Memories of Mooch: Oct. 20
U.S. Soccer and the Myernick family would like to thank everyone for sharing their heartfelt thoughts and prayers. It is clear from the hundreds of moving stories and great memories received that the spirit of the man who touched so many lives continues to live on. Please continue to donate to the Mooch Myernick Memorial Fund, which was established to honor the life, career and years of distinguished service Glenn “Mooch” Myernick dedicated to the sport of soccer.
All of the messages below (and hundreds more) have been sent unsolicited to ussoccer.com to honor the memory of "Mooch" Myernick.
“He was an unbelievable husband and father, and the finest soccer person I've ever come across in the United States. He was an amazing resource for soccer in this country. He will be sorely missed."
- Former U.S. MNT Manager Bruce Arena
October 20, 2006
I am honored to call Mooch a dear friend. I have spent more time with Mooch than my own family the past four years, and he taught me so much. Life lessons always surround this great game of soccer we are all part of, and that is certainly where he helped me the most. He was so deeply caring and romantic with his wife Nancy that he often made me and the rest of the Men’s National Team staff at times look like bums to our wives! He loved his wife like no other, and his kids the same. He was so proud of Kelly’s career in ballet, and equally proud of how Travis had developed into such an impressive young man. Needless to say, he was a great father and husband.
He always believed it was important to exercise your mind and body everyday. He did that religiously all his life. His day would start with a crossword puzzle when he woke up at 5 a.m. every morning, followed by a physical workout that usually consisted of a long and fast run - despite the doctor’s orders that he should cross train more because of a troubled knee. Believe me they were fast. I had a hard time keeping up, and I am 14 years younger! He would sustain the same energy level until it was time to go to bed. Bruce and I used to shake our heads and ask ourselves how this guy could do it. He just lived life to the fullest. He accomplished in 51 short years what most people couldn't dream to do in a lifetime.
I sit here writing this still shaking my head trying to make sense of it all. It is just so tragic. He was a dear friend, a great coach, a mentor and most importantly, a wonderful man. I will miss him dearly. I pray that his spirit and the love that surrounds him and his family help them through this very difficult time. He has touched the lives of so many of us, and now it is our time to carry on his passion and vigor for the great game of soccer and life. His passing has re-emphasized to me how important it is to live life to the fullest and to do everything at 100 percent. He was a man that always went after his dreams and I believe that is what he would want us all to do!
God Bless Mooch, Nancy, Travis, Kelley and all the rest of his loving family.
Assistant Coach, U.S. Men’s National Team
I feel cheated that I will not see this wonderful man again. At Hartwick College, I was an assistant and head coach of the Basketball team while Mooch played and later coached there. He was just special in all ways. Students, fellow coaches, faculty, and local townspeople thought the world of Mooch. He was our guy, and as he moved on we stayed in touch when possible. Everyone was so proud when we saw Mooch coaching at the World Cup. To Nancy, Kelly, and Travis, just understand that we were sickened when we learned about Mooch. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We will see you in Newark.
To Mooch's Family and Friends,
Please accept my deepest sympathies to all that knew and loved Mooch.
I knew "Mooch" when he really was "Moochie"... he was the bat boy for my little league team in Lawrenceville, N.J. His dad was our coach and, what a role model of a little league coach he was. It seems that Mooch learned his skills from a real pro. Moochie's brother was my teammate in many high school sports and we shared lots of exciting sports moments. As Mooch developed, we watched in awe.
From a distance, I followed his career through high school, college and professionally and yet, ironically, it was only about a month ago, after 35 years, that I decided to reach out to him and congratulate him on his successes. He called back and we just didn't get to talk, yet we did connect. My plan was to introduce this incredibly successful and superb individual to my 15-year-old son this winter either in New York City for dinner or in Colorado on a ski slope and to just spend some precious time together.
I told my son about Mooch this week, read him some of the many tributes written about him, and ask that he play his heart out the rest of this high school soccer season...for Mooch. Evan called me after the game yesterday...he played with inspiration!
Mark A. Feinberg
I had the distinct honor of playing with Mooch at Hartwick College from '74 until '76. He was the personification of the term ‘leader,’ whether on the field or off.
He had a presence that earned instant respect. His talent within the white lines was incredible. He had amazing speed, defended like a pit bull, attacked with flair and had great vision. I am glad that I played with him and not against him.
Off the field and in the locker room, he was a very humble individual. He never forgot his roots and was always respectful of others, regardless of their background.
There are a few individuals in life that have an impact on generations. Mooch was one of these folks who transcended the generation gap.
He will be missed.
Duncan M. Macdonald
Director of Alumni Relations
It was my pleasure to hear Glenn Myernick speak at the 2005 USSF National Referee Certification/Re-Certification Clinic. Glenn had been asked to speak to the national referees because of a last-minute cancellation. I don’t remember the name of the scheduled speaker, but I can’t imagine him having a more insightful or inspirational message than what Glenn presented to us. In his brief talk, Glenn impressed me as someone who loved the game of soccer and genuinely wanted to see referees collaborate with coaches and players to improve and promote ‘the beautiful game’ in the USA.
I was saddened to hear of Glenn’s death. All the best to his family.
USSF National Referee
I recalled Mooch having come to Albuquerque in the early 90’s when our associations hosted a ‘C’ License clinic. My wife took her first leap into big-time coach training and signed up, having completed her ‘D’ license the previous year. She was also coming off ACL surgery and very nervous about lining up with people with vastly more experience. Mooch was one of three clinicians who came in for the class. Being compressed as the local ‘C’ clinics often are, it turned into four 18-hour days for her and she came home in tears every night, stressed out that she wouldn't pass. There was light at the end of the tunnel, however, as she did pass the clinic and was justifiably proud of her accomplishment.
Fast forward to Columbus in September 2005 when we finished polishing off Mexico, 2-0, and Dan Flynn asked me if I wanted to go down to the dressing room to celebrate. Who should I run into there but Mooch, who, as his friends previous to me have noted, was more full of life and joy than one would think you could pack into one body. Dan introduced me and I told Mooch that I recalled him having come in for the clinic that my wife had participated in and he said, "Yeah, I remember that one. It was a lot of fun." I advised then that perhaps not everyone had all that much fun, pointing out that my wife had come home every night crying. Mooch burst out laughing and told me to tell her that he had a lot more sympathy for her now, that Bruce makes the staff cry when they go home too.
What an incredibly delightful guy. Everyone on this board has dedicated their life to the sport and knowing Mooch had to be God's reward to each of us for helping out. Remember how quick our gifts go away and call someone in soccer today that you haven't talked to in a while.
Vice President, U.S. Soccer Federation
Today, at least six years removed from my last soccer job, I lost my breath for a moment reading the obituaries when I came across his name. You see, I worked at U.S. Soccer in the early nineties just before and after the World Cup and later in the front office of the Chicago Fire. I had so many opportunities to interact with Mooch and am so saddened by the huge loss "we've" suffered with his passing. I was never a big important U.S. Soccer or MLS executive, but Mooch remembered me just the same—by name—every time he saw me. He was truly a quality individual and an outstanding soccer ambassador. I am forever grateful to have been blessed by his acquaintance. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
M. Denise (Wilmer) Barreto
Thanks for making it easier for us to be who we are today and to become what we want to be tomorrow. You helped to pave the path for current U.S. soccer players and we can't thank you enough for that.
Goalkeeper, U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team
You were a true gentleman. I feel fortunate to have been one of the many who has been influenced by you in such a positive and meaningful way. Your passion, kind spirit, and generous smile will be what I remember.
Head Coach, U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team
Glenn and Nancy were my babysitters in Dallas. Glenn and my father, George Ley, were soccer teammates for the Dallas Tornados. I enjoyed the fun memories with them when they babysat. They are a very nice and laid back couple. I will never forget the memories. My prayers go out to you, Nancy, and your children.
In 1997, I was a 21-year-old kid right out of college working at the MLS office in N.Y., excited at the opportunity to work in pro sports, but slightly intimidated by the players and coaches I knew I'd work closely with. The first time I met Mooch was at the 1998 MLS Draft. I was putting player notes down on each "team" table and Mooch walked in the room early. He looked at me and said, "You definitely don't play soccer." I was taken off guard and wasn't sure if that was an insult. The only thing that came out of my mouth was, "No, even better, I played lacrosse." Mooch laughed and said "Good, we need a girl around the league office who can hit some of the players with a stick when they get out of line!" We then started talking about our mutual home state of N.J., life, his family, our love for running and, from then on, I had a friend in Mooch. He was no longer just a "coach," but someone who I looked forward to talking and laughing with at MLS and U.S. Soccer events, games, and on road trips.
Mooch was a man who made you smile the moment you saw him. And today, while I may not see him on the field, in a hotel lobby or at a dinner, the thought of Mooch still makes me smile.
Director of Marketing, WMG
My own personal, and now very treasured, Glenn Myernick experience occurred September 3, 2005, in a hotel bar in Columbus, Ohio. Earlier that evening the U.S. had defeated Mexico, 2-0, and thus clinched a spot in the 2006 World Cup. It was late and it had been a long day of both pre-game and post-game revelries, which no doubt fuelled both our excitement and enthusiasm to accost Mooch when we spotted him walking inconspicuously through the bar. We quickly impeded his movement and showered congratulations upon him, all the while heaping praise on the U.S. coaching staff for a brilliant game plan against the dreaded Mexicans. I impulsively felt the need to underscore my passionate life-long support of the Portland Timbers, for whom he wore the No. 2 jersey from 1980-82, by name-dropping the Timbers rosters of that era. My traveling companion also needed to boast that he had played for Mooch's college rival Oneonta State and actually played against him in days gone by. We all needed to somehow validate our own Mooch connections.
Mooch stayed for a couple of minutes and indulged us, despite the fact that we surely looked, sounded and probably even smelled like, well, soccer supporters who had perhaps, shall we say, overindulged in our supporting efforts on that wonderfully warm autumn day.
As Mooch tactfully sought to extricate himself from his captors he looked us in eye, shook our hands and thanked us for our support. He wished us well and each of us really seemed to know he meant it. That two minute encounter seems to epitomize the many tributes to Glenn Myernick. His sincerity, his humility and his accessibility seem to come out over and over again. I hope his family will take solace in the simple fact that Glenn Myernick made others better, happier people.
In all future U.S. matches, whenever the red white and blue get a lucky bounce, a providential spin of the ball, or any other inexplicable turn of good fortune I will hold on to the notion, however silly or imagined, that Mooch somehow had his crafty hand in such an event.