Like many of us, Karl Krech came to the game of soccer when his son Keith wanted to play as a youth. When his son’s recreational soccer team needed a coach, the decision came naturally.
His contributions to Binghamton area soccer programs and New York State West span 25 years. From 1977 through 1981 Karl coached recreational soccer for teams in the Town of Union Recreation Department. Not satistified to stay at the recreational level, in 1981 he moved on and began coaching travel soccer teams with the Union Soccer Association. By 1982 he had become a board member of the club, and in 1984 he became the club president. While still coaching travel teams in winter and spring, Karl ran a summer recreational soccer program for high school age players. This program was for older youth who wanted to play in a less formal setting than a travel team. He took many select players from that program to tournaments throughout New York and Pennsylvania.
From 1985 through 1987, he was the President of the Broome County Soccer League. In late 1986, then NYSW Binghamton Commissioner, Chet Lescenski passed away unexpectedly. Karl stepped forward and joined the NYSW Board of Directors as the Binghamton Commissioner. He served in that role through 1993. Also during this timeframe, Karl ran a summer camp program called Kick and Catch, which specialized in goalkeeper training.
In 1998, Karl came back again to NYSW and served as the Binghamton district representative on the auditors committee. In 1999, Karl was elected as the first 2nd Vice President of NYSW. He also served as the adjudication chairman, filling both positions through 2002.
Former NYSW 2nd VP and President, Bob Sokolinsky, said this about Karl, “After I replaced him as 2nd VP, Karl worked hard to ensure a smooth transition. He was one of the most honest, hardworking professionals I have ever known and worked with. His concern for the welfare of New York State West and its membership, alone, made him a very important member of the board of directors.” According to long time NYSW Board Member, Roger Best, “Karl was a good and compassionate man who loved the game of soccer and served the youth of the State Association well in all of his many capacities.” Sandy Ostebo, another long time NYW Board member said, “As a Board member of NY West, Karl brought not only dedication and hard work to the organization, but he provided leadership and a keen insight into organizational matters. Even though Karl was a stickler for details, we will always remember him for his sense of humor and for his ability to keep things in proper perspective.”
Karl passed away on March 14, 2007. He is survived by his wife, Betty; son, Keith; daughter, Karen; and granddaughter, Deborah.
Karl’s commitment to excellence and his spirit of humanity carried over into all civic endeavors that he was involved in. His sincere dedication and substantial contribution to the welfare of the soccer community cannot be measured. With Karl Krech went a treasure.