Keith Eddy – Inducted January 28, 2011
For most Oklahomans, the name Keith Eddy is synonymous with Tulsa Soccer Club – the organization he founded to promote soccer development in Oklahoma. But the Barrow-in Furness, England native was an English footballer long before coming to the United States to play for the New York Cosmos or manage the Toronto Blizzard of the North American Soccer League.
At age 8, Keith began playing and by 17 was playing professionally. From 1962 to 1966, Keith played for Barrow, then spent six years from 1966 to 1972 with Watford appearing in 240 matches. In 1972 he was promoted to Sheffield United for the highest transfer fee paid by either club at the time and appeared in 114 matches before leaving in 1976 to become a member of the New York Cosmos. In every team he played for, he was named captain. Keith, who was selected captain, played in 30 matches for the Cosmos alongside teammates Pele, Beckenbauer, and Chinaglia. A defensive star during his career, he was a goal scorer too, and put 9 balls in the net for the Cosmos. With his wife, Jacqueline whom he met while in high school, and daughters Nicola and Claire, Keith left the Cosmos after the 1977 season but not before he was selected as an NASL All-Star player. The Eddy’s settled in Toronto through 1981 but when Keith visited Tulsa in 1982 to study a business venture, he never left.
Ten years later, Keith founded the Tulsa Soccer Club beginning with only four teams. Since then the club has grown to include more than 30 elite teams and under his tutelage as Director of Coaching, produced numerous scholarship players at the collegiate level and state championships.
The impact of Keith’s organization influenced clubs across the state as they began to pattern themselves after TSC. Among Keith’s concepts was to create a tournament designed to showcase the talent of Oklahoma soccer players. The TSC Sam Shannon Challenge Cup and Showcase kicked off in 2005 drawing teams from across the country to display their talents to college coaches. Another Keith Eddy concept was a golf tournament. The Don Figge Golf Tournament raises money for the Tulsa Soccer Foundation which then distributes scholarships to TSC players with financial needs.
Since Keith Eddy arrived in Tulsa in 1982, the development of highly competitive soccer players, clubs, and coaches has shown steady growth. The accolades for Keith and his vision bring awareness of Oklahoma’s place in the national soccer community. Just a glimpse of the accomplishments during his tenure include 70% of his seniors attending college on some form of financial scholarship; seven players named to the US National Team(s) Pool(s); and more Parade High School All-Americans than any other club in Oklahoma.
Since retiring as TSC’s Director of Coaching, Keith has faced and overcome a truly frightening adversary – cancer. Having completed his treatments, he is now enjoying traveling and visiting with his family and 5 grandchildren: Katie and Hailey Hooper; Donovon, Drake, and Miles Daubert. But for Keith Eddy, his most satisfying accomplishment is the growth of youth soccer in Oklahoma.
Clay Randolph – Inducted January 28, 2011
Although Wichita Falls, Texas native Clay Randolph saw his first soccer game in Germany in 1964, it wasn’t until son Russell came home from kindergarten in Moore, Oklahoma and announced that he was going to play soccer that Clay became enthralled with a sport he had seen but a few times. Clay and Judy Randolph met while in Wichita Falls and their 45 year marriage is filled with soccer involvement in Oklahoma. Both eventually played adult soccer, coached, and became volunteers in the Moore Soccer Club.
After Russell’s announcement, Clay began coaching his son’s team in 1977 and that led to years of coach training, refereeing, and club administration. Daughter Jennifer joined the Randolph family’s soccer enthusiasm as a player on club and high school teams. Russell followed his father’s footsteps and after playing for Moore and Westmoore became a high school coach first at Westmoore and now at Mustang High School.
Clay spent nearly thirty years coaching in Moore Soccer Club (now South Lakes Soccer Club) and during that time obtained both USSF National C and B coaching licenses. With an advanced coaching license, Clay was soon coaching in the Frontier Country classic league and led teams to championships. He also became a state coaching instructor and conducted coaching clinics throughout western and southern Oklahoma. When high school soccer became a varsity sport, Clay coached the Moore boys’ team.
Oklahoma Soccer utilized Clay’s expertise and named him head coach for the U16 Select team (now called ODP) in 1988. Oklahoma Baptist University contacted Clay to coach their team and from 1989-1990 he was the Bison coach.
Early on Clay knew he would have to play the game to better understand it and so he and Judy signed up to play adult soccer. Clay played for the Zebra Soccer team and the Moore Football Club (he also coached them). According to Clay, “Every soccer match I coached or played – every one was a blast!”
As if Clay didn’t have enough to do while maintaining his position as a professor at Oklahoma City Community College, he agreed to serve as Moore’s president from 1979-80, their head coach, their Referee Coordinator and Instructor, and as an Age Commissioner. After demonstrating his ability as an administrator, FCSA named him chair of their Rules Committee and he revised the rulebook. In 1980-81 Clay served as FCSA president.
To complete his immersion in all things soccer, Clay became a referee and as with his coaching and administrative passions he became a referee instructor.
Clay now focuses on his grandchildren and their games. Rebecca, South Lake Cosmos 97 girls; Parker Clay, South Lake Cosmos 01 boys; and River, South Lakes U6 Mustangs. Jennifer’s daughter, Jada, does karate and plays ice hockey in Arizona.
Clay is most proud of the number of his players who became coaches. “We need more training for the coaches of younger teams,” says Clay. When he was on the OSA coaching staff, he felt he was able to influence new coaches and saw the importance of coach training.
Although retired from coaching and teaching, Clay remains involved in soccer by watching English Premier League, high school, college, and his grandchildren’s games. “Learn to play the game well as an individual and as a teammate,” says Clay. “Then you will learn to love the freedom and pleasure soccer can give you.”
Kerry Shubert – Inducted January 28, 2011
When Kerry Shubert began playing soccer at the age of seven for Broken Arrow, it is doubtful he thought the game would someday be his source of livelihood or provide the inspiration to spend over 30 years in the sport. As a player, he advanced through the Broken Arrow club’s program and then joined the Tulsa Futball Club coached by Hall of Fame member Tom Iadevaia.
Following high school, Kerry enrolled at Oklahoma Christian University and capped his collegiate career serving as team captain in both junior and senior years. In 1990, he joined the Oklahoma City Warriors and for two years played for the semi-professional team.
During this time he often coached at soccer camps and at the University of Oklahoma camp, he met his wife Amber. The Shubert family grew to include Savannah, Seth, and Simon and if you are a member of the Shubert family, you play soccer. Currently all three are playing in the Lil Kicker classes at Kerry’s Soccercity facility.
In 1992 Kerry began coaching high school soccer at Edmond Santa Fe and within four years had led the team to the 5A state championship. Named Coach of the Year by the Oklahoma Soccer Coaches, Kerry then accepted the assistant coaching position with the University of Tulsa’s women’s team. During this time, he also attained numerous coaching licenses from USSF, US Youth Soccer, and NSCAA. Using his skills as a player and coach, Kerry moved to coaching club soccer with girls’ teams. He was the first girls’ coach in the state to have a team, EFC Capital City Elite ’78, win a regional championship. Kerry moved back to his hometown of Broken Arrow to coach the Hurricane Futball Club 92 team and under his guidance they advanced to the regional finals in 2007. The HFC 93 squad added to Kerry’s accomplishments by winning 6 state championships with his guidance. Another first for Kerry and his HFC 92 team was acceptance to the US Youth Soccer National League which pits regional and national championship squads in competition. Recently, Kerry’s HFC 95 team went an entire season in the Premier League West without having a goal scored on them. They are currently in first place in the National league with one game left.
His career as a club coach includes 17 state championships, 6 regional quarterfinals, 3 regional semi-finals, and 2 regional finals. Named OSA’s girls’ coach of the year in 2007, Kerry believes that players should learn to respect the game and in turn use those values they have gained in life after soccer. A firm believer in education, Kerry has coached over 50 players who have earned college scholarships and 32 of those were at NCAA Division I schools.
In order to offer soccer year round to the Tulsa area, Kerry recently became owner and manager of Soccercity, an indoor facility providing training for youth and adult soccer players. Whether coaching or managing a facility, Kerry believes that by working together, regardless of club affiliation, the soccer landscape of Oklahoma will be improved.
Dale Watts – Inducted January 28, 2011
The first soccer match Dale Watts ever saw was in 1977. It was a pre-season match in Tulsa’s Skelly Stadium and he took his son Jason to watch, not knowing that the game would change his life forever. After that game, he began watching Soccer Made in Germany, collecting books on soccer, and then volunteering to coach and referee. When Jason turned 8, Dale began taking coaching courses. In those days if you didn’t volunteer to coach or referee, your team would be without a referee so he also agreed to take a referee course.
By 1980 he was coaching Jason and refereeing matches for Central Tulsa Soccer Club. Dale approached coaching as an extension of his teaching career with Tulsa Public Schools. When an instructor class in refereeing became available, he signed up for that. In 1983 he was assigned to Central High School and named boys’ and girls’ soccer coach. At that time high school games were non-varsity and played in the winter, but with the help of Nancy McDonald of Tulsa Public Schools and Carl Moore, owner of the Tulsa Roughnecks, uniforms were provided for all TPS high schools and the move to varsity soccer was underway. By 1985, varsity soccer had arrived and Dale transferred to Booker T. Washington as the girls’ soccer coach. During his years as a high school coach, Dale worked to create the Oklahoma Soccer Coaches Association which hosts the All-State soccer games.
During this time, his daughter Monica had begun playing and he was an assistant coach of her team. At times the Watts’ family dinner table required elaborate schedule planning to juggle soccer games, high school games, referee matches, Boy Scouts, gymnastics, band gigs (Dale was also playing in a rock and roll band), and his wife Mary’s schedule at St. Francis hospital. Adding another layer to the logistics was the birth of Melody in 1981 and Matthew in 1985. Melody quickly determined soccer was not for her. Matthew played competitive soccer until he was 17.
In 1987, Dale was asked to accept the position of State Director of Referee Instruction by State Referee Administrator Jerry Kannard. With the help of State Referee, Instructor, and Assessor Gary Poulsen, Dale created a standardized instruction course for referees authorized by SRA Gus Colessides. Since 1988, referees across the state have received consistent instruction in the Laws of the Game based on that single syllabus. Another contribution to referee development was to unify the state’s referee corps by holding a single site fitness exam, recertification, and upgrade class for all upper level referees thus eliminating any division of referees by geographic location.
In 1997 Dale retired from teaching and became the Director of Publications for Oklahoma Soccer Association. The job allowed him to combine his love of writing, photography, and teaching. As editor of OSA’s official newsletter, the Smoke Signals, he used his journalism background to update the format and content. When OSA added a web page to his duties, Dale oversaw that publication as well. With the advent of social media (Facebook and Twitter), OSA is continuing to rely on him for communication with its membership.
Grandchildren Ella Kate and Jack Whiteley, and Evie Watts provide him with entertainment and activities for now. Someday he may watch them play the sport he discovered years ago.