Joe Hampson joins Greater Seattle Surf Soccer Club as the new Executive Director
Non-profit and business expertise are always needed in the world of youth soccer as clubs look to create compelling and successful player development environments. Here is one of the latest movements in Washington youth soccer.
Joe Hampson has now joined Greater Seattle Surf (GSS), a nonprofit premier youth soccer club based in Bothell, WA, an affiliate of Surf SC headquartered in San Diego, CA.
As Executive Director, Hampson’s goal will be to help the club’s youth soccer players reach their fullest potential, on and off the soccer field. Beyond and within the borders of the state of Washington, Greater Seattle Surf teams compete against the top teams from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and British Columbia in U.S. Youth Soccer’s Far West Regional League and in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
“We are very pleased to announce this appointment. Joe will bring passion, experience, and integrity to the work of advancing equitable opportunities for the players and staff,” said Rick Cantu, chairman of the search committee and CEO of Redmond-based tech giant Redapt.
“I look forward to making an immediate impact and moving the club to a leadership position within the industry,” Hampson said.
Hampson comes from Special Olympics Washington, where he was vice president of sports and community outreach. A native of Edmonds, WA, Hampson played soccer at Pacific Lutheran University, receiving an All-American Honorable Mention, and was drafted by the Vancouver 86ers in 1996. He also coached soccer at Edmonds Community College, Shorewood High School, and for various local semi-pro and amateur clubs.
For the last 20 years, Hampson has been a leader in the world of non-profit sports programming. Special Olympics Washington Board member and U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team alumni Kasey Keller was instrumental in recruiting Hampson for the executive director position.
“The club is in great hands with Joe Hampson,” says Keller.
Beginning April 16, 2018, Hampson will lead the Greater Seattle Surf staff and be responsible for managing the board of directors and volunteer groups. SoccerToday’s Editor in Chief Diane Scavuzzo interviewed Joe Hampson on his goals for the future.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why did you choose to join Greater Seattle Surf?
Joe Hampson: First and foremost, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead the Greater Seattle Surf Soccer Club.
This is a club full of passionate people on all levels of the organization, striving to be the best, but also understanding it has some work to do to get there. Growing up playing soccer in the community in which the club serves, I share that passion and drive to provide the highest quality program possible.
Ultimately, this is why I joined GS Surf.
I believe GS Surf is in a great place to build quickly and move forward and my vision to bring people together will help get us there.
I have a passion for soccer and for developing quality programs — and, I believe I can use my knowledge and experience to lead GS Surf as a model program. We have a lot of work ahead of us to be the leaders in the industry, but I truly believe this club will come together to get it done.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you view your role as Executive Director?
Joe Hampson: I see it as the leader of the club; ensuring that all levels of the organization are embracing and implementing its mission and vision. Throughout the hiring process, the search committee and ultimately the board of directors made it clear that the role of the Executive Director will be to bring the club together and lead it forward.
With that said, I believe that everyone in the club, including families, athletes, coaches, and staff, have a responsibility as a valued member to be leaders and play important roles in the GS Surf family.
Diane Scavuzzo: When you take over your position in April, what are your primary goals?
Joe Hampson: The primary goal is to have GS Surf be the model program where all members of the community see us as the soccer club of choice.
To get there, we must invest in our coaches, athletes, families and the community.
To do so, we will move fast with sharing this vision with all involved and begin to build a family program, strong coach’s education and training system and immediately select leaders in the club as directors and coaches who align with our vision.
Diane Scavuzzo: Giving youth soccer players the opportunity to be part of the club — based on talent and not just finances — is always an issue. Does GS Surf offer scholarships now? Will the club offer scholarships in the future?
Joe Hampson: Yes! We will continue to offer scholarships.
It’s important to be able to offer free or reduced membership fees for the families that need it.
It is our goal to ensure that all aspiring soccer players have a place to grow and develop, regardless of their families’ financial situation.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your favorite professional soccer team to watch?
Joe Hampson: Growing up it was Manchester United. But I was turned off recently by the signing of Jose M because he was a Blue and that just didn’t seem right to me.
Now I’m a Huddersfield Town fan.
Their story is incredible and their manager, David Wagner, was a former U.S. National Team player back in the day.
What stands out to me is David’s philosophy on coaching and life. He is quoted as saying, “it’s important to have a vision and not a dream, dreams you wake up from and visions are able to come true with the right focus, dedication, and work!”
That resonates with me because I take a similar approach to my work and life in general.
Greater Seattle Surf is the only premier soccer club chartered by Washington Youth Soccer for the South Snohomish County and Northshore Youth Soccer associations at the highest level of club play in Washington, the Regional Club League.