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Coach of the Year – Ricky Rawls

United MVPs

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Congratulations Coach

AYSO United AZ Selects Ricky Rawls as the 2020/2021 Coach of the Year!!!!

On behalf of the AYSO United Arizona organization, we would like to Announce Ricky Rawls of the AYSO United AZEV 2005, AZEV 2006 and AZEV 2011 boy’s teams as our 2020-2021 Arizona Coach of the Year.

We asked everyone to identify the coach who best embodied the core values of AYSO and AYSO United. Our criteria was not based on winning records, or the highest ranking, but rather on coaches who have had the most positive impact on the children we serve.

After receiving several outstanding nominations, we looked into the history of each nominee and noted their contributions to not only AYSO United, but to the core program as well. Although all the nominees are worthy of the title, we believe one coach stood out just a little bit more and therefore worthy of being named AYSO United Arizona’s “Coach of the Year”.

Coach Ricky Rawls started his coaching career as an assistant with AYSO Region 688 in 1999. In 2009, he took on his first head coaching position with the AYSO core program and has been involved ever since.

Coach Rawls and his wife Tina, still serve on the AYSO 688 board and have done so for the past four years. As a member of the 688 board, Coach Rawls serves as the Coach Admin and Safety Director and is a certified AYSO Intermediate Coach Instructor. In addition to being the AYSO United head coach for a 2005 and 2006 team with AYSO United, Coach Rawls also is an assistant coach for one of our 2011 boy’s teams. His wife Tina serves as the team manager for all three teams and coaches their youngest son, who is still in the core program.

Both Coach Rawls and Tina have volunteered to serve on the AYSO United AZ Advisory Board and were instrumental in supporting our AYSO United AZ Cup Friendly Showcase tournament by serving as the volunteer coordinators. We know if Coach Rawls says he will be there, you can fully expect he, and his family, will show up ready to help wherever they can.

In addition to his tremendous commitment to both the core program and AYSO United, Coach Rawls has a deep commitment to the players on his team. This is evident by this parent who wrote:

“Logen tore his ACL and meniscus the first tournament of the year last year. The physical and emotional recovery was very difficult. Ricky came to visit him the night of his surgery. Despite his position at “starting left bench” he never felt left out. Ricky went out of his way to include him. When his team paused for the high school season, Ricky asked if he would help coach the 06 team. This continued to give him something to look forward to during his rehab. There were many hurdles during his rehab and the emotional toll was huge. When the physical therapist suggested we get him in with a sports psychologist, Logen said he didn’t want to talk to a stranger…he just wanted to talk to Coach Ricky. Ricky was his “person” through a very dark time and we as parents are so grateful. Logen returned this year and scored the first goal of the season for his team.

Logen said it was a very special moment “for him to score that first goal and the loudest voice he heard cheering for him was Coach Ricky.”

When Coach Rawls talks about that moment, he cannot help but get choked up and said he became so emotional, he had to walk away for a moment to compose himself.

In addition to supporting his players emotional needs, Coach Rawls will shop at discount stores to buy boots for his players who need them. This year, Coach Rawls and his wife purchased a 15-seat passenger van he can use to help transport his family and equipment, which is of course, AYSO United red.

When asked what motivates him to spend so much of his time and energy to coaching, Coach Rawls stated, “I know there are a lot of great fathers out there, but there are just not enough of them. If I can help fill that role for some of these kids, then I have done my job as a person.”

On behalf of AYSO United AZ, we want to say congratulations to Coach Rawls, his family and his players. Thanks for being the best part of AYSO United AZ

As a result of his recognition as the Arizona Coach of the Year, Coach Rawls’ name has been submitted as a candidate for the AYSO United National Coach of the Year.