I initially discovered the news about Dan Finnen's passing via Twitter on Friday. Dan and I would never have called each other friend. But as a supporter of Corvallis soccer it is very easy for me to honor his life. We will miss his commitment and service to our soccer community.
@mattgeniza: RIP Dan Finnen. soccer and golf are much better in heaven man.
I thought it was a joke of some kind. He was roughly my age and very physically fit by appearances. Two Gazette Times headlines, "Finnen left legacy of success" by Kevin Hampton and "Death leaves 'gaping hole' in Corvallis soccer circles" by Steve Gress, quickly confirmed the shocking news for me. (photo by Casey Cambell)
Hampton and Gress have done a great job of informing us. I want to share my own memories and insights of Dan Finnen here.
My first exposure to Dan Finnen was not as a coach, but as a soccer player. More specifically an opponent. Dan was fiercely competitive. He was never the most talented soccer player but I never saw him relent or give up. He was a prideful man.
That hard nose attitude matched his east coast accent and bald head. He looked like a state trooper out of a B movie. Some of his players found that harsh demeanor challenging. If you consider his many years of service to the Corvallis soccer community it would be easy to call it "tough love".
Casey Fries pointed out, “The fact that he was in that program so long says a lot about his character and what he did for the girls. You don’t stay somewhere 14 years unless you are doing something right. He had an awfully big heart and cared a lot about kids.”
What memories do you have of Dan Finnen? Please share them with us.
Dan and I would never have called each other friend. But as a supporter of Corvallis soccer it is very easy for me to honor his life. We will miss his commitment and service to our soccer community.