Hall of Fame 2012
CONGRATULATIONS to the Class of 2012 Hall of Fame!
Sol Asekun - Oklahoma’s first national referee arrived in Oklahoma to pursue his career as a petroleum engineer, but the native of Iperu, Nigeria found that his soccer skills honed in playing for the Nigerian Green Eagles was useful in East Tulsa’s Soccer Club. By agreeing to both coach and referee, Sol began his referee career in 1976 and by 1977 he was not only a State referee but the State Referee Administrator for Oklahoma. In the 1980’s he left Tulsa but not before he had acheived the National Referee badge and officiated matches in the North American Soccer League.
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. Pele came out of retirement to play in that match and I was there on the line."
"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.
Richard Brook - As with many Oklahomans, Richard’s career as a referee began when his children, James and Jennifer, informed him and his wife Sandy that they wished to play soccer in East Tulsa Soccer Club. Sandy agreed to coach and Richard took a referee course. 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.
His 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.
Brian Elliott - although born in Oklahoma, Brian’s first soccer experience was in Sedalia, Missouri and it was not until 1979 when he returned to his hometown of Midwest City that his connection to Oklahoma soccer would begin.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.
Brian has coached at the club, high school, and college level at many state institutions and organizations. Currently he coaches the Union High School girls’ team. During the past ten years, Brian has worked to create and develop a soccer program in the Bristow area. 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."
Charlie Mitchell - As most young Scottish lads, Charlie began playing the game at age 5 or 6 and then a competitive high school team. By the age 17 he signed a professional contract and played for St. Mirren F.C. In 1970, Charlie came to the United States to play in the North American Soccer League for the Rochester Lancers. For one year, Charlie joined the New York Cosmos before traveling to Hawaii in 1977.
After eleven years with the NASL, Charlie returned to Oklahoma to establish a soccer club and begin training Oklahoma youth in the skills necessary to compete at a regional and national level. In 1997 he established the Bixby Highlanders Futbal Club and became their Director of Coaching. College coaching became Charlie’s next role with Oklahoma soccer as he became the head coach for the Northeastern State University squad in 1995.
While professional soccer lured Charlie Mitchell to Oklahoma, it was Oklahomans and their friendliness who kept him here and embraced his love and passion for the game of soccer.
Victor Moreland - Victor 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. After the Roughnecks folded in 1984 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.
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 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.
Chuck Turci - Chuck was introduced to soccer when he used it as a conditioning event for his cross country team at Casady. The John Marshall graduate found that the players enjoyed the game as did he. After leaving Casady to pursue graduate work at OU, Chuck met the captain of the OU soccer team and agreed to be the faculty sponsor as well as playing for the squad.Required to take a referee course in order to be a coach, Chuck began taking more courses on officiating and eventually became an official USSF referee, then a State Referee, Instructor, and Assessor.
It was under Chuck’s leadership that COASL was founded in 1979 and he became their first president and held various offices through 1987. Working with Don Jones and Tom Iadevaia, Chuck was able to get COASL sanctioned by OSA and the COASL charter accepted in 1980.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. Wayne Ewing, then SRA, requested that Chuck return to instructing and he began the process of becoming a State Instructor, which he attained in 2003.