Class of 2013
Inducted February 2, 2013
“My first volunteer position was as a coach,” says Keith. When he and his wife, Dana, got involved in soccer it was due to daughter Courtney signing up to play. “That was 1993 and I’ve been involved ever since.” Courtney (who played for her Dad through the U19 group in 2004) and Ashley (who played through the U19’s until 2002) kept Keith busy with soccer. Keith never played the game when growing up in his hometown of Catoosa. “The only soccer I knew was watching Soccer Made in Germanyon television and starting in 1977 attending all the Tulsa Roughnecks games.”
Keith’s success as a recreational coach spans twenty years now and during that time he has coached girls’ teams to 7 state finals and 3 championships. Currently he is coaching a U13 boys’ team in Broken Arrow. Keith also utilized the US Youth coach training by attaining his F and E coaching licenses. In 2008 he was named OSA’s Recreational Coach of the Year for Girls.
As a coach, Keith’s believes that the players need to play the game for the fun that it brings to them. Everything else will take care of itself. But he is not content to coach and leave the tasks of running a club to others; instead he has volunteered for nearly every club office in Broken Arrow and has served Green Country Soccer Association as their president from 2008 through 2012. For his many years of service, he was selected as US Youth Soccer’s Region III Volunteer of the Year in 2011 and OSA’s Volunteer of the Year as well. Keith was the first Oklahoman to win the Volunteer of the Year award at the Regional level.
Currently, Keith is Broken Arrow’s club president (his second time in the office) and a member of the tournament committee and other committees. In the community, he has been a member of the Broken Arrow Elks Soccer Shoot Committee for two years and is now their Chairman.
When US Youth awarded Broken Arrow the President’s Cup Regional Tournament in 2010, it was Keith who was in charge of field preparations and on site communication. At the state level, he has been representing GCSA on the OSA by-laws committee.
Keith attributes his willingness to serve to his parents. “It was how I was raised,” says Keith. “We were expected to help our neighbors if they needed a yard mowed or some task completed. When I finished helping others it made me I feel good.”
With his 20 years of service to Broken Arrow Soccer Club and to Oklahoma Soccer, Keith’s comment concerning his volunteer status explains his dedication: “I have been willing to help out in all areas of the game and have done about everything I have been asked to do.”
Inducted February 2, 2013
Gary Poulsen came to Tulsa, Oklahoma to study music at the University of Tulsa based on the suggestion of his high school guidance counselor. Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the young Poulsen had decided to teach music and the counselor had attended TU. After a few years, Gary determined that teaching music might not be what he wanted and he turned to a business degree which would better support his family of wife Peggy and son Ron and daughter Carol.
When Ron signed up to play soccer, Gary attended the games and at one memorable match was informed that because he disagreed with the referee’s calls so vociferously, the East Tulsa Soccer club wanted him to attend a referee course.
That occurred in 1981 and after attended the class, Gary began his referee career that would span the next 27 years. In those days all referees began as 08 grade and within two years Gary had risen to the grade of 07 and then a State 06 soon after. During this time he officiated at club matches, adult matches, high school matches, and college matches.
Soon Gary was drawn aside by future Hall of Famers Peter Aradi and Russell Staurovsky for mentoring and advancement in the administrative ranks of Oklahoma’s referee corps. His first assignment was to work as assistant State Youth Referee Administrator with Jim Noys. That collaboration led to Gary assigning matches, a task he would continue until his retirement in 2008Assigning the Green Country championship tournament, state tournaments, and club matches made Gary well known to nearly every referee in the state. That led to his assigning the 1982 US Youth Regionals in Tulsa with Peter Aradi. . In 1985 he helped organize and assign high school referees for the first year of varsity soccer in Oklahoma. That first year of high school soccer, all referees officiated matches for no charge.
Gary’s personal knowledge of those referees also developed from his love of another aspect of refereeing – assessment. With formal assessment training by FIFA Referee and Assessor Ed Bellion, Gary began a long history of assessing referees around the state. Trained by Aradi as an Assessor, he and Peter developed an Assessor training class and taught assessment courses across Oklahoma. That experience led him to his State Assessor badge and appointment to State Director of Assessments under SRA Atef Iskander. He also became a Regional NISOA assessor.
Not content with just assigning and assessing, Gary became a referee instructor in 1982 and in 1987 worked with Dale Watts to create Oklahoma’s current referee instruction curriculum. Gary also obtained his State Instructor badge during this time.
Gary Poulsen’s legacy to Oklahoma soccer is the family’s continued interest in the sport. Son Ron is now the SRA and his wife Christel and daughters Skylar and Sahara are playing or have played the game while Summer (born in 2012) may join when she gets old enough.