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Inaugural Hall of Fame Class Announced!

In order to celebrate the exciting direction that Nebraska State Soccer is headed, it is first and foremost of the utmost importance for us to take the time to recognize where soccer began here in Nebraska.  In creating the Nebraska State Soccer Hall of Fame, we would like to use this platform to recognize, celebrate, and thank all of those who laid the groundwork for our nearly 25,000 players today, who because of the tireless work of those that came before us, have endless opportunities to enjoy soccer in a variety of capacities.

Nebraska State Soccer is proud to announce our inaugural class of inductees into the Nebraska State Soccer Hall of Fame.

John Hilske- Founder

Dick Bene- Founder

Russ Tice- Lifetime achievement, Referee

Don Klosterman- Lifetime Achievement, Coach

Heather Taggart- Lifetime Achievement, Player

We will be celebrating our inaugural class at the 2017 Celebration Dinner on November 18th at 6pm. This event is open to the public. For tickets, please RSVP here.

Below is a brief bio for each of our inductees.  

John Hilske

Founding father of Nebraska State Soccer in 1969
Co-founded West Omaha Soccer Club in 1970 and founded Elkhorn Soccer Club in 1972
First state youth commissioner
Served on the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors as Region II Director for 8 years
Responsible for the James P McGuire Cup, the oldest youth sports trophy in the country and the Foundation of USYS National Championship Series, being held in Omaha from 1979-1984

Dick Bene

Proposed St Roberts Soccer Club, 1973
President of the St Roberts Soccer Club 1974-1975
Began a soccer program in 1974 to allow parishes to play against each other as a part of ENSA, this program grew into CYSL in 1976
NSSA officer 1975-1978 with 2 years as President 1974-1975
Chairman of the National McGuire Cup Finals committee, competition was held in Omaha 1979-1984
Coached in West Omaha Soccer Club 1970-1973, St Robert’s Soccer Club Girls team, Toro U16 Boys

Russ Tice

Coached in Papillion recreational girls U8-U12 (1978-1982) and ENSA
Certified referee with over 30 years experience
Referee instructor and assessor, 26 years
Referee Assignor, 20 years
Referee Assignor for ENSA, 1984-1990
Referee Assignor for NSL
Competition Coordinator for ENSA and NSL
State Director of Instruction for NSSA for 10 years
President, High School Soccer Association 1986-1987
National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association referee
NISOA National Referee Assessor
USSF National Program for Referee Development: Terry Vaughn, Lifetime membership as Referee, assessor, instructor and assignor

Don Klosterman

1977-1979, junior varsity head soccer coach of Creighton Prep High School while he served as the first Olympic Development Program coach in Nebraska
1979-1983 he served as the head men’s soccer coach at Benedictine
1983-1986, he served as the head men's soccer coach at Creighton University
1987-1997 Millard South- boys coach, led to 7 state tournament appearances
Hired to start the women’s program at UNO in 1998, head coach for 18 seasons
2005 NCAA Division II National Championship
NSCAA national coach of the year, 2002 and 2005
Led the Mavericks to six North Central Conference championships.
Coaching licenses held while coaching- USSF A, NSCAA Advanced National License
NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year (2002, 2004, 2005)
North Central Conference Coach of the Year (2002,2006)
Omaha World Herald State College Coach of the Year (2005)
Four appearances to the Final Four
Runner-up in 2002
North Central Conference Legacy Award 
Eight straight  NCAA DII Tournament appearances
Millard South Hall of Fame (2006)
Benedictine College Hall of Fame 1974 Men's Soccer Team (2014)

Heather Taggart

Played for West Omaha, Gladiator, and Toro
State Cup Champion team- 1986, 1988
3 Sport first team class A All starter in Volleyball, Basketball and soccer
1985 A Division First team, 1986 World Herald Class A second team All State, 1987 World Herald Class A first team All State, 1988 World Herald Class A first team All State- honorary captain
1988 Millard North NSAA Class A State Champion Soccer
US National Camp 1987, 1988
First female major college Div 1 soccer scholarship out of Nebraska (University of Wisconsin 88-92)
Two time NCAA All tournament team (1988 and 1991)
Big ten Medal of Honor, 1992
Led team to 4 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances including a second place finish in 1991
Held NCAA Div 1 Career record for solo shutouts 52/76 for 23 years (1992-2015)
Career goals against: 37 goals in 76.5 games
US Soccer Women’s National Team Camp invite 1992 (declined due to medical school)
Millard North High School Hall of Fame, 2015
Millard Schools Foundation Alumni Hall of Fame, 2014
University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame, 2001
Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame, 2004
Omaha Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, 2014
NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, 2017