Published on January 19th, 2019 | by Staples Soccer0
Albie Loeffler Inducted Into Hall Of Fame
Last week, United Soccer Coaches inducted its newest member into Hall of Fame.
He’s also one of the first members of what is today the largest coaching organization of any kind in the world. It includes 30,000 coaches, at the professional, college, high school and club levels.
Albie Loeffler — the founder of the Staples High School soccer program, among many other accomplishments — received the posthumous honor at the annual convention in Chicago. Current head coach Dan Woog — who played for Loeffler, and is only the 3rd permanent coach in the program’s 60-year history — accepted the award, along with Loeffler’s daughter Leslie, her wife Gloria, and Loeffler’s grandson Evan.
A video accompanied the presentation, made at the Friday banquet attended by hundreds. Click below for the video.
Loeffler joins 62 other major contributors to the game. The Hall of Fame already includes former men’s national team and University of Virginia coach Bruce Arena, women’s national team and University of North Carolina coach Anson Dorrance, and University of Connecticut coach Joe Morrone (with whom Loeffler co-founded the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association).
Loeffler — who died the day before his 94th birthday in 2009 — began his coaching career at Ellsworth High School in South Windsor (1942-52), and won 2 state championships. He came to Staples in 1952, teaching phys. ed. and coaching basketball, baseball and track. In 1957 he formed a club soccer team. The next year it earned varsity status.
His Staples record includes 7 state championships — 5 of them in a row. His teams recorded 25 consecutive shutouts (including post-season tournament games), won or tied 43 straight matches, and lost just 2 home games between 1966 and 1974. When he retired in 1978, his 314 career wins was a national record.
Loeffler was a 2-time National Coach of the Year. More than 175 athletes went on to play college soccer; 11 became All-Americans.
Loeffler was one of the first members of United Soccer Coaches when it was founded in 1941 (it was known then as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America).
“This is a wonderful honor, for one of the towering figures in American high school soccer history,” Woog said. “It’s especially fitting that it comes during our 60th anniversary year. None of us associated with Staples soccer today — or over the past 6 decades — would be where we are without Albie Loeffler.”
FUN FACTS: Albie Loeffler has already been inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame. He’s also in the National Soccer Hall of Fame — as a referee. In addition to his vast coaching accomplishments, he was one of the top soccer officials in the country. He refereed the first-ever NCAA tournament, at the University of Connecticut in 1959. That’s his alma mater — and where he played goalkeeper in the 1930s.