KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 10, 2021) – Each year at the United Soccer Coaches Convention, the association recognizes a select few for their special contributions to the sport and to the association’s membership. This year, five individuals will be presented Letters of Commendation at the Awards Banquet on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 as part of the 82nd annual Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
The United Soccer Coaches Letter of Commendation is presented to a recipient for their service to, impact on, and/or positive influence on the association and/or the game of soccer in the United States. This year’s five recipients are:
Becky Burleigh, Gainesville, Fla.
Gerry DiBartolo, Salisbury, Md.
Sandy Williamson, Shawnee, Kan.
Greg Winkler, Punta Gorda, Fla.
Dan Woog, Westport, Conn.
For her selfless service to the game, the former head coach at the University of Florida gave a tremendous amount of her time and talent to the Convention as a very frequent and popular presenter. She has served in numerous leadership roles with the association including the Bill Jeffrey College Long-Term Services Award Committee, the Women’s Soccer Advocacy Group, the NCAA Division I Women’s Regional Rankings Committee and the All-America Committee. She is a 30-Under-30 program mentor, was a Southeastern Conference Women’s Soccer Chair, and coordinated and served as the MC for the Coaches of Women’s Soccer Social at the Convention.
A member since 1982, DiBartolo was the longtime men’s coach at Salisbury University in Maryland where he currently serves as the Director of Athletics. He has continued as chair of the NCAA Division I-II-III Men’s Staff of the Year Committee, a role he served for many years. He is a former member of the United Soccer Coaches (NSCAA) Board of Directors and was an advisor to the association’s Marketing Committee.
Williamson was instrumental in the early years of the establishment of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s first full-time office in the Kansas City area. She was the first employee hired by Executive Director Jim Sheldon, ran the national office, managed membership/member services and was the Registration Manager for the National Convention. No one can say enough about all that Williamson did. Her contributions, professionalism and commitment were critical to the growth and success of United Soccer Coaches.
Winkler is completing his term as the Chair of the High School Boys Advocacy Group after serving six years in that position. As a volunteer, he gave many hours to the Advocacy Council and to high school coaches around the country. Winkler was also responsible for starting the association’s High School Coach of Significance Award that recognizes a coach from each state and the work that they do in their school community.
A member of United Soccer Coaches since 1983, Woog’s contributions have been from a variety of roles in the game including as a player growing up in Connecticut, a coach at the youth and high school levels in the state, a writer and journalist covering issues in the game for multiple publications including Soccer America and as a leader in the Association’s advocacy groups including eChair of the LGBTQ+ and Allies since its inception. He is a multiple time contributor of articles for the Soccer Journal for over 30 years.