Savitz Is National Coach of The Year.

savitzI need to take a moment to give props where props are due. In case you hadn’t heard, Coach Phil Savitz has been named Coach of The Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. This is a pretty big dang deal, IMO.

This may come as a surprise to some of you, and by, “some of you,” I mean all of you. That said, I played for Coach Savitz.

I can see my Anderson, SC and Irmo friend’s eyes squinting for a moment….

I played for Coach Savitz for exactly one game and a practice. You may be asking, “What is Franklin talking about?” Here’s the rub;  Coach Savitz happened to be the North’s coach of South Carolina “North-South All Star Game” my senior year. (It is to be noted that the other coach selected was our own T.L. Hanna’s Dick Smith, which was pretty cool for me as well).

That was a fun time. During the game I can remember an offensive player popping a ball over our goalkeeper at the top of the penalty area. It was bouncing towards the goal about chin high. I ran after that mo like it was a comet heading towards earth, finally catching it and awkwardly kicking it backwards at what had to be an 89 degree angle (90 degree may have hit the bottom crossbar). My stopper was a big guy (I think it was Sean Murphy from Mauldin) and whoever else was behind him plowed into me dogpile style in the back of the net. After we all untangled (both of my arms and face were in the back of the net) we set up for what ended up being a corner kick and got the ball out of there. I can still remember the South crowd going nuts about a sure goal, then, “OOOOHH!!!!!!!!!!!,” then our crowd going bonkers. We won the game 3-0, which was cool because that play in the first half narrowly saved the always coveted shut-out.

I didn’t type that story because it made me feel good. I typed the paragraph because young athletes have memories just like mine, and we wouldn’t have them without the coaches who put in the time and effort to do what they do for us. Think of this stat that I completely copy and pasted from; “Currently, Savitz has 700 career wins in 36 years. He’s also won 15 state championships in 24 appearances. Prior to taking over at River Bluff, Savitz coached at Irmo for 33 years.”

Think of it. If I only played one game for the man and can pull out a cool memory that happened 25 years ago, think of how many memories there are in the statistics above. 700 wins? 36 years? 24 State Championship appearances and 15 medals? Really……..REALLY???

Congratulations to Coach Phil Savitz. You wouldn’t know me at all, and shouldn’t. It’s 4:30AM but I felt compelled to give credit where credit is due. Well done, sir. Congratulations, and thank you.

Franklin Jones

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