Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Sol Asekun
Inducted January 27, 2012

Oklahoma’s first United States Soccer Federation National Referees arrived in Oklahoma from his native Nigeria pursuing his career as a petroleum engineer. Born in Iperu, Nigeria, Sol (as his friends call him) played soccer all his life and in 1960 was a member of the Nigerian Green Eagles representing Nigeria at the national level. While working in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Sol met his future wife, Gillian. By 1973 Sol was employed in Tulsa by Amerada Hess and was recruited by East Tulsa Soccer Club to become a referee. As with most Oklahomans during this period of time, parents were enticed to become coaches or referees so their children could play soccer. Never one to back away from developing the game, Sol accepted the challenge of both coaching and refereeing. The transition from player to referee was quick for Sol as he became a referee in 1976 and then a State Referee in 1977.

Venturing into the administrative side of officiating, Sol was appointed State Referee Administrator in 1977. He served in that position until he and the family, which now included sons Colin and Peter, and

daughter Diane, moved away in 1980. Sol’s referee career in Oklahoma was highlighted by his obtaining

the United States Soccer Federation National Referee Badge while in Oklahoma. During his short stay in Oklahoma, Sol also served as a member of the Green Country Soccer Association board and officiated NCAA soccer matches in the region. In 1980 Sol achieved his most memorable moment in soccer: “I was the lines man on the New York Cosmos vs. The Rest of the World team that was actually an event to honor the retirement of Franz Beckenbauer.

“I think soccer is one of the greatest games ever played,” says Sol. “It builds team spirit, character, and respect for one’s self and authority.” The former SRA of Oklahoma now lives in Florida and enjoys his grandchildren, Eva and Rowan Asekun-Taylor who live with Diane and husband Phillip in the United Kingdom..

Chuck Turci
Inducted January 27, 2012

 

Charles “Chuck” Turci was introduced to soccer when he used it as a conditioning event for his cross country team at Casady. Peter Buttenheim, Casady’s soccer coach and early contributor to the creation of OSA, provided Chuck with tips on the game. In 1977 he was asked by Andy Sullivan, president of the Central Oklahoma Soccer Club, to be an assistant coach and a requirement was to attend a “rules” meeting. After the meeting, Chuck began taking more courses on officiating and eventually became an official USSF referee. When Sullivan stepped down as Central’s president, Chuck accepted the position and thus began a long association with the Frontier Country Soccer Association and what would become Central Oklahoma Adult Soccer League.

During this time Chuck continued to referee and became a State level referee as well as attaining his Instructor license. He also officiated college matches and was the center of the first Oklahoma City girl’s high school match. He was elected chairman of the Oklahoma City referee unit in 1981 and promised his wife Alden he would not accept any more offices in soccer. It was a promise he could not keep. In 1987 Ed Michaud contacted Chuck to oversee the soccer games in the Sooner State Games. He managed that event for two years and it drew over 2,000 soccer players. By 1991, Chuck had retired from active playing but continued coaching his daughter Lara and being involved in the NOKC Royals club. Chuck reached out to

Wayne Ewing in 1998 and began work on becoming a State Emeritus referee. Ewing, then SRA, requested that Chuck return to instructing and he began the process of becoming a State Instructor, which he attained in 2003. He also attained the position of State Assessor during this time and continues to offer his services at state events across Oklahoma as a mentor and guide.

Richard Brook
Inducted January 27, 2012

 In 1978 Richard Brook became a referee because his children, James and Jennifer, wanted to play in the East Tulsa Soccer Club. As with most clubs at that time, requirements for children to play included having parents either coach, referee, or volunteer. His wife Sandy opted to coach their daughter and Richard chose to referee. That decision to referee would lead him to more than 34 years of officiating, assessing, and leadership with Oklahoma’s referee corps.

Under the tutelage of Hall of Fame members such as Peter Aradi, Russ Staurovsky, and Atef Iskander, it wasn’t long before Richard moved up through the ranks of referee, then State Referee (which he achieved in 1984), and finally the ultimate goal of all serious referees – a USSF National Referee in 1991. He was the first native Oklahoman to become a National Referee and by then his reputation as one of the state’s premier officials had been solidified.

Players and coaches would recognize and appreciate Richard’s abilities as a referee and he was rewarded for that expertise with over 8 state championship center assignments. For twelve years he was selected to attend the Region III championships as Oklahoma’s representative.  

Richard and his fellow referees in that time never received payment for their assignments. Refereeing was voluntary and not until recent years have officials been paid to referee matches. But the love of being “in the center” drove him to accept assignments not only with club soccer but also high school and college games. He has been a member of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Association referee corps for over 30 years as well as an Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association member.

Richard currently is a State Emeritus Referee and National Emeritus Assessor for USSF. With the NISOA group he is a National Emeritus Referee and National Assessor. He has held the office of president and vice-president of the local NISOA chapter, EOISOA.

According to Richard, his most memorable events include traveling to the Gothia Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden with his friends Pat Stone and Atef Iskander and being selected as a referee for the US Adult Soccer Association National Women’s Tournament in Dallas.

During his career, Richard has served Oklahoma Soccer as State Director of Assessments and as an interim State Referee Administrator. He recently returned to the office of SDA for the State Referee Committee while working full time as a piping designer. While he is no longer accepting as many assignments as he once did, Richard still loves to referee and now enjoys watching granddaughter Alex play soccer. She is but one of Richard and Sandy’s seven grandchildren.


Victor Moreland
Inducted January 27, 2012

 Victor Moreland arrived in Oklahoma in 1978 on loan from his Glentoran Soccer Club to play for the Tulsa Roughnecks in the North American Soccer League. Little did the native of Belfast, Ireland know that his future would include settling down in Tulsa and raising a family and beginning his own soccer club. Encouraged by his father to play the game, Victor began playing at age 15 and was signed at age 16. After one year with the Roughnecks in 1978, Victor returned to Glentoran and was sold to England’s Derby County (a Division I squad) through 1981.

While on the Derby squad he played against Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea teams. His biggest thrill of that era was scoring a goal against Peter Shilton of England.  In 1981, Noel Lemon of the Roughnecks bought Victor’s contract and he was back in Tulsa through the 1984 season and the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship. Always a fan favorite, Victor and Lynn were married at TU’s Sharp Chapel but repeated the ceremony at a Roughneck match in 1983.

When the NASL folded, Victor moved around the United States playing for teams in Chicago, Dallas, Wichita, and Ft. Lauderdale. By 1995, Victor was ready to step away from playing and started the Tulsa Nationals Soccer Club with Union Soccer Club in Tulsa. The Irish midfielder who played in over 900 professional games, was capped 9 times while playing for his Northern Ireland National team, and captained three championship teams, still maintains a friendship with teammate Billy Caskey and a host of other teammates from around the world.

Settling in Tulsa, Victor and Lynn and their three children (daughter Tricia, sons Justin and Matthew) soon became a family involved in coaching soccer and developing players for both Green Country and Oklahoma Soccer. Justin was on his father’s 85 squad and then attended Vanderbilt University and the University of Tulsa playing soccer. Matthew also played club soccer in goal and then attended the University of Oklahoma as a kicker. The Morelands now have four grandchildren: Hannah Pauling; Savannah, Avery, and Jackson Davis.

Victor’s experiences and knowledge of the game was shared with hundreds of youth soccer players as he coached his boys’ Tulsa Nationals teams to state championships and regional and national tournaments. Those teams are special to him and he continues to enjoy their successes off the field.

Victor’s philosophy of coaching is summed up in his mission statement for his Tulsa Nationals Soccer Club: founded in 1995 on the principles of developing proper soccer skills, etiquette and gamesmanship to local area players.  He appreciates the mentorship of such coaches and players as Danny Blanchflower, Walter Bruce, Gordon Jago, Tommy Docherty, and Wim Suurbier. Victor stresses to his players to listen, play hard, learn, and enjoy.

Victor’s latest coaching assignment is with both boys’ and girls’ teams and according to wife, Lynn, he loves coaching them both. For a man who has played on the field with such greats as George Best, Kenny Dalglish, John Cryuff, Johan Neeksens, Frans Beckenbauer, and Georgio Chinaglia, it is only fitting that he is now sharing that love of the game with the youth of Oklahoma.

Brian Elliott
Inducted January 27, 2012

 Brian Elliott began playing soccer as a nine-year-old in Sedalia, Missouri, when his best friend encouraged him to sign up. Although Brian would travel to Omaha, Nebraska, and play soccer there, it wasn’t until he returned to his hometown of Midwest City in 1979 that he began his connection to Oklahoma soccer. Brian touts Aladino Cassar, his coach of the Midwest City Phantoms, as a mentor who guided them to a city championship and to Danny Webb who as Brian says, “Was a father figure through my high school days.”

By 1983 Brian was enrolled and playing soccer for Northeastern State University where he was elected team captain and an all-district player. While a student at NSU, he coached a recreational team in Tahlequah and was the high school assistant coach for another of his mentors: John Timmons. After graduating, Brian became head coach at Ponca City High School and began attaining his USSF coaching licenses. In less than ten years, he obtained the USSF National “A” license and had coached at Moore High School as well as working as an ODP staff coach and conducting OSA coaching schools.

In 1991, he returned to NSU as an assistant coach and also served as NSU’s interim head coach. “My most memorable event from that time,” says Brian, “was winning the District 9 Championship for the first time.” On the club level, Brian was coaching the Blackwatch 80’s girls’ squad to a state championship and still working with the OSA coaching staff and ODP.

Following his time at NSU, Brian moved to Tulsa and became head coach for ORU as well as Tulsa Thunder Soccer Club’s head coach. He coached the Tulsa Thunder boys’ 80 and 84 teams.

While at Northeastern, Brian met and married his wife Kathleen and in due time they settled in Bristow, Oklahoma to raise their children: Joshua and Avery. Never far removed from coaching, Brian assisted Timmons with the Jenks High School boys through 2005. In 2008 he was named the head coach for the Union High School girls’ program and he continues in that position today. As an indication of his coaching ability, Brian has been selected All-State coach twice and president of the Oklahoma Soccer Coaches Association.

During the past ten years, Brian has worked to create and develop a soccer program in the Bristow area.  He currently coaches Joshua and has done so since the youngster was 4. His daughter, Avery, attends all of her father’s camps and joins in on the activities.  Not one to shirk his duties, Brian is also the club’s president and head coach. A firm believer in soccer, Brian has devoted endless hours of his time without compensation to grow the game of soccer in Oklahoma. His philosophy is summed by his statement: “Soccer is a game to be played to have fun and compete. It’s not striving to win; it’s striving to get better every day because every emotion you feel in soccer you will feel in life.”