We regretfully inform our WSA family, and extended soccer community, of the passing of WSA Coach Brian Elliott, on Thursday, January 23, 2020. Coach Ellliott, a man of faith, a family man of abundant love, a teacher of profound passion, will be missed dearly in this life.
Please join us in prayer for his family. Honoring Coach Brian Elliott to be posted here soon.
IN LOVING MEMORY: COACH BRIAN ELLIOTT
I am writing to regretfully inform you that Coach Brian Elliott, WSA 01 Boys Coach, long-time Oklahoma Soccer advocate, teacher, mentor, and leader, passed on Thursday, January 23, 2020 from a sudden heart attack suffered on Wednesday, January 22nd.
Coach Elliott was currently coaching the WSA 01 Boys White team, a team which stands atop the NPL Red River standings. He is well known recently for his back-to-back-to-back state titles while leading the Union HS Girls soccer team. His reach into Oklahoma soccer includes a history of coaching at various levels, locations, and teams, including a stint at local Oral Roberts University in the late 90's.
He has intersected many local soccer families in our current community, and influenced, even if unknown, most of the soccer families in the Tulsa soccer extended community to some degree. And Coach Elliott, where he found opportunity to influence, most often, would make profound impact.
Inside our family and community of coaches he was known for his honesty, his courage to share his wisdom and insight, and his passion to nurture and mentor. Several coaches at WSA consider Coach Elliott a mentor, role model, and perhaps even hero. Coach Elliott may not be comfortable with such praise, but he would certainly not object to leveraging any such earned respect for an opportunity to teach and lead.
Coach Elliott being profoundly faithful, spiritually led, and consistently joyful, was intense in his focus to do right, be excellent, and work hard. He also had a knack for "old school". At a recent age group coaches meeting this past June, among five of our coaching staff members sitting at a table to discuss team formation and roster assignments, all of the coaches pulled out their "devices", and Coach Elliot pulled out his yellow pad. Turns out Coach Elliott's thoughtful consideration of all the prospects, current players, and even players whom he had not yet met, were all scribbled and encoded to some mysterious organizational chart on that pad. Not one was left out. Each one had notes, several had arrows, it appeared there were a few diagrams, and in the apparent chaos of the yellow pad was a master minded plan that considered every player. Every background. Every special circumstance, Every future.
And at one point Coach Elliott was disturbed that Coach Alex might have listed a player Coach Elliott had forgotten (there were nearly 50 players). Turns out it was just a nickname vs real name mistake. But Coach was on point, considering each and every kid, and was not happy to learn he may have forgotten a player (albeit a kid he had only called by phone at that point).
When that meeting ended and as us coaches were about to dismiss, Coach Elliott asked if he could pray for the group. It was a both significant and special moment, shared by Coach Claudio, Coach Alex, Coach Tyler, myself, and led by Coach Elliott. He prayed for divine mercy, he prayed for safety and spiritual oversight on Alex's voyage to Paraguay, and he prayed for thanks. Coach Elliott thanked He who provides life for the opportunity that life provides, for fellowship, friendship, leadership, and opportunity to be in communion with each other.
Coach Elliott let me know two years ago upon his resignation from his High School position that he was on a search. He was searching for places where he could influence, because he had Good News to share. And where a man can influence, he can impact. He taught us that. So many of us learned that lesson, experienced that impact, understood that joy, and were blessed by such a loving friendship. He reminded us life is a gift as he walked with us. I can't help but imagine he's joined council in a higher place, to continue that calling. And I feel compelled to remind those influenced and thus impacted by Coach Elliott's legacy to live that out, daily, to honor his effort to sew seeds, giving a fertile ground for this man's influence and impact to continue.
Please follow our lead this coming month as we had planned to celebrate LOVE in February, to also join in honoring a man of love, kindness, and faith. We will honor a man who lived life well, shared bravely and profusely, and taught passionately.
Please consider, whether prayerful or not, offering a short prayer for Coach Elliott's family and closest friends over the coming days and weeks. Prayer is not the least we can do. It is in fact most often the most powerful thing we can and ought to do.
SIDE BEFORE SELF. EVERY TIME.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" Matthew 5:8
Coach Elliott in 2018 Introducing the Plan for Excellence to the 2001 Boys Program