Monday, June 29, 2009

I initially discovered the news about Dan Finnen's passing via Twitter on Friday.

@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.”

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.

What memories do you have of Dan Finnen? Please share them with us.

8 comments

Anonymous said... @ 7/11/2009 9:32 AM

My name is Roger Wing and I've known Danny since the second grade. We were best friends throughout school. Our fathers played in bands in Southern Maine together as children and he and I were always getting into something. He always had a fire for life and was passionate about soccer since I can remember. I'll never forget when he went to University of Farmington and told me that if he made starting goalkeeper he would shave his head... and he has not had a stitch of hair since. I am deeply regretful that so much time has passed since he and I spoke, but am happy that all of my memories with him were happy. If anyone knows how I can reach Amy Stone-Finnen I would love an email as I wish to send her my condolences. Whatever he gave to the community in Oregon, I can assure you it pales in comparison to the memories he leaves me with. He will always be remembered as a great person and the best of friends. RIP Danny My email address is roger_wing@comcast.net for anyone who has information about his wife's address.

Anonymous said... @ 8/27/2009 5:28 PM

My name is Wade Day. Like Roger who also wrote a note, Danny and I went to High School at lake region in Naples, ME. Danny and I started getting close when I was a freshman and he a junior. We actually got chosen to go to London, England to play. It was an experience. We managed to play a lot of soccer against some great players and we still found plenty of time to get in trouble. His wife Amy sent me a DVD of the service. There were many tears and laughs. He turned out to be such a great man. Although I still am having a hard time grasping his passing. It is comforting to know he touched so many lives. I picture some of the kids trying to BS there way by him, that I am sure was not happening as he had been there done that. If anyone from the Oregon community wishes to get in contact and chat about Dan in the younger years, send an email. wday2003@yahoo.com Thanks for honoring an old friend the way you all have. I am sure all of you are why he loved that are much.

Loyan said... @ 8/28/2009 10:05 AM

Wade. Thank you for sharing your memories of Dan with us here. I think its safe to say not too much BS was getting past Dan.

Anonymous said... @ 9/10/2009 8:43 PM

Thanks for posting this. Although I only knew Dan through soccer, his character and tenacity always shined through. Its very sad to hear this.

I had a great time playing with and against him on different indoor and outdoor teams as well as all the pick up soccer around town.

RIP Dan.

Anonymous said... @ 10/19/2009 1:04 AM

Dan was my councilor in high school. When I was at CHS I had a lot of trouble fitting in socially and even though I was already seeing two councilors outside of school to deal with these issues my mom made an appointment for me to go and see Danny.
I was hesitant to go, but Mr. Finnen turned out to be very sociable and easy to talk to. I talked a little about my problems and he shared with me some insights about his experiences with making friends. He also agreed I probably didn’t need to see him when I was already seeing two other councilors and it felt good to have some validation my mother was being overbearing. I appreciated his council and goodwill.

RIP Danny Finnen

Anonymous said... @ 10/29/2009 9:10 AM

Dan was looking down and smiling last night as his girls beat their cross town rival CV in the annual big game. This was particularly touching to me personally because Dan has been my daughters coach since she was in 5th grade and his loss earlier this year was tough on her and the other Seniors and Juniors that he coached.

Dan helped create good soccer players, but more importantly he helped to mold good people. Teaching them never to give up and treating them just as he would treat boys in the same situation.

I missed him last night, but know he was there in spirit and in the hearts of all of us who knew him.

dave said... @ 11/01/2009 9:43 PM

It is very sad moments for all fans but he will always be a great personality for the Corvallis soccer.

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Anonymous said... @ 2/10/2010 4:08 PM

I first met Dan years ago when he first arrived in Corvallis. We used to play lunchtime pick up games in the IM fields and we were often on opposite sides in the Fall league at Willamette Park. I played for the Squirrels team and Dan played with various other teams. He was always played the game the right way - with pride, passion and fairness. I remember I'd tease him about his New England accent and he'd tease me about my stupid irish accent. I missed most of his coaching career because I moved back here to Northern Ireland but I can say that he was a great guy that left a great impression on those he shared any time with.

Martin Hannigan

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