After spending nearly four decades as a coach for both local and national soccer teams at high schools, colleges and communities, Bob Barry shows no signs of slowing down.
Barry, 68, appeared on MidWeek‘s cover in September 1988 as the head boys soccer coach for Iolani School - a position he held from 1970 to 1996. Now the Kaneohe resident can add award-winner to his list of accomplishments since he won the Robert W. Robinson Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
“I’ll receive it at the national coaches’ convention in January,” he says. The award was created to recognize individuals who bring interscholastic soccer to a new level through long-term dedication to the game. “I had to spend 15 years minimum coaching, and I had to spend 15 years minimum in the National Soccer Coaches Association.” he says. “And then I think, at that point, I guess, in their eyes, I qualify.”
A modest understatement from Coach Barry, who specializes in goalkeeping and is considering taking on a new job. “A college on the Mainland is going to interview me today over the phone for a position, which I can’t name because I really don’t know yet what the story is,” Barry says, adding he’s not sure about taking the position if it’s offered because he doesn’t want to leave the Islands. “It would have to be on a part-time basis, where I could go out there during the (soccer) season and then come back.”
Barry also was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004 and was on the board of directors for the NSCAA from 1998 to 2001.
On a local level, Barry has seen it all. After leaving Iolani, Barry assisted at the University of Richmond in Virginia, headed the program at BYU-Hawaii, directed Mililani and Windward soccer clubs, and even helped out at UH Manoa.
Barry also has written a book about goalkeeper training he was hoping to release for the holidays, but says he’s at the mercy of the printers. “It’s in their hands now,” he says, laughing. “They said four to six weeks, and that was a month ago.”
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