Okpodu Named South Carolina Youth Soccer Executive Director
The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association, the South Carolina affiliate of US Youth Soccer has announced the hiring of executive director Sam Okpodu. “This is an exciting day for youth soccer in South Carolina” said Bob Brantley, President of the Board of Directors for SCYSA, “How often do you run into someone who has both played in a world cup and coached a world cup team? To bring this kind of quality to our youth organization is a dream come true.”
Okpodu began his playing career in his native home of Nigeria. Nigeria has long been regarded as one of the top soccer countries in Africa. He attended The New Era School, a special school created for young athletes. While there Okpodu helped his state to win the first National Sports Festival in Lagos, Nigeria. Okpodu played for the Nigerian National team, from 1978 through 1982. In 1982, he played in The Nations Cup and in the World Cup. He has faced greats like Diego Maradona and toured the world, playing in Soccer Mecca’s like Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the selected location of the 2014 world cup final. Recently he was named one of the “50 Greatest Footballers since Nigeria’s Independence!”
Okpodu came to the United State where he played college soccer for NC State in Raleigh. His career at NC State is remarkable, a college career that included four years as All ACC player while being a three time All-American. He finished off in 1982 by being named the NCAA player of the year. Recently Sam Okpodu was honored being named one of the 50 best ACC players of all time. His record of 193 goals stands to this day.
In 2002, Okpodu was named head coach of the Super Falcons, the Nigerian Women’s National Team. He coached the team winning the African Women Championship (AWC) then in the 2003 FIFA Women World Cup in the United States.
Okpodu is a national soccer instructor. He teaches soccer coaches around the world in the modern methodology of football. Okpodu also serves as the chairman of NSCAA-Black Soccer Coach Committee and is a member of the NSCAA board which is the largest coaching association in the world. Sam Okpodu has coached college level teams in North Carolina and at Newberry College in South Carolina. He has been heavily involved with the Olympic Development Program and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
“I want to thank the Selection Committee, Board of Directors and the president for the confidence they have shown in me with this appointment,” said Okpodu. “This is a wonderful opportunity to grow SCYSA membership, while raising the standard of player development in the state.” Okpodu begins his new adventure April 16th when he will attend The Publix Kohl’s American Cup & Publix Palmetto Academy Cup in Sumter, SC.
For questions about this press release contact Bob Brantley at 864-346-6643