Anacletus "Gene" Queri
Inducted January 30, 2015
Gene was born in Syracuse, New York and after graduating from North High School in Syracuse, he signed up for the U.S. Air Force and spent 21 years with them. During that time he traveled to Japan and it was there he met Janice, his wife of 51 years, and married her in 1963. Gene is proud of his family of two daughters, Lisa Marie and Kelly Anne, and son Michael. And of course he is equally proud of his grandchildren: Brandon, Bryce, Jennifer, Kellen, Ryan, and Sabrina.
During those Air Force years, Gene was stationed in numerous places and in 1977 he was assigned to Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City. It was there he began his connection to the sport that he has grown to love – soccer. Seeing the need for coaches, Gene took the US Soccer F and E clinics and began coaching Michael’s U8 team. It became apparent to Gene that the Midwest City club needed referees as well as coaches and he signed up for a referee course. He officiated his first soccer match in 1978.
As with many volunteers during this time of Oklahoma Soccer Association’s development, they were expected to wear many hats. Gene not only served as coach and referee, he also accepted the position of President of the Midwest City club; but his referee experiences were what appealed most to him and he was soon assigning referees and then appointed Area Referee Administrator for the club.
During this time courses were offered for instructors and assessors and upgrade clinics were held to promote referee to grades 7 and 6. In 1981 he became a USSF Referee Instructor clinic and taught a group of teenagers in the Oklahoma City area. One of the class members was his son, Michael. Gene’s abilities allowed him to quickly attain the rank of State Referee and by 1983 he was officiating matches in the professional matches held in Oklahoma City. He was an assistant referee at several OKC Slickers games with FIFA referee Bob Evans. In 1986 he was the Referee for the high school soccer final and had Hall of Fame members Atef Iskander and Richard Brook as his assistants.
Work with the Federal Aviation Association as an air traffic controller pulled the Queri family to Washington, D.C. and for 24 years Gene taught controllers while becoming a commercial pilot with ratings in multi-engine as well as a flight instructor.
Returning to the Oklahoma City area, it was not long before he was asked to return to instructing and assessing referees. Over the past decade and more, Gene has spent endless hours at Edmond Soccer club and Norman Youth Soccer club mentoring young refs and providing them with insight on how to officiate a soccer match. His experience and knowledge of the game allows him to explain the nuances of the art of refereeing to young referees and that is his legacy to the sport he so dearly loves.
Inducted January 30, 2015
Vic and his wife, Rosalie were both born in Liverpool, England, and met at their church, when they were 10 years old. They were active members of the church Youth club and Badminton team. Vic played football (soccer) or his school, Prince Rupert Margaret Street and was member of the Liverpool City Boys’ Team. At age 16 he was offered an apprenticeship from Everton Football club, but as an ardent supporter of Liverpool Football club, he declined, assuming that LFC would offer him an apprenticeship too. Unfortunately, that did not happen!
In 1962 he volunteered as a staff member of the National Boys’ Club of the UK. In February 1978 the Family immigrated to Tulsa, to work as a Carpenter/Manager for McDonnell Douglas and Advanced Medical Instruments. He is a proud dad to son Ian and daughter Janette and a proud granddad (Poppa) to his three grandchildren, Ryan, Alyssa and Keegan.
In 1979 Vic began coaching his daughter Janette’s team for the East Tulsa Soccer Club U10’s, aptly called ‘Vic’s Angels’. He coached the Shadow Mountain Chargers Boys U19 team and they won the first Metropolitan Cup. In 1984, when the Premier Club formed as a top tier for Green Country Soccer Association, he be- came one of the original coaches of Tulsa Sheffield United and coached both Ian’s U19 boys’ team and Janette’s U16 girls’ team and in 1985, he took both teams to England to play in international tournaments. His Sheffield teams have traveled all over the Southern Region in addition to traveling to California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.
Vic’s teams won eight State Championships, coached a Regional Finalist, and have won over 50 league and over 50 tournament championships. Many of his players have made him proud by obtaining college soccer scholarships. Vic has always emphasized good grades to his players as part of their training and for them to have respect for coaches, officials and other players.
He was an Olympic Development Program coach for Oklahoma from 1984 –1992 and coached the first U14 girls Oklahoma Olympic Development team at the Cocoa Expo in Cocoa Beach, Florida in 1987. Cocoa Expo was the Region III player training and development camp headquarters for the eleven Southern States. Vic served as Vice-President of the Premier Club and is currently the Head Coach of Sheffield United.
In 1991, he was named “Oklahoma Girls’ Coach of the Year” by OSA and attended the National Workshop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Vic is well known and highly respected as an individual and coach, not just in Oklahoma but also nationally. Rosalie has supported Vic with all his soccer activities and has been ‘soccer mom’ to many players. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 6, 2014.