

Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Joe Ragusa – Hawley, Pa. 
Region II – Michael Hayes – Midway, Ky.
Region III – Clark Hastings – Goodlettsville, Tenn.
Region IV – James Logan – Applegate, Calif. (California North)

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

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.

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

2009 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Darrell Lemmerman – Northboro, Mass.
Region II – Kandy Smith – Pierre, S.D.
Region III – Michael Wood – Broken Arrow, Okla.
Region IV – Eric Johnson – Redding, Calif.-North

2009 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Nduna Gora – Irvington, N.J.
Region II – Robert Peddicord – Johnston, Iowa
Region III – Nick Magnano – LaCompte, La.
Region IV – Jackie Zlokovich – Crescent City, Calif.

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2008 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation
National Winner - Kristen Saccomano, New Jersey Youth Soccer Association

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.

2008 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Girls Recreation
National Winner - Scott Howard, Kansas Youth Soccer Association

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.

2008 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Tom Garbowski - Wilmington, Del.
Region II – Scott Howard - Topeka, Kan.
Region III – Ken Hays - Cary, N.C.
Region IV – Kurt Grevstad - Seattle, Wash.

2008 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Kristen Saccomano - Edgewater Park, N.J.
Region II – Michael Zovistoski - Mundelein, Ill.
Region III – Carlos Goncalves - Niceville, Fla.
Region IV – Shirley Thompson - Tracy, Calif.

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

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.

2007 US Youth Soccer Coach of the Year - Boys Recreation
National Winner - Gary Waltz, California Youth Soccer Association -North

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.

2007 Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Mark Bragaw - Vienna, Va.
Region II – Elizabeth Nordell - Duluth, Minn.
Region III - Todd Warren - Jackson, Miss.
Region IV - Manish Doshi - El Cerrito, Calif.

2007 Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I - Oscar Rodriguez - Newark, N.J.
Region II - Davie Opie - West Des Moines, Iowa
Region III - Geron McGinnis - Broken Arrow, Okla.
Region IV - Gary Waltz - Fresno, Calif.

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