Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.            

Soccer A Family Affair For West Oahu Club Coach Fuller

Soccer was far from Stan Fuller III’s thoughts when he was a youth and young adult by his own admission, but he’s been making up for lost time the last several years.

“I’d mainly played basketball and football, and I became involved with soccer because my wife had played and wanted me to coach my kids,” said Fuller, currently director of coaching (juniors) for the West Oahu-based Hawaii Rush Soccer Club. “My first thought was, ‘OK, we’ll let the kids play soccer now to get them ready for real sports later on,'” he added with a laugh.

These days, he oversees five teams for Hawaii Rush, and the sport has become an all-consuming activity for him and his family, which includes wife Julie, son Shayne, and four daughters – Meghan, Amber, Bree and Zoe.

“I immediately grew to love the game, and I learned it along the way,” he said. “It was mainly to be around the kids and do the family thing, but I love the game now. As a family, the sport has been a blessing for us. Everyone lives together still, and because we all enjoy it, everybody comes out to support everybody.”

Fuller’s oldest daughters, Meghan and Amber, are currently playing college soccer for Hawaii Pacific and the University of Hawaii, respectively, while Shayne is pursuing professional soccer in addition to helping to coach Rush. (Meghan and Amber were teammates for a time at HPU before Amber transferred to UH.) Daughter Zoe is a senior at Pearl City High School, while Bree is 11 and plays for Rush.

Free time away from the game is a rarity, Fuller admitted, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. “There are the days without games, but those are few and far between,” laughed Fuller, who works as a safety manager for Nan Inc. “With everybody practicing, it can be 40 hours a week (of soccer-related time). Shayne and I also train teams that I don’t have kids involved with. I love to see kids grow and develop.”

He has enjoyed many proud moments in coaching to date with last weekend certainly among them. Both of the ’99 Rush teams he coaches – ’99 Nike Rush and ’99 Rush Swoosh – were to square off last Saturday in the championship game of the MISO Junior League. Rush’s ’99 East team also was to play in the title game of its Division, while Rush’s ’98 Nike 98 team captured the Gold Division (U16) recently as well. (The ’99 Nike Rush team captured the U.S. Youth Soccer 2012 Far West Regionals in Phoenix last July.)

The family atmosphere also is evident with the Rush teams he coaches. “That attracts me to coaching. The biggest challenge is the expectations. People automatically think you’re going to win because of the Nike (sponsorship) title. The other part is trying to manage players and their parents. If you can do that, you’ll do well. If you are unable to communicate adequately, you’ll suffer.”