IRMO, S.C. – The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association announced the induction of Wofford men's soccer head coach Ralph Polson. Polson, who is in his tenth season at Wofford, has been coaching for 40+ across the collegiate, high school, and youth levels. Throughout his coaching career, as both an assistant and head coach, Polson has seen his teams win six regular season championships and six tournament championships and over 360 games.
"Ralph Polson has been a champion for all soccer players during his brilliant career," said Ralph Lundy, the head coach at College of Charleston for the past 30 seasons. "He has worked tirelessly to improve every kid, no matter what level, by giving and caring for the whole player. His impact speaks volumes. Everywhere you go there are soccer players who are so grateful to have been touched by this great coach."
He has been an influential member of the SCYSA and National Soccer community since he was named the first State Coach for Girls in 1983. Throughout the years, Polson has held positions of Director of the South Carolina Youth Soccer Association Boys Select Team Program, Staff Coach of the USYSA Region III Boys and Girls Olympic Development Program, Assistant Director of the Ralph Lundy Soccer Academy and President of the United Soccer Coaches (formerly the NSCAA) in 2012.
"He's the greatest coach and administrator the State of South Carolina has ever seen." – Elliot Fayssoux (Former Member of SCYSA Board of Directors)
Polson began his head coaching career at Presbyterian where he helped the Blue Hose reach the NCAA Division II National Championships ('95). While at PC he was named South Atlantic Conference Coach of Year twice ('92, '95) as well as being named a finalist for the NSCAA National Coach of Year ('95). After 17 seasons at Presbyterian, Polson became the associate head coach at College of Charleston from 2000-2008 where he worked alongside Lundy. In 2004 the Cougars won a Southern Conference title and a bid to the NCAA tournament, where they advanced to the 2nd round.
"Ralph Polson is a special coach, colleague, mentor and friend. I have had the pleasure of working alongside and against Ralph for many years now and the one thing that stands out most in any arena is his genuine care for student athletes and young soccer players that goes far beyond the pitch," said Doug Allison, the head coach at Furman for the past 21 seasons. "He has worked tirelessly to better the soccer standards in South Carolina whether with SCYSA at ODP or one of the three South Carolina colleges he has represented so proudly over the years."
In February of 2008, Polson was named the head coach of the Wofford men's soccer team. Since taking over the program, Polson has coached the Terriers to two Southern Conference Regular Season titles ('09, '13) and one Tournament title ('09). While at Wofford he has coached his players to one Freshman of the Year award as well as 29 All-SoCon selections and 15 All-Freshman SoCon selections. He has seen multiple players go on to various professional levels to continue their soccer careers.
"It's been my sincere pleasure to know Coach Ralph Polson for almost 40-years, from his outstanding playing days at Erskine College to his coaching tenures at Erskine College, Presbyterian College, College of Charleston, and Wofford College," said Bob Brantley, former president of the SCYSA. "Each outstanding S.C. institution has enjoyed amazing soccer success, thanks to his fine coaching, teaching, and leadership. At each college, he gave our S.C. players scholarships and opportunities for life."
The SCYSA will honor Polson at their annual Awards luncheon on March 3, 2018 at the Embassy Suites in Columbia, S.C. at 11:30 am.