Dan Woog in the media, on the road, at the soccer field and across the internet:
(January 2016) I just returned from Baltimore, and the National Soccer Coaches of Association of America annual convention. I’m chair of the 34,000-member organization’s LGBT and Allies membership group. (No, there are not that many in our group.) We sponsored a diversity workshop with a kick-ass panel — including openly gay LA Galaxy player Robbie Rogers, and legendary UNC coach Anson Dorrance.
We also had a roundtable discussion with gay and straight coaches, and a social reception. The NSCAA is all-in about supporting LGBT coaches and players — and I am proud to help lead the effort.
Not long ago I spoke to the Y’s Men, about my coaching career and philosophy. Two weeks earlier, their speaker was Jeff Immelt — GE’s CEO. Either I’m in good company, or the Y’s Men’s standards went way down after he spoke!
Here’s a great story about that talk (mine, not his).
Then it was off to a meeting in New York with the LGBT Sports Coalition. That’s a Nike-sponsored group that works at all levels — from youth and recreation to high school, college and pros — and is doing some groundbreaking work. Nike — like the NSCAA — is totally behind the movement, and truly “gets” the importance of this work.
Meanwhile, I continue blogging like a mo-fo. “06880” is “Where Westport Meets the World.” I write about unsung heroes, zoning battles, entitled jackasses, amazing off-the-beaten-path stories and more. I look back at Westporters like Paul Newman, Bette Davis and Rod Serling. It’s a potpourri of stuff — 1 to 5 times a day — and you don’t have to know a thing about my hometown to enjoy it.
Want to know about the Staples High School soccer team that I coach? Details are at StaplesSoccer.com.
Oh, yeah: I was honored by the Sunrise Rotary Club of Westport as a Paul Harris Fellow. Named for the founder of Rotary International, it’s given to “unsung heroes” for their community work. I was cited for my blogging, newspaper writing, soccer coaching, LGBT advocacy, diversity work and other civic involvement. It was a wonderful breakfast, and I was honored to be honored! (Click here for a brief video clip.)
Meanwhile, here’s a nice story from Dave Ruden’s “Ruden Report” blog, on my coaching, LGBT activism, and many other “jobs.”
HUGE NEWS! I recently published We Kick Balls: True Stories From the Youth Soccer Wars. It’s a 30-year romp through my experiences coaching youth soccer.
In over 30 years as a youth and high school soccer coach, I’ve seen it all.
Crazy-ass kids. Batshit parents. Amazing games. Funny, weird, fantastic, awful situations. And that’s just one day.
Soccer has been very, very good to me. I’ve taken teams around the world. I’ve been to Pele’s house, coached in front of 77,000 people at the Meadowlands, helped raise $25,000 at a carwash, and acted in a soccer movie.
I’ve made incredible friendships, forged lifelong bonds, and had them tested by too many deaths.
I’ve learned what makes teenagers tick. I’ve learned a lot life – and about myself — along the way.
Now it’s time to tell those tales.
We Kick Balls: True Stories from the Youth Soccer Wars has been called “funny, warm, courageous and edifying.” It ricochets from the World Cup to Dachau, from race and religion to 9/11. Because teenagers are involved, there’s sex, alcohol and rock ‘n’ roll. Somehow, soccer connects them all.
I’ve always said, “There’s more to life than soccer. And there’s more to soccer than soccer.” We Kick Balls is a book about kids, life, and everything that happens to all of us, on and off the field.
Click here to buy this great book direct from my publisher. Click here to order from Amazon. Click here to order Amazon Kindle. Click here to order downloadable e-book files for Nook, Apple iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, Stanza, Aldiko and Adobe Editions.
Recent speaking gigs on LGBT sports were at Texas A&M University (great place, and boy did they treat me nice — gig ’em!) and for Virginia’s association of private schools, in Richmond.
I also gave talks on diversity in the workplace at Cardinal Health in Dublin, Ohio, and CareFusion in San Diego. There were great crowds — lively, engaged and empowering. Thanks to all who made it possible!
Staples High School — the program of which I am head coach — is in action in the fall. Check out StaplesSoccer.com
I was named Soccer Boys Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association. I was interviewed by NPR, and quoted in the New York Times, about the big high school vs. Academy soccer controversy.
The Norwalk Hour named me their 1st Coach of the Year — in all sports. Click here for a very nice story.
In other news: The Stonewall National Museum & Archives exhibit “Winners: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Athletics in America” — which I helped research and write — was featured at the Out and Equal Conference in Baltimore.
Also pretty cool news: Outsports.com named my book Jocks “one of the 100 biggest moments in gay sports history.” Go figure.
I participated on a great panel at Philadelphia’s huge Equality Forum. The topic was GLBT sports; I appeared with Brian Sims — the first openly gay college football captain in NCAA history; UMass professor of social justice and former coach Pat Griffin, who is a pioneer in writing about and discussing lesbians in sports; the leader of the University of Pennsylvania’s gay athletes group, and the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s wonderful columnist Gail Shister. We had a blast — interesting insights, and plenty of laughs!
Also check out the New York Times Magazine (click here). I’m quoted (page 6) in a story on gay youth. THANKS to the writer — my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis.
In addition, I was named a “Local Icon” by the Triangle Community Center. The honor is for my youth work, my writing, and my involvement with the GLBT community. I’ve never been an icon before — desktop or otherwise — and I am truly humbled!
Click here for a video of my tour of Staples High School. I gave it to the Class of 1962 50th reunion — but anyone can enjoy it too.
On the writing front, I am a national columnist for Q Syndicate. I cover the world of gay sports — pro, amateur, male, female, from football and rugby to ice skating and badminton (well, maybe not badminton), twice a month. Look for “The OutField” (get it?!) in GLBT newspapers around the country.
My book — Staples High School: 120 Years of A+ Education — is 400 pages long, with 170 photos, and is filled with everything you ever wanted to know — or didn’t even know you needed to — about one of the most intriguing public high schools in the country.
From its earliest days (first graduating class: 6 girls), to its pioneering sex education course,to concerts featuring the Doors, Yardbirds and Cream, to its innovative collaborative administration/staff/student government, Staples has been a national leader — and a controversial place. The book is filled with the voices of legendary men and women who, for nearly a century and a quarter, have made this high school unique. For more information and to order, click here.
I also wrote for Monster.com — the humongous job-seekers’ website. I filled their diversity pages, covering job-related issues of interest to gays and lesbians, Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, older workers, veterans and women. I became an expert on American Indian tribal colleges, Filipino healthcare issues — you name it.
Jocks 2: Coming Out to Play was a sequel to my (ahem) best-seller Jocks: True Stories of Gay America’s Straight Allies. This one digs a bit deeper though, exploring what it means to be a gay male athlete in America today. Even the cover looks hot.
Thanks for reading this far. Please wander around my web site, and feel free to contact me at any time! firstname.lastname@example.org