Raymond D. “Doug” Everhart, who coached Maumee youth soccer for more than 25 years, died Oct. 31 in his Maumee home. He was 52.
He had been dealing with an illness, but his death was unexpected, his cousin, Scott Cultice, said.
Mr. Everhart began coaching youth soccer in 1991, training more than 100 teams and reaching more than 1,500 wins at the club level. He coached both boys and girls soccer during his 19 years with Maumee High School, and achieved more than 200 wins there, Mr. Cultice said.
Friends and former athletes remember him as a unique, goofy man who wasn’t afraid to be himself. He knew when to be animated and when to be calm. He treated his athletes like family, often bringing gifts to practice during the holidays.
“He was kind of married to Maumee soccer, and we were all his kids,” said Justin Creps, 28, who played under Mr. Everhart through Maumee Express Soccer Club from age 11 to 18. “He really poured his life into Maumee soccer for over 20 years. It was his first priority, and you could tell. He cared about the kids, he cared about his teams, and that’s why I think the community is feeling this loss so much.”
Mr. Everhart was president of Maumee Express Soccer Club and a past board member of the Northwest Ohio Youth Soccer League and Ohio North Youth Soccer Association. He was inducted into the Ohio North Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006 and the U.S. Youth Soccer Hall of Fame in 2008.
“He was the godfather of soccer in Maumee. Kids loved him. He cared about his players,” Mr. Cultice said. “Coaches are sometimes temporary, but Doug made it permanent.”
Chris West, who coaches boys junior varsity soccer at Maumee High School, said Mr. Everhart was a “larger-than-life personality.” His biggest coaching focus was on making sure the defense wasn’t making mistakes, and he worked with youth from age 5 to 18.
“He was often quiet, but when you made a mistake he was not afraid to let you know about it,” Mr. West said. “He was really one of the best. He saw potential in people and worked to develop that.”
Mr. Everhart inspired many around him to become coaches themselves. Mr. Cultice coaches soccer in Springfield, Ohio, and Mr. Creps coaches cross-country and track in Hilliard, Ohio. He attributes his teams’ successes to a coaching tactic he learned from his former youth soccer coach.
“The biggest thing is to care about your kids. If you care, then they’ll care,” Mr. Creps said. “Even if you’re an 11-year-old kid playing a Saturday game in Troy, Ohio, to Doug it was the World Cup, and so to you it was the World Cup. He got his kids to care because he cared.”
Mr. Everhart was born April 27, 1965, in Springfield to Betty and Raymond Everhart. In 1983 he graduated from Shawnee High School, where he played soccer and was fondly called “Huey.” He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from Adrian College in Michigan and worked as an accountant for STM Sensors, Inc., and SIE Sensors, Inc., when he wasn’t coaching soccer.
He is survived by his parents, Berry and Raymond Everhart, and sister Belinda Whitaker. A gathering of family and friends will be held from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Littleton and Rue Funeral Home in Springfield. A funeral service is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
An additional memorial service will be held at noon Dec. 2 at the Northwest Ohio Youth Soccer League Soccer Center in Maumee. The family suggests tributes to the Northwest Ohio Youth Soccer League.
Jay Skebba contributed to this report.
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