Dick Whalen (Veteran) - Inducted 2018
Captain Dick Whalen, U.S. Navy (Retired), graduated from the Naval Academy in 1963. He served thirty years at sea and ashore, including as Commanding Officer of two warships. Both vessels were recognized best-in-class recipient of Atlantic Fleet Awards for athletics, leadership, and personnel retention.
Dick began parent-coaching soccer of his eldest son’s recreation team in 1977 while on duty in the Washington area, followed by first coach of the highly successful ‘72 boys Springfield Youth Club “Express” travel team. As “Officer Representative” while Director of Professional Development at the U.S. Naval Academy, he mentored varsity soccer athletes, coached a Bowie, Maryland travel club and, subsequently, Pascagoula, Mississippi recreational and State ODP teams. After reassignment to Hampton Roads, Dick formed the “Parent’s Soccer Association of Virginia Beach:, successfully lobbying the School System to change high school soccer from afternoon to an evening format, increasing player recruiting visibility and families ability to see offspring in action. While President of Beach FC for several years, he focused on improving player college recruiting and was instrumental in the creation of the Hampton Roads Soccer Council (HRSC) and its premier 75 acre Soccer Complex. To generate Complex revenues, Dick led creation of the “North American Sand Soccer Championships (NASSC) in 1994, now the largest amateur and pro/am sand/beach soccer festival worldwide. In its 25th year, NASSC has hosted 200,000 youth and adult players, raising millions of dollars for the Complex. He was selected as a Tourism Ambassador” by Virginia Beach.