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Class of 2019

Brian Crookham
Inducted February 2, 2019

Brian CrookhamBrian has come a long way from his soccer roots as a player at Jenks Soccer Club and Jenks High School. Brian can currently be found in Denver, Colorado working for the MLS team the Colorado Rapids as the Senior Director of Soccer Development/USL General Manager. Like many in the area, he was strongly influenced by the addition of the Tulsa Roughnecks to the local soccer scene in the late 1970s. He credits this influence with the importance he places on the role the Colorado Rapids play in their community. He also credits the Oklahoma soccer community and several of its key members for providing him the opportunity to advance in the sport and represent his home state all over the world. Brian discovered his passion for coaching when volunteering to help coach his younger sister’s team while recovering from a knee injury in high school.

Brian attended the University of Oklahoma where he played and coached in the club program then transferred to USAO where he graduated with a degree in Natural Science. He is married to Michelle, a Deer Creek, Oklahoma native. The couple has 3 children, 16 year old Connor and 13 year old twins Beth and Sean.

  • Crookham is a USSF A licensed coach and his resume is long and varied, below is just a sample of some of the positions he’s held and the contributions Brian has made to the beautiful game.
  • 1988 – 89 Norman Soccer Club, Coach
  • 1990 Moore High School, JV Coach
  • 1991 Moore High School, Girl’s Head Soccer Coach
  • 1992 – 95 Moore High School, Boy’s Head Soccer Coach
  • 1990 Oklahoma Soccer Association Instructional Staff
  • 1990 Oklahoma Soccer Association ODP Staff
  • 1990 Moore Soccer Club (now Southlake’s SC) Head Coach
  • 1994 Commendation by Oklahoma Governor David Walters for his contributions to youth sports
  • 1995 - 2004 Metropolitan State College, Denver. Head Men’s Soccer Coach and Assistant Athletic Director
  • 2004 Colorado Youth Soccer, Assistant Technical Director
  • 2004 - Present TV Analyst for Colorado Rapids on Altitude Sports Entertainment Network, also has worked college and pro games for Fox Sports Network, Mountain WestConference Network, CBS College Sports and ESPN3.
  • 2007-Present Colorado Rapids, Senior Director of Soccer Development/ USL General Manager; Brian joined the Rapids staff full-time in May of 2007. As Sr. Director of Soccer Development and USL General Manager, he is responsible for all of the club’s programming related to player development. Crookham serves as the General Manager of the club’s affiliate Switchbacks FC (USL Championship) and has direct oversight of the academy and the Rapids Adidas Alliance programming. He also serves at the primary contact for the club’s international partnerships.

 

Brian’s philosophy toward the game? “Clearly define the objective of your work and ensure every decision you make puts you closer to achieving that objective. If the objective of your work is player development, the player must be the driver of each decision.”


J.B. Belzer
Inducted February 2, 2019

JB BelzerBelzer, a native of Edmond, Oklahoma, attended and played soccer at the University of Tulsa for one season before transferring to Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, Belzer served as the head coach of the boys’ soccer team at Stillwater High School; he was only 19 years old, barely older than the boys he coached. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Science Education from OSU in 1991, Belzer returned to Edmond Memorial High School, his alma mater, to teach science and coach boys soccer.

From his early years in Oklahoma, as a junior captain, Belzer played in the first sanctioned OSSAA State HS Championship in 1985 losing to Booker T Washington 2-1. After a brief varsity playing experience at the University of Tulsa in 1986, he chose a coaching pathway to fulfill his love of soccer. Ten years later he would return home to lead Edmond Memorial to their first OSSAA State HS Championship, a 1994 defeat of Broken Arrow, 1-0 on a golden goal OT thriller. While coaching and teaching at Edmond Memorial he seized the opportunity to become the Edmond Soccer Club’s first part-time, Director of Coaching. While coaching at ESC he had his first opportunity to coach high school aged girls and parlayed that into a girls ODP coaching position for Oklahoma Soccer Association.

Belzer credits his coaching time with OSA, ESC and TU, on the girl’s side with providing the experience to be selected for the Regis University Women’s Soccer head coaching position, a position he has held for the past 23 years. JB credits fellow OSA Hall of Famer Sharon O’Connor (class of 2003) with providing mentorship and guidance to a young aspiring coach.

On top of his coaching duties at Regis, Belzer also serves on the United Soccer Coaches and NCAA II Women’s Soccer Committee. From 1998 to 2001 and 2015 to present. Belzer served as the Chair on the NCAA II Midwest/South-Central Regional Rankings Committee and was the National Chair in 2001 and 2016-2017. Belzer holds both a United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma and a US Soccer National “A” License. Even more, Belzer presently works as a Talent ID Scout and Scout License Instructor for US Soccer.

J.B. currently resides in Aurora Colorado with his wife, Trina, and their sons, Joshua and Sean.

“Be passionate while serving the game. It inspires many, awakens a few, and calls to task those less inclined to serve.” –J.B. Belzer


Bill Chissoe
Inducted February 2, 2019

Bill ChissoeBill Chissoe grew up in Norman and was a soccer pioneer in many ways – part of many “firsts” as soccer grew. He started playing recreation soccer the first year it was offered in Norman, and competed in the city’s first “select” program – a short-lived three team league representing Norman’s middle schools. Two years later, Norman offered their first “Classic” team, and Bill made the Norman Celtic team as a goalkeeper. Chissoe’s team was the first team from the western side of the state to advance to the finals of State Cup.

Bill played college ball at Oklahoma City University. In his three years there OCU advanced from a startup program to a national Top-10 team. He finished up his academic career graduating from the University of Oklahoma. Bill was invited to play for a number of semi-professional teams and ended up playing primarily with the Oklahoma City Spirit, they won a championship in his first year. While playing for the OKC Spirit, Bill earned his coaching license and began coaching at Moore High School. Two years later he returned to his alma mater to coach the Norman High School girls. During Chissoe’s three year tenure, NHS won two state championships and were 43–2. He was the state coach-of-the-year twice and coached the west to their first victory in the All-State game. Bill was also Coaching Director for Norman Youth Soccer Association and after earning his B coaching license became a certified instructor who taught and certified coaches at the state level. He loved spreading soccer across the state, and fondly remembers the coach who completed a weekend’s worth of drills in coveralls and cowboy boots!

In 1991, Bill married his high school sweetheart, Stephanie. 1999 brought the birth of their first son Billy and in 2001 Russell was born.

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, Bill and Stephanie moved to St. Louis where he continued coaching as an assistant at Washington University – in addition to club soccer with the St. Louis Seals and ODP at the regional level. In 1999 the Chissoes moved to North Carolina where Bill taught computer science and coached girls and boys high school soccer. In his first year the girls qualified for the state tournament for the first time in eight years, and in his second year he won another Coach-of-the-Year. 2015 saw a move to Washington State, where Bill teaches computer science and coaches the men’s soccer team at Charles Wright Academy.

In his three years at Charles Wright Academy, Chissoe has won two league championships, one district championship, and made two state tournament appearances. He’s twice been named league coach-of-the-year. For all his success, he takes greatest pride in his players - watching them commit to something bigger than themselves, playing with pride, overcoming obstacles, and always, always having a passion for the game. He’s been blessed to be surrounded by fantastic individuals who supported him, and he’s tried to pass it on to the next generation (or two). Along his journey Bill has promoted and grown the game as well as cultivated and mentored numerous players who have gone on to achieve great things both on and off the soccer pitch. Bill often pushes his players with the simple statement – “love what you do, and give it everything you’ve got.”

 
 
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