‘Joyful was who he was’: Soccer coach Charlie Slagle remembered

Sports

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Tributes from around the world are pouring in for Hall of Fame soccer coach Charlie Slagle, who died in Richmond Tuesday.

He was 67.

Charlie Slagle’s soccer coaching career took him all over the country, and finally to Richmond, where he reunited with arguably his best player, Rob Ukrop.

“He’s got this incredible belief in other people,” Ukrop said. “I am super thankful that my college career started because he took a chance on me.”

Slagle coached Ukrop and the Davidson Wildcats to the NCAA Final Four in 1992.

“He took a chance on all of these guys…no scholarships and believed and saw something in us that we didn’t necessarily see in ourselves and brought greatness out of each of us in our own different ways,” Ukrop said. “So that was his greatest gift.”

After leaving Davidson College with a record 202 wins, he went on to become an executive director and CEO for youth clubs in Colorado, North Carolina, and Florida.

Slagle joined the Richmond Kickers organization as the vice president of community engagement and gameday experience in January of 2018.

A day after Slagle’s death at the age of 67, Ukrop looked back on his time with his coach and mentor.

“Joyful was who he was,” Ukrop said.

Ukrop and the Kickers look to continue to honor Slagle’s legacy that has forever been ingrained in their hearts.

“He just left a great legacy and we are going to figure out how to honor him the best way we can moving forward,” Ukrop said. “I just want to say thanks for everybody who’s taking a chance to come out and see the Richmond Kickers. It’s been great.”

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