Leaving a Legacy of Championing Kids, Moore Resigns
After nearly five years atop US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sports organization in America, CEO Chris Moore has announced his resignation. Leaving the organization in a better state than when he started, Moore assumes the role of CEO of Positive Coaching Alliance in October 2019.
The role of a CEO is to have a vision — and to create an overall strategy to bring that vision to life. As the CEO of US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sports organization in America, Chris Moore charted a course for the organization’s growth and accepted the intrinsic responsibility of nurturing the well being of today’s youth players.
Moore looked beyond the borders of youth soccer and saw the US Youth Soccer Association as a vibrant and important member of the American youth sports world, forging alliances with organizations from SafeSport, to The Aspen Institute, and Positive Coaching Alliance.
“US Youth Soccer is formidable and relevant. We have reinvented ourselves and I am extremely proud of the progress that has been made.”Chris Moore, CEO – US Youth Soccer.
“Sports is vital to the growth and development of our youth,” said Moore in a one-on-one interview after the announcement of his resignation. “Kids learn so many lessons from the sport of soccer. It is our responsibility to use the game of soccer to inspire, uplift and teach children life lessons and educate parents on the transformative qualities that youth sports provide.”
“Chris Moore has helped us change the culture of US Youth Soccer to one of development and inclusion for all kids.”Dr. Pete Zopfi, Chair of the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors
“We have a duty to use our sport for the greater good of the game beyond the X’s and O’s — there are so many facets that extend past just who won the game,” said Moore. “If you think the role of USYS is simply to administer programs like ODP and State Cup, then you are missing the bigger picture. As a national organization, it is really important for us to remember it should be about the kids.”
“Chris Moore has done a remarkably good job. He took over at a volatile time and has made the organization a whole lot better for the next CEO coming in.”Tim Turney,
Vice Chairfor US Youth Soccer, and a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Board of Directors
“I am very grateful to our board, and the 55 member State associations, and the USYS staff — and all who play the game — for the privilege of serving them for almost five years. I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve,” said Moore.
“Not confined by the boundaries of youth soccer, Moore saw USYS as a leader in youth sports and felt a responsibility to improve the experience for every child in the game.”Matt Madeira, Executive Director – Minnesota Youth Soccer
When Moore took over as CEO of USYS, the association was plagued with friction and a fractured membership. From a siloed framework with a regional network to a national league structure with 13 vertically-integrated conferences, USYS looks very different today than it did five years ago.
In addition, Moore secured blue-chip sponsors for US Youth Soccer, strengthening the association’s road map for success. He established key partnerships with Target, Dick’s SportingGoods, Chipotle and most recently TiPEVO.
“Chris Moore helped lead US Youth Soccer through significant challenges and over notable hurdles during his tenure.”Evan Dabby, Executive Director – New Jersey Youth Soccer
“The results of Moore’s efforts have better positioned our national and state associations for success,” said Evan Dabby, Executive Director – New Jersey Youth Soccer.
What was Moore’s greatest challenge? Today’s youth soccer culture values soccer-specific experiences and Moore did not grow up playing the beautiful game nor was he a former soccer coach. While
Moore’s accomplishments as CEO include leading the landmark USYS bylaw changes in 2017 creating a more cost-effective, optimized and streamlined organizational structure.
“Moore has helped US Youth Soccer navigate through major transitions. It was a huge accomplishment changing the ByLaws.”Dr. Pete Zopfi, Chair of the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors
“Changing our bylaws and the governance structure were the seminal moments for this organization because it set in motion a cascading effect to hire a professional staff and establishing a level of excellence. We are one organization and not 55 separate state associations. To be effective, we have to operate at scale — and, we are now united,” said Moore.
“US Youth Soccer is really in a better position than before Chris Moore took over as CEO.”Brian Smith, President – Utah Youth Soccer
Moore also led the passage of the most comprehensive risk management policy in USYS’s history, including mandating requirements for sexual abuse awareness/prevention training as well as background screening — all aimed at keeping players safe.
In addition, Moore took charge of a top to bottom rebranding initiative, creating a new visual identity for USYS which launched last April. According to Zopfi, “The rebranding has been very successful.”
“I am also really proud that the relationship between US Youth Soccer and
“Chris Moore accomplished a lot, it was an overwhelming task that he took head-on — and he brought people together.”Rick Kelsey, CEO – Arizona Soccer Association
As a non-profit and educational organization, money is always a critical concern. In partnership with the Board of Directors, Moore was also able to increase the registration fee for the first time in nearly two decades. The small, per-player increase, from $1.00 to $2.25 provides financial stability for USYS.
“Chris Moore helped bring US Youth Soccer into the 21st Century soccer.”Sam Snow, CEO of American Made Soccer & Former Technical Director of US Youth Soccer
“Stepping down from my position as CEO and leaving behind a wonderful team is not an easy decision, however, one of the key attributes of a good leader is to pass on the reigns at the right time. After much reflection and prayer and discussion with my family, I humbly believe this is the right time,” said Moore. “We have a strong leadership team in place and they are committed to delivering results to the board and the membership of USYS.”
Just recently, US Youth Soccer announced the appointment of Andrew (“Drew”) Hiatt to the position of Chief Member Services Officer (CMSO). Prior to joining the national headquarters, Hiatt worked with Brian Smith at Utah Youth Soccer for 12 years.
Youth soccer is a complex and often politically charged landscape. What would Moore tell his successor? “To listen to our members, learn quickly, and gain a complete understanding of the needs and wants of the states associations as well as clubs, leagues, players and parents. Sometimes there is a dichotomy between the needs and wants of our customer — the USYS State Association — and the consumers who are the players and the teams. There can be a disconnect.”
There is real positive momentum now at US Youth Soccer.
Moore says that he is honored to have been able to contribute to the current success that has been achieved at USYS but also acknowledges the collective impact made by many others, including the Board of Directors, staff and those who preceded him.
Moore concedes that while he is stepping down from the helm of the largest youth sport in the country, he intends to be quite active, in his new role as CEO of the Positive Coaching Alliance, in stimulating the national dialogue around changing the culture of youth sports. He looks forward to watching USYS’s continued success.
Effective October 4, 2019, Moore will step down and assume the leadership role at Positive Coaching Alliance. A search for his replacement will begin, effective immediately.