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High School Coach of Significance Award

The High School Coach of Significance Award is intended to recognize members who are coaching for character, using the soccer field to teach life lessons at the high school level. It is an opportunity for each state, in conjunction with United Soccer Coaches, to recognize excellence and the chance to share stories of how coaches are making an impact within their schools and communities well beyond their records of wins and losses.


  • Nominations will be accepted from February 1 – April 1 (11:59 p.m. CST).
  • The online nomination form and at least one letter of reference is submitted for each nominee.
  • Nominations will be submitted to the selection committee that has national, regional, and state representation.
  • One recipient will be selected per state.
  • Recipients will be announced in the fall.


Review the Criteria

The nominee meets the following:

  • Is a high school head coach.
  • Demonstrated character through education and leadership within his/her team, school or community.
  • Expresses concern and support for others.
  • Serves as an inspiration through accomplishments and leadership.
  • Will need to be a United Soccer Coaches member if selected and chooses to accept the award. However the nominee does not need to be a current United Soccer Coaches member to be nominated.

Letter of Support

Prepare a one page letter of support for the nomination that includes details about the nominee relative to the award criteria. You will be required to upload the letter of support to the form or enter it manually as text before the form can be submitted. Up to three letters will be accepted.


If possible, please submit one or more photos of the coach that you are nominating. Photos will be used to highlight Coach of Significance winners.

Recipients of the 2020 High School Coach of Significance Award are listed alphabetically by state:

  • Alabama – Joe Webb (Mountain Brook HS/Birmingham, Ala.)
  • Alaska – Dan Rufner (Service HS/Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Arizona – Matt Smith (Corona del Sol/Tempe, Ariz.)
  • Arkansas – Kimberly Paslay (Brookland HS/Brookland, Ark.)
  • California – Eric Cortez (Oakland International HS/Turlock, Calif.)
  • Colorado – Tony Romano (Legacy HS/Erie, Colo.)
  • Connecticut – John Blomstrann (EO Smith HS/Storrs, Conn.)
  • Florida – Greg Winkler (Charlotte HS/Punta Gorda, Fla.)
  • Georgia – Aaron Wessner (Sprayberry HS/Marietta, Ga.)
  • Hawaii – Dave Trifonovitch (Punahou HS/Kailua, Hawaii)
  • Idaho – Jacob Wood (Jerome HS/Jerome, Idaho)
  • Illinois – Jose Galvan (Macomb HS/Macomb, Ill.)
  • Indiana – Rob Jordan (Zionsville Community HS/Indianapolis, Ind.)
  • Iowa – Sue Rink (Hudson HS/Cedar Falls, Iowa)
  • Kansas – Josh Wikler (Wyandotte HS/Kansas City, Kan.)
  • Kentucky – Mike Wiersema (McCracken County HS/Paducah. Ky.)
  • Louisiana – Nick Artigue (Ouachita Parish HS/Collinston, La.)
  • Maine – Mike McGraw (Lewiston HS/Lewiston, Maine)
  • Maryland – Marc Burkom (Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School/Baltimore, Md.)
  • Massachusetts – Ryan Puntiri (Hingham HS/Norwell, Mass.)
  • Michigan – Mark Howell (Brighton HS/Howell, Mich.)
  • Minnesota – Aaron Lindquist (Rogers HS/Rogers, Minn.)
  • Mississippi – Cecil Hinds (Madison Central HS/Madison, Miss.)
  • Missouri – Matthew Pritchett (Pembroke HS/Kansas City, Mo.)
  • Nebraska – Alex Cerny (Lincoln HS/Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Nevada – Andrew Robles (Douglas HS/Gardnerville, Nev.)
  • New Hampshire – Alan Magnusson (Sanborn Regional HS/Kingston, N.H.)
  • New Jersey – Marty Berman (Seton Hall Prep/West Orange, N.J.)
  • New Mexico – Ann Cernicek (Los Alamos HS/Los Alamos, N.M.)
  • New York – Sandro Prosperino (Valhalla HS/Valhalla, N.Y.)
  • North Carolina – Jose Cornejo (St. David’s School/Apex, N.C.)
  • Ohio – Michael Fee (Summit Country Day/Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Oklahoma – Seth Condley (Stillwater HS/Stillwater, Okla.)
  • Oregon – Jay Jacobsen (Sam Barlow HS/Gresham, Ore.)
  • Pennsylvania – Blair Gerlach (Mars Area HS/Mars, Pa.)
  • South Carolina – David Mihoulides (South Aiken HS/Aiken, S.C.)
  • Tennessee – Russ Plummer (Hendersonville HS/Hendersonville, Tenn.)
  • Texas – Amy Trocquet (Cypress Woods HS/Cypress, Texas)
  • Utah – Bobby Kennedy (Rowland Hall/Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Vermont – Buddy Hayford (Twin Valley Middle HS/Whitingham, Vt.)
  • Virginia – Jared Rottmund (Powhatan HS/Cartersville, Va.)
  • Washington – Robby Dohrn (Seattle World School/Seattle, Wash.)
  • Wisconsin – Derek Bell (Stevens Point Area HS/Stevens Point, Wis.)
  • International – Mark Lange (MC Perry HS/FPO/Japan)

As the award continues to grow, the fourth annual class represents a total of 43 states and one coach leading a high school program on a U.S. military base in Japan. As the award continues to grow, the goal is to annually recognize a recipient from all 50 states.