Redlands Menâ€™s Soccer Coach Ralph Perez Honored with Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award
Ralph Perez, the men’s soccer coach at the University of Redlands, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Walt Chyzowych Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement, presented jointly by the Walt Chyzowych Memorial Fund and the NSCAA Foundation - philanthropic arm of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Perez will receive the award during the annual NSCAA Foundation-Walt Chyzowych Awards Ceremony to be held on Saturday, January 14, in the Colonial Ballroom of the Marriott Muehlebach Tower in Kansas City, Missouri, in conjunction with the 2012 NSCAA Convention.
“When I received the phone call about earning this prestigious award, my first reaction was an overwhelming sense of humility,” Perez said. “I am simply honored to receive this award for the simple fact of the name that is attached to it. Walt Chyzowych was a mentor of mine as well as to the game of soccer in America.”
A familiar face on the American soccer scene, Perez has accumulated more than 38 years of experience, dating back to his first coaching gig at Whittier College in 1974. His collegiate coaching career has included stints at Old Dominion University, Santa Clara University, Cal State Fullerton and the University of Redlands. In addition, he founded the California State University, San Bernardino women’s program and the California State University, Los Angles men’s program, with the latter earning an NCAA Championship appearance in only its fourth season.
Highlighting his collegiate success, Perez has led each institution to at least one conference title, earning him coach of the year honors for each of those leagues.
While at ODU, Perez guided the Monarchs to their first Colonial Athletic Association Championship in 1991. He also garnered South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year plaudits following that inaugural accomplishment for ODU.
During his time with the Broncos of Santa Clara, Perez was named the Far West Region Coach of the Year in 1983.
Most recently, he guided the University of Redlands Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 in the 2011 NCAA Division III tournament and was named the NSCAA Far West Coach of the Year. In only six seasons at the helm, he has amassed 99 wins while producing a 70-7-7 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record with the Maroon and Gray.
Throughout his coaching tenure, Perez has had numerous student-athletes continue move on to play at the professional and international levels. He also has established himself on these elite levels of soccer by serving as assistant coach for two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs and on the staff of the U.S. National Men’s Team.
Beginning in 1978, Perez worked as a U.S. National Staff Coach and as assistant coach for the U.S. National Men’s Team that qualified for the 1990 World Cup, its first Cup appearance in 40 years. He also led the 1989 World Cup Under-20 team to a fourth-place finish¾the best result for that squad in program history.
From 1996 through 2003, he worked as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York-New Jersey Metrostars, before serving as the Director of Coaching and Youth Development from 2003 to 2005.
With the LA Galaxy, he contributed to the team’s overwhelming success, highlighted by the 2002 MLS Cup title, the 2001 US Open Cup championship and the 2000 CONCACAF championship, in addition to numerous appearances in championship games.
While a member of the New York-New Jersey Metrostars, he coached alongside some of the greatest coaches in soccer history, including Carlos Queiroz (Manchester United, Real Madrid, Portugal National Team) and Carlos Alberto Parreira (Brazil, Saudi Arabia and South Africa World Cup teams).
Perez may be the only coach in America to coach in all three NCAA divisions, as well as the MLS, U.S. Olympic, and World Cup National teams.
In addition to a coaching certificate from FIFA, Perez holds a US Soccer National “A” License and a US National Instructor license.
“What Chyzowych did for the game of soccer in America, no one can come close to matching his contributions,” said Perez, “and that is what makes me so happy to be honored along with the finest coaches in American soccer history, especially Bob Gansler and Lothar Osiander. It was always a dream of mine to give back to the game of soccer. Back in 1974, it was never in my wildest dreams that I would be recognized on this level of stature. I would like to thank the committee, all of my coaches and players, and most importantly, my entire family, for their love and support."
The Walt Chyzowych Memorial Fund is a nonprofit foundation organized under Internal Revenue Code 501(c) established to honor the memory and legacy of Walt Chyzowych, the former U.S. National Team and Olympic Coach and US Soccer Director of Coaching, who passed away suddenly in 1994 while serving as head coach at Wake Forest University. Please visit our website at www.wcmfund.org