Monday, December 14, 2009

Amazing Race Champs Honor Hawver

From XKSoccer San Diego
By: Michael Bower

SD Spirit Coach and Director of Soccer Operations Howie Hawver was honored by The Amazing Race champions Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney as the two Patrick Henry HS alums wore red “Fight ALS” wristbands all the way to the finish line.

Rickey (SD Surf/Patrick Henry HS) is a coach for the Poway Vaqueros. Hawver, who formerly coached Rickey at Patrick Henry, was diagnosed with with ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in December 2008. Hawver was the biggest fan of jet-setting duo, as he watched the two explore the world and win a million dollars.

XK: What was your first reaction when you seen the two had won the million dollars? Howie

Hawver: Obviously, I was excited to see them come running in first with those huge smiles on their faces. I was proud of them but not surprised. They're gamers, they always knew how to bring out their best when they need to. They really did when they counted the chips.

XK: How often did you watch and track how they were doing on the Amazing Race?

HH: My wife, Lianne and I watched every week at her family's Sunday dinners. After a couple of weeks, most of her family was pulling for them too.

XK: Did you contact Meghan at all since the win or did she contact you?

HH: No, she is too famous now. Just kidding. I plan to but emailing takes me awhile. I do want to tell her I am proud of her and Cheyne.

XK: How much did it mean to have them honor you with the wrist bands the way they did?

HH: It's the ultimate reward for a coach or teacher when a former student says you had a positive effect on me. For them to do that in that way on national television made it even more special. If it helped increase awareness of ALS, then their gesture takes on an even greater meaning. Yes, I felt honored that they wore them.

XK: What did you enjoy most about watching the two during the show?

HH: I thought they displayed outstanding character. They had a great balance of support, encouragement and enjoyment. They helped each other through their frustrations but were not afraid to get under each others skin. They did it just enough to motivate each other through the next challenge.

XK: Any other thoughts about the two?

HH: I am sure Meghan will use her race experience to motivate her players. I look forward to hearing more in a week when we see her at the alumni game, that is, unless her and Cheyne are planning a return trip to Dubai for Christmas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Grossmont College Coach Hawver collects 200th win

EL CAJON – Entering his 15th year at the helm of the Grossmont program, one of Coach Howard Hawver’s goals was to see the team reach 200 wins. This accomplishment came on Friday, September 25, 2009, as the lady Griffins defeated Palomar College by a score of 1-0. As fate would have it the deciding goal came from a 40 yard blast from Jenna Sanders, a player that Hawver coached when she was a youth.

For Hawver, the only coach Grossmont has known, win number 200 is part of an astounding overall record of 200-58-30. Under Hawver, Grossmont teams have won the PCC Championship five times and reached the Southern California playoffs 14 out of 20 years. When asked what this means to him, Hawver replied, “It’s a great honor if you’re looking back, but more important, it is this team’s third win of the year.”

Hawver is the longest tenured Community College Coach in San Diego County. When asked what keeps him going, Hawver said, “Number one, God, who gives me the strength to continue everyday. Two, my wife and family, who support me every step of the way, and three, the incredible staff at Grossmont who do everything to keep me on the field.”

Hawver also added, “I have had the pleasure of working for three incredible athletic directors; Felix Rogers, who hired me, Bobby Thompson, who helped re-motivate me, and James Spillers, who doesn’t know the word “no”, with him it was always “yes”. Spillers is very positive.”
When asked what is next, Hawver replied in typical fashion, “We have another game Wednesday and we hope to compete for the conference (championship) and reach the playoffs once again.” In other words, the focus is on the team now.

Reprinted from Grossmont College website.

The Grossmont team currently stands at 4-1 near the top of the PCC Standings.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Howie Named 2008-09 CIF Coach of the Year

On Tuesday, October 27, 2009, the San Diego CIF Board of Managers will honor our very own Howie Hawver as the 2008-2009 CIFSD Girls' Soccer Coach of the Year for his work with the Patrick Henry High School soccer teams. The presentation will be at the San Diego County Office of Education, 6401 Linda Vista Road, Room 401, San Diego 92111. This is an honor long overdue. In the 11 years that Howie has coached the Lady Patriots, he has amassed some pretty amazing accomplishments:

CIF playoffs in all 11 years of coaching
Eastern League Champions 8 years in a row (still continuing)
Eastern League Champion in 9 of 11 years (in other two years, second place)
Produced 9 Eastern League Players of the Year
PHHS Record of 176-34-32 (Most wins in PHHS History)
PHHS winning percentage of 79% (Highest in PHHS history)
Eastern League Record of 111-6-11 (89% winning percentage)
Produced over 25 players that went on to play Collegiate Soccer

Congratulations Howie!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Howie Named Among Most Influential in San Diego Soccer Community

Howie Hawver was tabbed # 11 in XKSoccer's review of San Diego's 50 Most Influential People in the San Diego Soccer Community. The poll noted:

11. Howie Hawver: The San Diego Spirit director of soccer operations monopolized the headlines this year. The majority of the community was outraged when CSC San Diego cut ties with the coach who learned he had Lou Gehrig's disease in December 2008. The Crusaders opted for a one-director program, which ended up working out better for Hawver, who was always told he should have his own club. He finally has that with the upstart Spirit. With Hawver's diagnosis public, the community rallied around the coach who spent the past 15 years developing the Grossmont College women's soccer program, and the better part of the decade making Patrick Henry HS a perpetual CIF playoff contender.

For the entire list, see

Congratulations Howie!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Spirit Shines at Friends of Howie Day

Friends of Howie Hawver Day on June 13 raised more than $3,000 for long-time San Diego coach Howie Hawver, who is living with ALS (otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease). The event was held at the North County Soccer Park in Poway, and included indoor and outdoor games for all ages. Hawver had a great day seeing his friends; the kids had a awesome time in the jumpy and face-painting booth; and there was lots of soccer to be had.

Monday, June 1, 2009

NCSP is hosting the next "Howie Hawver Day" June 13

Come out and lets fight ALS together at the North County Soccer Park!!

When: June 13th 8 am - 4 pm
14530 Espola Rd, Poway CA 92064

* Raffle * Silent Auction * Food ALS booth *Jump for the kids * 6v6 games * Rehab United sports clinics * Howie Shirt!
*Music * Snow Cones * Face Painting * Juggle competitions * Activities * Much more come and check it out!

- Howie’s Alumni 6v6 game
- DOC & Coaches’ 6v6 game
- U8/U9s game , U10/U11 game, U12/U13 game, U14/U15

Game’s will be played as a friendly in the “Spirit” of soccer. If interested please contact us!!
Kimberly at or Dave Ridenour at to sign up.

*More info can be found on and and below!

Items in Auction Include:
Fox Soccer Channel Signed Ball by broadcasters.
Tickets to the June 21st game Sol vs. Pride
LA SOL GEAR signed by whole team!
Jersey - Year Book - Ball (each signed by the team including MARTA 2 time FIFA winner!) Chargers signed football -Gates/Cromartie.. More to come!!

We also have someone doing face painting now!
8:00 _____________ vs _________________( $50 Donation per team)
8:30 _____________ vs _________________( $50 Donation per team)
9:00 _____________ vs _________________( $50 Donation per team)
9:30 _____________ vs _________________( $50 Donation per team)
10:00 _____________ vs ________________( $50 Donation per team)
10:30 _____________ vs ________________( $50 Donation per team)
11:00 _____________ vs ________________( $50 Donation per team)
11:30 _____________ vs ________________( $50 Donation per team)
12:00 _____________ vs ________________( $50 Donation per team)

* The above games will go for 25 minutes each. No half-time stoppage.
12:30 Coaches Game - You must register to play. We will register 2 teams of coaches to play a game. The cost; $25 per player. Each team will have a roster of 10-12 players. The first 24 to register will play.
1:30 Howie’s Alumi Game - You must register to play. We will register 2 teams of players that played CLUB for HH to play this game. The cost; $25 per player. Each team will have a roster of 10-12 players. The first 24 to register will play.

Coaches & Alumni game two 25 minute halves.
6 V 6 FIELD #1
8:00 ________ vs _______ ( $50 Donation per team) U10 Boys or Girls
8:30 ________ vs _______ ( $50 Donation per team) U12 Boys or Girls
9:00 ________ vs _______ ( $50 Donation per team) U14 Boys or Girls
9:30 ________ vs _______ ( $50 Donation per team) U16 Boys or Girls
10:00 _______ vs _______ ( $50 Donation per team) WOMENS GAME

10:30 HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI GAME--must reg to play (we will be reg 2 teams of players that played for HH @ PATRICK HENRY or against) to play a game. The cost; $25 per player, includes shirt. Each team will have a roster of 10 players (The first 20 to reg).
11:30 COLLEGE ALUMNI GAMEmust reg to play (we will be reg 2 teams of players that played for HH @ GROSSMONT) to play a game. The cost; $25 per player, includes shirt. Each team will have a roster of 10 players (The first 20 to reg).


25 minute halves for High School - Alumni - College Games GK may not send ball in air over mid line. Maximum 10 player roster

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fox Sports Coverage of Howie's Team

Fox 5 did a nice clip regarding Howie, what his team means to him, and what he means to them Check it out!!

Go to
Type in Howie Hawver in the search bar under the video section and it should pop up.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grossmont College Walk for Howie Sunday June 7

Over 200 runners, walkers and riders attended the grueling "Le de Tour Grossmont College" on June 7 (okay, it was a 2.2 mile Fun Run/Walk at Grossmont College). All proceeds will go to benefit the Friends if Howie Hawver Foundation via the Grossmont College Foundation. Still want to donate? Mail your donations, payable to Grossmont College Foundation, to

Grossmont College Athletic Department
8800 Grossmont College Dr
El Cajon CA 92020

Monday, April 27, 2009

May 23 Benefit for Howie, Alex Pogman

Come join in a fundraiser
Alex Pogman and Howie Hawver
(a portion of net proceeds from this game will be donated to These wonderful coaches Trust accounts at San Diego County Credit Union)

May 23, 2009

Granite Hills High School

SD United vs. LA Rampage

Wear your club gear
get 20% off your ticket!
Visit our website:

For your tickets-Please call :
Maria Lenhoff
Director of Marketing at SD United
(619) 334-7875

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cal South OK's a Black Box for Hawver

By: Amberly Dressler, From XKSoccer San Diego

Hawver and his former CSC GU-13 Spirit Red team. A concerned parent opened a can of worms when he stepped in as a ref last high school season. The scheduled ref didn’t show up, so the parent suited up to mediate the match. The substitute ref felt that the opposing team, Howie Hawver's Patrick Henry HS squad, suffered an unfair disadvantage. Hawver, who was recently diagnosed with ALS (popularly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), can’t carry his voice as far as he used to. Part of ALS is that the breathing capacity reduces, so speaking becomes difficult. Hawver couldn’t yell out instructions to his team or objections to the ref as effectively as the other coach. And what would soccer be without the commotion?Hawver also coaches competitive club soccer (San Diego Spirit), so discussions with Cal South began (Hawver didn’t even know they were happening) to approve an amplification device that people living with ALS often use. Focus on ALS describes the tool as, “a personal amplifier that can be used to increase vocal loudness in soft-spoken people. The amplifier also decreases voice fatigue.”It’s basically a black box with a headset-type microphone. Cal South jumped all over the opportunity to help out Hawver and future coaches with similar disabilities. The box does not give Hawver an advantage, as the box doesn’t send out amplification louder than what Hawver could normally project his voice prior to ALS. ALS also puts physical limitations on those with the disease. Hawver feels his communication skills have improved because he has to describe to players what they need to do rather than just show them. Hawver, admittedly, is more of an olders coach now, as the older players can relate to words rather than visuals.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Three-Decade Tourney Honors Howie Hawver

From XKSoccer, March 31, 2009

Bonita Vista HS girls varsity coach and Barons Tournament director Ron Pietila announced that effective immediately the 30th annual Barons Tournament is now named “The Howie Classic” to honor San Diego mainstay Howie Hawver (Patrick Henry HS, Grossmont College, San Diego Spirit SC). Coach Pietila says the name change holds hopes of “perhaps reminding people we need added resolve in researching and treating ALS,” which is a disease Hawver was diagnosed with late last year. Depending on the number of teams participating, the tournament will make a donation to an ALS organization of Hawver’s choice. The annual girls competition runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 and is hosted by Bonita Vista HS.

Hawver has provided these links to help raise awareness:
To read about Hawver's contributions to the community, click here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Howie Interview on NBC--Set the TiVo

Watch Howie's interview with Jim Stone in a segment that will air on NBC 7/39 between 4-5 PM om Monday March 16th!!!

If you didn't catch it, here is a link to see it:

It will come on one more time on sports wrap on Sunday at 11:30 (March 22nd)

So set your TIVO's! GO SPIRIT!!

More Coverage for Howie and his 14's!!

Check out xksoccer's article on Howie's 14's Fox Sports Honors:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

San Diego GU14 Fox Soccer Channel Team Spirit award winner

Click here: YouTube - San Diego GU14 Fox Soccer Channel Team Spirit award winners 2009

This past Weekend, Howie's 14U team received the Fox Soccer Channel Spirit Award in a moving ceremony at the Nike Banquet during the Cal South SoccerNation Expo February 21-22. Here is a video put together by Kimberly, a mom on that team, so those family and friends unable to attend can see what a great event it was! Congratulation players and families!!

Thanks Kimberly!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Congrats to Former Howie Student Jillian Gilbeau!!

On January 17, former Patrick Henry soccer player and former student of Howie Hawver's, Jill Gilbeau, was taken as the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer Draft by the Washington Freedom. It just so happens that Jill and her new team will be in Los Angeles for the WPS Inaugural Match on Sunday, March 29 at 3pm at the Home Depot Center. Watch for more information!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Howie is looking ahead


The San Diego Spirit Soccer Club is open for business. The club’s mission is to provide solid foundation training and development for younger players (U7- U9) through its academy program, and premium advanced training and development for older players (U10-U18) through its competitive program. Located in the Del Cerro/San Carlos/Allied Gardens area, the club’s flagship year promises to be exciting.

Effective March 1, 2009, Howie Hawver will assume the responsibility of director of soccer operations. An informational meeting is planned Jan. 15, 2009, at 6:30 pm at Grossmont College (Griffin Gate Conference Room). Those interested in finding out more about the club are encouraged to attend.
For more information, visit the San Diego Spirit Soccer Club’s website at

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Interested in learning more about ALS?

There is a wealth of information regarding ALS available on the Web. Here are a few links to the ALS Association and the San Diego chapter.

Did you know that Time Magazine Recognized ALS Stem Cell Research as No. 1 Medical Breakthrough in 2008??
Time magazine has named the creation of motor neurons using ordinary skins cells from people with ALS as the No. 1 medical breakthrough in 2008. The research was reported last summer by The ALS Association. Read full story

Media Coverage of the Howie's Day Event

It is great to see that the community beyond soccer is recognizing the importance of this event and the efforts being made.