KANSAS CITY, Mo. – United Soccer Coaches Friday announced that Warren Swanson as its 2018 Honor Award recipient.
Swanson will be honored in recognition of a distinguished career, tremendous service to the association and exemplary contributions to the coaching profession and beyond.
The award will be presented at the annual Awards Banquet Jan. 11, in conjunction with the 2019 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago.
“We are thrilled to recognize Warren Swanson for an extraordinary career in coaching and giving back to the game at multiple levels,” United Soccer Coaches president Lesle Gallimore said. “His success on the field at the youth, high school and college levels is remarkable, as are his contributions outside of the sporting realm.”
Swanson, 82, enrolled in Irv Schmid’s soccer coaching course in 1957 while at Springfield College and joined United Soccer Coaches (then the National Soccer Coaches Association of Amerca) as a student member for $5, beginning a 60-plus year affiliation with the association. He led Mitchell College (Conn.) to four consecutive NJCAA national championship finals, winning two championships and compiling a 99-32-4 (.748) record during his 12 years as the head coach during the late 1950s and 60s. He started the National Junior College Soccer Coaches Association and served as president in the 1960s. Among his players who later contributed to soccer was Hank Steinbrecher, former U.S. Soccer secretary general.
Swanson was chairman of the United Soccer Coaches NJCAA All-America Committee from 1963-68, a member of the executive committee from 1967-73. and He was the youngest president and only junior college coach to serve in that capacity in association history, when he served in 1972 at the age of 36.
During his tenure as president, Swanson and his wife, Karen, reconciled the association’s record-keeping and membership lists. He led an initiative to conduct the annual convention in St. Louis in 1972, the first time it was held outside of New York City. That year’s convention attracted the largest attendance in the association’s history, up until then. His tenure also included the first recognition of United Soccer Coaches Secondary Schools All-America teams. He also convened a joint meeting of United Soccer Coaches, IFSA, NISOA and USSFA with the objective of “working to enhance the development of the U.S. game.”
Swanson started the Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association in 1972. Following his tenure at Mitchell College, he coached at St. Bernard’s High School (Montville, Conn.) for six years and gave the school its first winning season. He also coached at Ledyard and Waterford High Schools. From 1979-91 he served as first vic president of the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association. He coached CJSA for 16 years and never had a losing season. Among his CJSA assistant coaches were U.S. Soccer’s Sunil Gulati and Tony DiCicco.
He was awarded a Letter of Commendation by United Soccer Coaches in 1974. He was inducted into the Mitchell College Hall of Fame in 1991 and the CJSA Hall of Fame in 2000. He is a CJSA Life Member.
“I am amazed, overwhelmed and overjoyed to receive this award from United Soccer Coaches,” Swanson said. “I know that this is the association’s highest recognition and am humbled to be included among the legends of the game represented by the previous recipients.”
After leaving Mitchell Junior College in 1975, Swanson joined the federal government, where his administrative career centered on overseeing evaluation of instruction and testing related to the Navy’s submarine corps. Upon leaving the Federal position in 1993, he joined General Dynamics in Groton, Conn., where he served for 10 years as director of curriculum development for the Carter class of submarine.
Swanson earned his bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in 1958 before earning his master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 1961 and his Ph.D. in 1974.
Swanson and his wife, Karen, have four children, sons Gary and Gregg, and daughters, Lynn and Lori (deceased). Both of their sons played collegiately at Boston University for Steinbrecher. Gregg was the team MVP in 1984 and an All-New England selection in 1982. Gary was a two-time All-New England selection and was a BU Scholar-Athlete in 1986. Lynn was a standout player at Waterford High School.
Awarded annually since 1942, the Honor Award is one of United Soccer Coaches most prestigious accolades. Swanson becomes the 79th recipient of the award in the association’s history.