SOU prof. nabs soccer award

Christianne Pyle constantly gives back to the game she loves — so much, in fact, that the Oregon Youth Soccer Association decided to reward her for it.

Pyle, a 37-year-old Southern Oregon University professor, has been named the OYSA's 2009 Parent of the Year for "her outstanding contributions in working with youth through the sport of soccer."

Pyle, who's currently coaching two youth teams in Ashland, will be presented with a plaque during an awards banquet Saturday at the Salishan Spa and Golf Resort in Gleneden Beach.

"First of all, I thought I got that e-mail by error because I had no idea that I was nominated," she said. "I was very, very happy, and I told my students the very next day. What a great honor."

Besides coaching the teams for which her 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son play, Pyle also organized a recreational tournament, "Football for Life," and serves as a coordinator for the Ashland Soccer Club's disabled youth program. Pyle said the Football for Life tournament, which included 24 teams and was held Nov. 15 in Ashland, raised about $3,000 for a local youth soccer referee who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

"(He) loves the sport as much as all the kids playing so it was an appropriate way for the soccer players to give back," Pyle said.

OYSA Member Services Coordinator Brian Scott wasn't sure how many team parents were nominated for the annual award, but said giving the award to Pyle was a no-brainer.

"I think she was clearly the most outstanding person in that category," he said.

Pyle is married to Any Pyle, a former Ashland High goalkeeper.

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