[HONOR AWARD] Jim Sheldon, the former NSCAA executive director and its first full-time employee, is the 2013 recipient of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Honor Award.
“It is the greatest honor in my professional career,” he said in a statement. “When I look at the list of previous winners, I can't help but be humbled. I'm not sure I match up to those individuals.”
Sheldon, who was named executive director in June 1992 and retired in May 2009, guided the NSCAA as it grew from approximately 8,000 members to 29,000 members. He was also instrumental in expanding the NSCAA's coaching education program and its awards and recognition programs. In 1995, the NSCAA absorbed the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America, which established the NSCAA as the source for college rankings and other collegiate awards.
Under Sheldon, the NSCAA annual budget went from $800,000 to nearly $5 million, and it moved to its headquarters to Kansas City, where he led the drive for the NSCAA to purchase its own building in 2007.
“I can't say I had a concrete vision [for the NSCAA] when I was hired," he said. "However, having been involved in soccer in one way or another since the late 1960s, I always believed in the sport. I saw potential for growth in the NSCAA. The NSCAA executive committee and board of directors realized that as well and devised strategic plans to take advantage of those opportunities. Building the NSCAA into the largest coaches’ association in the world was very gratifying.”
Prior to joining the NSCAA, Sheldon served as vice president for the 1990 Seattle Goodwill Games Organizing Committee, and he also spent six and a half years at the NCAA in the publications and championships departments.
The Honor Award is the final presentation given at the annual Awards Banquet at the NSCAA Convention. The event will be Jan. 17, 2014, in Philadelphia.