Published on October 24th, 2018 | by Staples Soccer0
Albie Loeffler Elected To Hall Of Fame
As Staples prepares for the 2018 FCIAC tournament — with the goal of the Wreckers’ 28th title — they got good news about the man who won 12 of them.
Albie Loeffler — who founded the Staples soccer program 60 years ago — is the newest member of the Untied Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame. He’ll be inducted at the organization’s annual convention, this January in Chicago.
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’s daughter Leslie and grandson Evan will accept his award in Chicago. Dan Woog — who played for Loeffler, and is only the 3rd permanent head coach in Staples history — will be there too. Next month, a United Soccer Coaches camera crew will come to Staples, to film the trophy case, Loeffler Field, and an interview with Woog. Loeffler was one of the first members of the organization when it was founded in 1941 (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.