Mark was elected President in August, 2006. His first and perhaps most important contribution was reviving broad-based participation in AMSA’s governance. For several years preceding his election, AMSA’s Board of Captains and Executive Committee met infrequently, and only a few people participated in our leadership. Mark immediately resumed monthly meetings of the Executive Committee and semi-annual meetings of the Board of Captains.
During his four-year tenure as President, with the help of a new generation of leaders from AMSA’s ranks, Mark initiated and guided countless improvements in AMSA’s administration. During his first year in office, these included—
- A website for AMSA, which greatly improved communication with AMSA’s teams and players.
- Online registration for teams and players.
- Arbiter software for referee-scheduling.
Also in his first year, Mark led the decision to affiliate AMSA with the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), which gave AMSA more flexibility in registration and saved money.
Mark became President three days after the opening of the Onion Creek Soccer Complex (OCSC). He recognized the need to develop policies to make the best use of the fields, including—
- Preservation of the fields through a comprehensive Field Use Policy and Rain-Out Guidelines.
- Increase AMSA revenue by renting fields to other organizations on a limited basis, and creating a standardized field rental agreement.
In his second term beginning in 2008, Mark focused on the following—
- Development of soccer clubs within AMSA, including loosening of the rules regarding “multiple players”—players participating in more than one team.
- Cup tournaments, including revival of AMSA’s long-neglected inter-city Austin Invitational Cup, and development of AMSA’s two “FA Cup” tournaments for its own teams, originally known as the AMSA Cup and President’s Cup.
- Referee development, including an onsite Referee Coordinator for all league matches, and efforts to recruit and train more qualified referees.
- Improvement of registration and scheduling procedures, including a written policy setting out specific timetables and fees.
- Improvement of our Disciplinary and Grievance procedures, including a complete re-write of our Rules on the subject.
In addition to specific policy initiatives, Mark spent untold hours on the phone dealing with complaints and problems raised by various Captains, Commissioners and Players. His patience, even with the smallest of problems, is legendary. But Mark realized that AMSA had grown so large that it needed a full-time Administrator and Office. In 2009, Mark helped lay the groundwork for our Office and Administrator, which opened in March, 2010, shortly before Mark’s term ended.
Mark continued to serve on the EC after his term expired. At the time of his death, he was Chair of a special subcommittee on improving AMSA’s refereeing.
In addition to his league leadership, Mark was Captain of Wanderers O40 from 1998 until shortly before his death. He helped significantly in the development of AMSA’s O30 and O40 Divisions.
In his private life, Mark was a dedicated Husband, Father and Grandfather. He and his Wife, Konnie, were together for forty-five years. His nine grandchildren adored him—no doubt partly because he coached them all in youth soccer! In his work-life, he had a successful career with the State of Texas and earlier at the University of Texas. After his retirement, he designed websites for various non-profit organizations which he supported.
At the end of his term as President in May, 2010, Mark sent a farewell e-mail to all AMSA players. In it, he mentioned that one of two major goals had been to “identify our future leaders from among our younger captains and players.” He accomplished this, and our current and future leaders will be his legacy.