`The Game' is a kick for Carlan


Howard At Play

April 09, 2000|By Lowell E. Sunderland

Name: Jim Carlan

Job description: Entering fifth year as president, Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County, the county's largest single youth sports group. Organization has about 5,800 players, ranging from 4- and 5-year-olds in clinics through high school students seeking state, regional and national championships (club teams have won five, most recently back-to-back in 1996-97); about 3,500 boys, 2,300 girls. Annual budget: $500,000-plus. Staffing tops 800 adults, most of whom volunteer; about 450 are head coaches.

Age: 60

Residence: Hammond area, south of Columbia

Personal: Massachusetts native who was transferred here in 1969. Boston University alumnus. Retired three years ago after 32 years with the U.S. General Accounting Office. Second-longest in tenure in SAC/HC, having started as a coach in 1973, the club's second year. Has administered, coached at all levels in the group, including travel teams; now coaches a grandson's Under-7 team "and is lovin' life." Son, four daughters, 12 grandchildren.

Best thing about the job: "Watching the organization grow and prosper to the point where, here, it is The Game. The caliber of play is so much better now than it was, even 10 years ago. But the best thing is seeing kids we as an organization had as players in the '70s coming back to coach their own children."

SAC/HC's greatest need: "Fields -- higher quality fields, both for practice and games. The kids need places to play that are suitable to their skills so they can continue to raise the level of play. It's critical, absolutely critical, that we put together more fields that are dedicated to our sport. We hope, think, we are nearing a solution, by the way."

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