The North American soccer landscape has begun to shift its focus towards Philadelphia for the second consecutive year as the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) return to the City of Brotherly Love.
Among the many highlights of the two-week soccer binge is the induction of local coaching stalwart Mike Barr into the Pennsylvania Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Boasting more than 30 years of coaching experience in the region, Barr is “truly honored” for the recognition.
“To be recognized by your peers is pretty important, but I still get more satisfaction out of providing words of wisdom to high school and youth players,” Barr said. “I still enjoy teaching and working with kids and also instructing coaches. I think I’m really lucky to be doing something I really enjoy.”
Barr has coached at the collegiate, high school and club levels in the Mid-Atlantic region throughout his career, and has served as the technical director for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer for the last five years. As the Technical Director, Barr is responsible for coordinating the coaching curriculum for Olympic Development, coaching courses, and the general education of coaches and soccer personnel throughout the Association.
The Millersville graduate spent 26 years at Strath Haven High School, transforming the varsity soccer program into a powerhouse by collecting five PIAA state championship titles, five District One titles and 13 Central League titles. Barr credits his success to the ability to adapt with the ever-changing soccer landscape.
“I played other sports in high schools and I observed other coaches with different values,” Barr said. “My methodology and my training has changed yearly throughout my career to make myself a little more knowledgeable and also more coachable with players.”
Barr will be a featured NSCAA convention speaker at the Philadelphia Convention Center, with “Honest Answers for Soccer Parents” on Jan. 15 from 3:45-5 p.m. and later appearing on a panel titled “Safe Return to Play” on Jan. 17 from 12:45-1:45 p.m. For a complete schedule of all NSCAA convention events and to register, click here.
The hall of fame ceremony is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Radisson Hotel in Harrisburg, Pa.