This year’s Excellence in Coaching Award recipients are Bill Tompkins and Kevin Rooney.
Tompkins and Rooney will be honored at the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Annual Awards Banquet on February 24 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to EPYSA.org/events/awards_reception.
"Bill and Kevin have each dedicated themselves to the soccer community as coaches and educators," said Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer CEO Chris Branscome. "They are two of the most respected names in Pennsylvania soccer and continue to support our youth—and their fellow coaches—by working at the local club level."
A native of Glenside and graduate of Abington High School, William “Bill” Tompkins got his coaching start as an assistant with Roslyn Soccer. He’s stayed in the profession for 32 years, working at various levels. Tompkins coached Bishop McDevitt High School Boys Soccer to its first winning record and first appearance in the Philadelphia Catholic League Playoffs. He also spent more than 20 years in the Olympic Development Program. Several of his former players went on to play professional soccer, including Ben Olsen, Jeff Larentowicz, Dan Gargan, Bobby Convey, Phil Karn and current Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin among others.
"Coach Tompkins was the first coach I had in my playing career that gave me a true structure and created an environment where I could develop as a player," said Curtin, who played for Tompkins at Bishop McDevitt. "He was an incredible motivator and a guy who made me see the game from a coach's perspective. I owe Coach Tompkins a great deal for any success I have had in the game."
As one of the first coaches in the state with a U.S. Soccer National Youth License, Tompkins spent 10 years as a coaching educator in Eastern Pennsylvania. He co-founded A.C. United, based in Abington, in 2003, where he coaches an under-13 boys team.
Kevin Rooney has made his mark in Eastern Pennsylvania soccer and beyond, especially on the girls side. He is the Past President and current Vice President of the Philadelphia Area Girls Soccer League (PAGS) and has coached with the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program since 1997. Rooney is on the staff of the Under-14 Girls ODP team along with fellow Excellence in Coaching Award recipient Sheldon Chamberlain (2014), a friend for 40 years.
"Kevin is an extraordinary coach. He's an academic. He's a scholar," said Chamberlain. "He's a student of the game. He'll go any place he can to learn something new. He's a great teacher, a master teacher of soccer to youth. He emphasizes performance and thinking. He tries to get his players to really think about what they're doing, the mental side of the game."
At the club level—which has included stops at West-Mont United, FC Bucks, FC Delco and, currently, Radnor Soccer Club—Rooney has won 13 Eastern Pennsylvania State Cups. He has served as an outreach coordinator and staff coach for soccer camps for under-served youth in the British Virgin Islands, the Netherland Antilles and Antigua and coached Upper Merion High School Girls.
All-time Excellence in Coaching Award Recipients