"From 2013-17 I had the privilege of working very closely with Mike on an almost day to day basis when I served as our club’s Director of Development. He is the kind of person who wants to get things done in an efficient and effective manner, and he has made our club better because of the passion he brings. He truly is a leader and he has inspired me to not be satisfied and to always strive to do more." said Michael Nosofsky, Executive Director - Cutters Soccer Club.
Nosofsky went on to say, "The level of Mike’s involvement with soccer in Monroe County over the past 30 years is staggering. In fact, it could be argued that there are few individuals in Monroe County who have made a bigger impact on the growth of the game. Perhaps his biggest and most important contribution in recent years has been the increase in outreach programming being provided to children in the community. In addition to working with the local schools, partnerships were established and have grown dramatically with the Boys & Girls Club, the Down Syndrome Family Connection, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bethel AME Church, The Warehouse, TOPSoccer, and Special Olympics. The number of children being exposed to soccer as a result of Mike’s hard work and dedication increases every year. These are free programs that benefit children who tend to be underserved in our community. As a club, we prioritize bringing soccer to every child who wants to participate and no one is a bigger advocate for this than Mike.
Below are some of Mike Grubb's accomplishments:
In the late 1980s, Bloomington’s area high schools did not have official soccer programs, despite a love for the game in the community. In 1989, Mike Grubb created and organized the first Hoosier Cup, which was hosted by Bloomington North and Bloomington South to raise funds for soccer programs at these schools. This all occurred before the IHSAA sanctioned soccer as a high school varsity sport. Mike served as the tournament director for 20 years. During that time, the tournament was the major fundraiser for Bloomington South (1989‐1993), Bloomington North (1989‐1993 and 2000 to present) and Jennings County (1996‐2007). The tournament hosted 24 girls teams and 24 boys teams per year at its peak capacity. Teams from all over the state of Indiana and some from neighboring states have attended over the years. In 2010, Mike Grubb passed on the director’s position and
the tournament continues today. The generosity of his time and efforts is reflected in what the schools were able to do with the funds that were raised. For example at Bloomington North alone the funds were used for the following projects:
- Field improvement
- New uniforms
- Stands installed at the game field
- Lights added to the game field, which allowed JV players to play games on weeknights (previously the varsity game would be completed first and the JV team would play until it became dark, often not finishing their games)
- In the near future, funds will be used to construct a media/announcers tower with storage for the soccer teams. This improvement will allow Bloomington North to host sectional and regional high school tournaments.
Cutters Soccer Club’s Hurryin’ Hackers small‐sided tournament
Twenty years ago Mike Grubb started the Hurryin’ Hackers 3v3 tournament at Cutters Soccer Club. The money raised provides need‐based soccer scholarships at Cutters Soccer Club. In addition, the Evans‐Bridgwaters Scholarship Fund and Blacks In Government (BIG) receive funds to provide academic scholarships to deserving youth to help further their education. The tournament is open to youth and adult players and is a great weekend for soccer enthusiasts. In recent years, the format changed from 3v3 to 4v4 to coincide with the plans for improving these youth small‐sided tournaments. Each year he also sponsors and coaches a youth team in the tournament, nicknamed the Sharks.
Cutters Soccer Club Executive Director
In 2013, despite being in retirement, Mike Grubb agreed to serve in a newly created position at Cutters Soccer Club: Executive Director. As he does with any situation he enters, Mike has put his whole heart and soul into this position. He examined the club’s strategic plan, which had been created in March 2012 but had seen little progress toward implementation. He talked to many families, those who were still active in the club and others who had left, to evaluate the current state and culture of the club. Mike made an immediate impact at board meetings, making them more productive. This fall, he sponsored a graduate student needs analysis project at IU to examine the recruiting and retention of girls at Cutters, so the club can positively serve the young girls and women in this community. He is dedicated and works well outside the hours for which the club compensates him.
Cutters Outreach Program
Cutters began an outreach program at the local elementary schools in winter 2010. Mike was one of the first adults to volunteer to take a school as his own. On Fridays for six weeks in the winter and six weeks in the spring, the coaches work with children who attend the after-school program. In addition, high school players volunteer to serve as assistants and role models. Mike has participated each year at Highland Park Elementary School (a Title I school) and serves as an excellent example to the high school players who participate as well. During the past year, Mike has taken the outreach program model to local churches, the Boys & Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters. In addition, he started a TOPSoccer program with the Bloomington Down Syndrome Family Connection. The families in these programs value Mike and his dedication to spreading the love of the game with their children.
Cutters Adult Soccer
Although this award focuses on youth soccer, I would like to share that Mike is the driving force of the over‐50 adult soccer community in Bloomington as well. He organizes the teams and has “practices” each week. He sustains their activity year‐round with both indoor and outdoor programs. He has even allowed some of the “younger” adult players to participate when they didn’t have other options. Although Mike is a field player by nature, he also volunteers to play in goal when the goalkeepers are not available. Each New Year’s day, Mike organizes an adult soccer session to raise money for local charities. Recipients have included the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic (a free clinic in Bloomington), the Hoosier Hills Food Bank and Middle Way House (a domestic violence and rape shelter in Bloomington). The participants look forward to this event each year and love the idea of playing soccer for the good of others.
In summary, Mike Grubb exemplifies the qualities of the Good of Soccer Award. He has made significant contributions for more than 20 years to soccer in Indiana. He puts in extraordinary effort and often secretly pays for these projects out of his own pocket.