Inducted February 7, 2014
Wayne Ewing has been a fixture in the Oklahoma Soccer Association Referee Corps since 1982 when he helped establish club soccer in El Reno. Always a man of energy and drive when he involved himself in a project, creating soccer in El Reno became his passion and within years it would drive him to become a referee, an assignor, an assessor, an instructor, and then a State Referee. With his vast experience as an official in a game that he never played as a youngster growing up in Oklahoma City and El Reno, it was a testament to his passion for officiating that eventually led him to become the State Referee Administrator and the leader of the Oklahoma Referee Corps.
A graduate of El Reno Junior College, Wayne also served his country in the Medical Corps during the Vietnam era. His military background may have provided his attention to details as a referee and a business man. 47 years ago he married his wife Pat and together with the 3 children, Laura, Anthony, and Dereck they involved themselves in soccer and Wayne’s job with Western Electric.
Mentoring came naturally to Wayne and he was always working with young up and coming referees from clubs all around western Oklahoma. He would gravitate to the young refs and surprise them with supportive comments and suggestions. To facilitate guiding referees, Wayne himself began the upgrade process himself and by 1986 he was a State Referee grade 6. Within three years he achieved the highest grade a referee can get in the state: Grade 5. Then it was on to becoming an Assessor, Instructor, and Assignor. All this to improve the game, not for personal gain.
His willingness to serve his fellow referees drove him to create his own sporting goods operation for soccer families. The store would provide soccer equipment to players, coaches, teams, and referees. It was not uncommon for him to discount the price to families with several players or to create team uniforms for teams and then not charge for the additional players who couldn’t afford the uniform. Wayne would park his van at an event and either sell or take orders for the materials. His desire to assist those who wished to play but weren’t financially able to play cut into his profit, but that wasn’t what drove Wayne so it mattered little to him.
The high school, college, and adult programs in Oklahoma also benefitted from Wayne’s involvement. With those organizations he officiated, assessed, and instructed while maintaining his position with El Reno Soccer Club. He was elected Vice President of the NISOA college chapter and then President. He was also a regular at indoor soccer matches and officiated many USISL games.
In 2007 Wayne was asked to serve as the State Youth Referee Administrator and he gladly accepted the position working with close friend Mike Pollock who was the SRA. In 2009 Wayne suffered a medical condition that required him to resign as SYRA and which affects him to this day, but he maintains contact with many of his friends and young referees he taught and mentored for decades. For many referees he represents what hard work and determination can accomplish not only as a referee, but as a man who has found his passion.
Inducted February 7, 2014
Arriving in Oklahoma in 1980 to work for Amoco as a computer programmer, Wilbert Maximore quickly found a way to continue doing what he really loved: coach soccer. From a family of 17 children, Wilbert began playing soccer at the age of 4 in Paynesville, Liberia using a soccer ball of rubber and cloth, sometimes even a grapefruit. After graduating high school from Ricks Institute in Liberia, he joined relatives in the United States and attended college at Hunter College in New York and then Black Hills State College in South Dakota where he coached a club team.
It did not take Wilbert long to find an opportunity to coach in the Tulsa area after moving to Oklahoma from Indiana. Shadow Mountain Soccer Club’s Jim Hildebrandt offered an assistant coaching position with Hildebrandt’s son and their U10 boys’ team. That became a springboard for Wilbert to teach young players the game he loves. “The skills and development of the players are important,” says Wilbert. “Each player is different and I want them to utilize their potential for their best.”
Along the way Wilbert has coached boys, girls, adult men and adult women and had success at nearly every level he became involved with. He coached the Tulsa Rowdies to a Region III championship in the Over 30 women’s bracket and guided his U16 boys’ team, Sandien, to a defeat of Club American in the spring of 1988. Those accomplishments led to his selection as National Soccer Coaches Association of American to name him National Youth Coach of the Year in 1988 and to the US Youth National Coach of the Year in 1988.
His skills at player development have been recognized by US Youth when they requested his input in the development of a curriculum for the U7 through U10 player.
As the Tulsa soccer scene changed, Wilbert created the Blitz United Soccer Club in 1993, a competitive club within Tulsa United Soccer Club to match his philosophy of teaching players soccer skills, a love of the game, and to believe in themselves. His leadership as coach, club head coach, and Director of Coaching for his club has led the club to years of accomplishments in both league play and state tournaments. Blitz United has won championships at OSA’s State Cup for 6 consecutive years, President’s Cup championships for 7 consecutive years, and had finalists in the state cup for 12 years.
A tireless worker for the development of soccer in Oklahoma, Wilbert is a constant fixture at nearly every soccer event in the state where his club’s teams are playing. He enjoys discussing the game with nearly anyone who wishes to talk to him. All of this is Wilbert’s way of making the game of soccer something that players will love and will share with the generations of soccer players to come.
Inducted February 7, 2014
In 1974, Ed, Brenda, and children Mark, Dean, and Sharla, moved from Dallas to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as Ed was promoted to Oklahoma Sales Manager with Sentry Insurance. Ed enrolled his oldest son Mark into the local, south Tulsa, soccer program and became a "soccer dad." He never thought this would be the start of a second career, in the world of soccer. Ed had previously completed a six-year USAF commitment as a C-130 navigator flying missions worldwide, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, for which he was awarded the Air Medal.
In July of 1975 Ed was transferred to Midwest City, Oklahoma. Soccer was really growing and with two sons, Mark and Dean, wanting to play, Ed enrolled them with the Midwest City Club. During that era it was common for youth teams to have one of the fathers as a coach, so in 1977 when the regular coach failed to show up for a practice, Ed stepped in and as he says, "the rest is history.” He attendedOklahoma Soccer Association coaching clinics achieving a USSF D license.
In the late 1970's, Midwest City had few fields to use for soccer practice much less put in goal posts for league matches. Ed had a vision to have all games played at one site and began a campaign to develop some open land behind Steed School, with help of local soccer families on the project. That site is now the 30 acre, 13 field, Midwest City Soccer Complex.
In 1980, Ed became a USSF 08 level referee, progressing up to State Level 05. During this period he participated in several youth regional competitions, plus two adult regional competitions. The top level competition he was assigned to involved the professional Oklahoma City team, both outdoor and indoor leagues. Not limiting his time to refereeing, he also became an assignor, instructor, and assessor and currently serves as ASDA-West.
As an administrator, Ed held several offices, including service as President of OK Country Soccer Club, Frontier Country, plus the Oklahoma Soccer Association. During his time at the helm of OSA, he visited many areas to assist new clubs with coaching and referee clinics.
In 1984, high school soccer hit the scene. Ed was asked to coach the Midwest City HS team.
He also went before the Mid-Del School Board urging approval of soccer with other sports. The following year, 1985, OSSAA sanctioned the sport. In 1987, Ed was approached by OSSAA to serve as the Soccer Rules Interpreter for Oklahoma, a position he held for 10 years.
At the college level, beginning in 1986, he was also instrumental in forming the Oklahoma City chapter of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association which serves college soccer in the state. Ed performed as an active official for 20 years and continues his Assessor duties. In 2011 he received the Robert Sumpter Excellence in Teaching Award for his work with college level referees and in 2012 was awarded an Outstanding Service Award, by NISOA.
“Starting as a soccer dad, with a sport I was not familiar with, I didn’t know what to expect. But it’s been a wonderful ride full of great memories,“ says Ed. He looks forward to retirement from soccer so he and Brenda, whom he met in college while attending Louisiana Tech, can enjoy their seven grandchildren: Taylor, Jenae, Melanie, Brandon, Ryan, Andrew, and Holly.
Inducted February 7, 2014
In 1981 John Timmons arrived in Oklahoma from his home state of Texas to continue coaching the two sports he loves: American football and World football (known as soccer to most Oklahomans). From 1981-1995 he was a member of OSA’s state coaching staff and worked with Hall of Fame coaches Tom Iadevaia and Ernie Brown. He spent many of those early years traveling across the state as an ODP coach and building the game of soccer by coaching players, parents, and new coaches.
John and his wife, Jana, along with son Colin and daughter Erin moved to several locations in Oklahoma before settling in Bartlesville. Both children played soccer and now his granddaughter Kinlee is playing as well. Being a native of Denton, John’s first connection to soccer came from playing futbolito with foreign college students. He played while he attended the University of North Texas in Denton. Upon graduation from the university, John took up the career that he has held since – teacher. A science teacher and coach, John has taught and coached both football and soccer at Tahlequah, Pryor, Catoosa, Bartlesville, and Jenks. He also coached club soccer at many of those venues. In 1983 he volunteered to do pre-season training for the Tahlequah High School and assist in starting that club program.
Not only has John coached at many locations, he has also coached club teams at Central Tulsa, Tulsa United, Tulsa Thunder, and Washington County (Bartlesville). His first club team in Oklahoma was co-coaching with Gene Jackson in Central Tulsa. John held the USSF National B Coaching license and has influenced numerous coaches and players throughout his career in Oklahoma, including Hall of Fame coach, Brian Elliott.
John is recognized as a leader in the creation of varsity soccer in Oklahoma in 1985 and was one of the founders of the Oklahoma Soccer Coaches Association. John has been associated with Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association as a soccer advisory member since 1993 and was made a lifetime member of that board in 2010.
“Soccer development in Oklahoma has improved a great deal,” says John. “Players, coaches, and officials have continued to evolve and the future is very bright.” His positive outlook on coaching, teaching, and players is infectious. His philosophy reflects that in his statement on teams: “Winning championships is great, and teams that overachieve are special. Observing socio-economic boundaries evaporate in a team sport is a life-changing experience.”John Timmons