When Rafe Mauran accepted the job to become the Director of Coaching at the Rockdale Youth Soccer Association (RYSA) it was attractive because it was in his hometown of Conyers, Georgia where he could have a positive impact on kids that played soccer where he grew up playing soccer.
Mauran had coached college soccer for 12 years before accepting the job and it was an opportunity to support his family while helping grow soccer in the community. It was the perfect fit.
Six years later and RYSA has grown tremendously under Mauran's leadership. RYSA started five new soccer tournaments, hosted a number of tournaments, started competitive indoor leagues and went from having 400 members to almost 1,000. During Mauran's tenure, RYSA also started NPSL and WPSL soccer teams (pro soccer), all-star teams, and they managed to strengthen the infrastructure with field improvement, new locker rooms, bathrooms and concession stands.
"I think the thing that would make me most proud of my time there was that we were able to make RYSA a viable option for kids playing soccer in the area again and really make it competitive on another different level. Provide programming that we hadn't been able to provide before and provide a level of play for our kids that we've never been able to provide either," Mauran said.
Mauran says he has a lot of accomplishments to be proud of which include never having a team relegated from a top division to a bottom division, plus having 13 or 14 teams promoted, which Mauran says was less a reflection of him and more of a reflection of the kids hard work and the coaches.
Mauran is now in Spartanburg, South Carolina where he is the Director of Coaching at the Carolina Football Club. Mauran says he hopes to improve the Carolina Football Club like he helped improve RYSA. He says that he feels that he and the staff there can create something great.
"I certainly appreciate everything the board at RYSA did in giving me that opportunity. I learned a ton and made some good friends, reconnected with some other people," Mauran said. "I hope I left the club in a better place than what I found it and I think the mark of being truly successful at a place is when you leave it that it continues to grow and continues to get better it doesn't fall backwards. So my main hope is in the next few years - I'll certainly be in touch with those folks there - that RYSA continues to grow and improve and that way I'll know I really did my job during my six years there."