October Bulletin 2023 | Page 4



Written By Jay Martin // Ohio Wesleyan Head Coach Member Since 1977

Nominations for a place on the United Soccer Coaches Board of Directors start on October 1 . It ’ s time to give back . As coaches and ( many of us ) former athletes , we have heard that we should give back to the sport we love . Now is the time for you to consider a self-nomination or nomination of a friend , colleague or fellow coach you believe is suited to help United Soccer Coaches continue to move forward .

When I started at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1977 , I coached two sports — soccer and lacrosse . That was not unusual at the time . I had no clue what I was doing but coaching these sports introduced me to men ( there were very few women in the association at that time ) who were role models and still are today . One of these men was Mickey Cochrane at Bowling Green State University . Like me , he coached both soccer and lacrosse . After several post-game discussions , he asked me if I was a member of United Soccer Coaches , known as NSCAA at the time . I wasn ’ t . He urged me to join and so I did . In those days the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association ( OCSA ) met twice a year , once in preseason and once after the season . Bob Nye was the soccer coach at The College of Wooster and the sitting president of the NSCAA . He told the membership of the OCSA that we should all join the NSCAA . The association needed members at that time . Ohio had a very high number of coaches in the association . I told both Bob and Mickey that if there was anything I could do to help the association to let me know . I wanted to give back !
The structure of the association was different in the 1970s . The association was a total volunteer organization , there was no national office and no paid employees .
The Regional Representatives were the first line of volunteers . There were eight Regional Reps for eight regions of the country . Bob Dowdy , the coach at Akron , was the Reginal Rep for the Mideast Region . When he stepped down , Mickey and Bob asked me to take his place . My nearly 50 years with the association started then , in 1978 . I was ready to give back to the sport and the association .
It was the job of the Regional Reps to grow membership . I ran clinics and meetings all over the region to get the word out about the association . We wanted to add members so the association could offer services that would enhance coaches ’ professional lives .
After a decade as a Regional Rep , I moved on to the Board of Directors . The structure in those days was three vice presidents , the president and past president . The vice presidents focused on education , awards and the convention . I was the Vice President for Education and was responsible for all educational endeavors in the association . During my time as a vice president , the Board of Directors hired the first full-time Director of the NSCAA — Jim Sheldon . NSCAA was moving from a volunteer-run association to a professional organization . After serving a few years as Vice President of Education , I became president . As president , I put the association through the first strategic planning process in its history . We were moving fast and needed a roadmap to keep us moving forward ! In the early 2000s I was appointed editor of Soccer Journal .
You may be wondering , “ Why should I give my time and effort to serve on the Board of Directors ? What will I get out of it ?” The answer : You will be
4 | Soccer Journal