Michael Allen - Long Term ORYA Soccer Coach, Mentor, and Family Friend
By Zach Leichtman
Michael Allen has coached soccer for ORYA for nearly twenty years for groups ranging from U4 to U19, and through it has enjoyed becoming closer with his kids, seeing the sport’s ability to help players grow friendships, and being part of a program that has improved so much in that time. Allen says that he’s learned to help create an environment where “every player can improve at their own pace” throughout his years of coaching, noting that the program’s ability to provide this at younger age levels has been a key in producing more competitive teams as kids get older. He takes pride in how close he has become with his players and their families that he’s been around for years, saying how rewarding it has been to see a group of kids become more independent and mature from season to season.
Allen credits the impressive number of volunteers that now help coach in the program as a key factor in what makes ORYA soccer so successful, especially for children at younger ages where more attention is needed to help them improve, and hopes that more parents continue to volunteer to maintain this strong culture. Despite his youngest son now aging out of the program, Allen is hopeful to add onto his long run of coaching, this time with his five-year-old daughter.