A legendary high school soccer coach with local ties will become one of the three newest members of the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame this January.
George Herrick will receive the prestigious honor as a member of the Class of 2020 during the 80th Annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, Jan. 15-19, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Joining Herrick will be Schellas Hyndman and Dr. Jay Martin, two of the winningest men’s college coaches of all time.
Herrick was born in Dog Hollow, outside of Truxton, and was one of 31 members of the Truxton Academy Class of 1954, where he got his first sports experiences playing under legendary coach Andy Tei. He is also a 1963 SUNY Cortland graduate.
“It’s a very humbling honor for me,” Herrick said in a interview at the Cortland Standard. “I grew up in Town of Truxton and walked by John J. McGraw’s monument every day.”
“In fact, Andy Tei picked up a lot of John’s fighting spirit. Andy was a great teacher. He was a great coach for us. The thing I learned from him was I didn’t teach biology, I taught the students biology, that’s the differ- ence, and that’s how I tried (coaching) with soccer. Everything I could get from the coaching schools and the classes for my coaching license, I would bring back and display that to the kids and teach them.”
Soon after graduating from SUNY Cortland, Herrick was on the move to Vestal.
“When me and my wife, Linda, got married and moved to Vestal, there wasn’t a soccer ball in town,” Herrick said. “I was asked if I wanted to start a soccer program in Vestal. Soccer has been very good to me over the years.”
While football was king in Vestal with another Golden Bears’ coaching legend, Dick Hoover, at the time, Herrick build a soccer dynasty of his own.
As the head coach at Vestal High School, Herrick compiled a 469-88- 38 record, an .820 winning percentage, during his 29-year career that spanned from 1968-96. His teams won 14 Southern Tier Athletic Conference titles, including 10 undefeated conference seasons. They won 18 Section IV championships, one New York state championship and one co-championship. He coached eight high school All-Americans and six players that went on to earn All-America honors in college. He was a four-time New York State Coach of the Year and the 1990 National High School Coach of the Year.
Herrick served as the Empire State Games Men’s Soccer Committee Chair for 30 years and was an active New York State West Youth Soccer instructor and director of coaching. He served on the United Soccer Coaches High School All-America Committee for 11 years. He has been inducted into three Halls of Fame and the varsity field at Vestal High School bears his name, “George F. Herrick Field.”
“We are excited to recognize three coaching legends with one of the highest honors bestowed by the association,” said Jeff Farnsworth, United Soccer Coaches president. “Paying tribute to two of the winningest coaches in college soccer history, and past presidents of this association, as well as a high school icon from my home state of New York is so gratifying for me as president. Not only have they been extremely successful on the field, but they’ve contributed so much to the association.”
The United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame was established in 1991 to honor achievement in coaching, work on behalf of the association and lifetime contributions to the game of soccer. Each year, up to three induct- ees are elected into the association’s Hall of Fame based on selections made through balloting of the Hall of Fame Committee.