FRISCO, Texas (Dec. 20, 2022) - US Youth Soccer (USYS) is thrilled to honor Dr. John Thomas as this year’s recipient of its Dr. Thomas Fleck Award, granted annually since 2005.
Thomas will be celebrated at USYS’ annual awards gala, The Ball, on January 13, 2023. The Ball will be held in Philadelphia in conjunction with the USYS Workshop and United Soccer Coaches Convention.
The Dr. Thomas Fleck Award was designed to honor a lifetime of dedication where one has, with integrity, honor, humor, and humility, made extensive and far-reaching contributions to the process by which youth soccer coaches are educated in America.
Thomas, a published author, holds a Bachelor of Science from Frostburg State University, Master of Science from Webster’s University, and Doctor of Philosophy from Madison College, yet his experience and accolades extend far beyond the world of academia.
Thomas’ first head coaching stint came in 1985 with the United States Military. He led the All-Army, All-Navy, All-Marines, and Armed Forces squads in international competitions -- and did so until 2003. In that time, Thomas was also the Cal South Youth Soccer Association’s District I Coordinator and a three-time district title winning head coach at San Diego Mesa College.
In 2004, Thomas joined US Youth Soccer, where he was the Assistant Director of Education for seven years. Thomas’ impact was invaluable to the organization, as he helped develop numerous advisory groups and continue the enhancement of programming curriculum, as well as the design and delivery of the National Youth License.
Thomas joined FC Dallas in 2012 as its Boys Academy Junior Premier Coach, providing a developmental bridge for academy players into top select teams. He then transitioned into a different role with the club in 2016, working as the Director of Junior Academy Programs. In addition to his work on the sidelines, he was vital in player recruitment and talent retention.
Previous US Youth Soccer Dr. Thomas Fleck Award recipients:
2021 - Mike Barr
- 2020 - Jacob Daniel
- 2019 - Timo Liekoski
- 2018 - Sam Snow
- 2017 - Vince Ganzberg
- 2016 - Bobby Howe
- 2015 - Dr. Lewis Atkinson
- 2014 - Bob Gansler
- 2013 - Bill Buren
- 2012 - Gary Allen
- 2011 - Jimmy Conway
- 2010 - Virgil Stringfield II
- 2009 - Dr. David Carr
- 2008 - James Hoffman
- 2007 - Dr. Ron Quinn
- 2006 - Dean Conway
- 2005 - Dr. Thomas Fleck (Inaugural Recipient)
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
US Youth Soccer
, the largest youth sport organization in the country, is on a mission to provide world-class support, resources, and leadership, helping every member fulfill their goals on and off the field of play. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 2.5 million players annually. Through its programming, resources and leadership, US Youth Soccer is advancing the game for its 54 Member State Associations, 10,000 clubs and leagues and one million administrators, coaches, and volunteers. US Youth Soccer connects families and communities to the power of sports and its shared love of soccer. US Youth Soccer provides a path for every player, coach and referee offering programs that provide a fun, safe and healthy environment at every level of the game.