SKIP ARRICH: Rockledge High School Soccer Coach For 37 of the Program’s 38 Years
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Assistant Editor // April 19, 2017
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
2017 COACHING INDUCTEE
BREVARD COUNTY PREP SOCCER PIONEER
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Rockledge High School has been playing soccer since 1979, and for 37 of the program’s 38 playing years one man led them on to the pitch for every match, Skip Arrich.
A physics teacher that did not play the sport himself in high school or college, Arrich’s love for the sport grew playing for Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer and soccer legend Richard Stottler’s club team.
It was both Stottler and Arrich that got the ball rolling in Brevard county when it comes to playing soccer as a sport. Arrich started the program at Rockledge and Stottler did the same at Cocoa Beach.
Conditions weren’t ideal, as Arrich described dragging beach towels across the field to gather the sand burrs so the balls could roll unobstructed. The teams were forced to travel to Orlando and Daytona to play matches until, a few years later, every school in the county fielded a team.
During his tenure Arrich amassed 472 wins and earned at least one point nearly 65 percent of the games his teams took to the pitch.
Under Arrich’s tutelage, the Raiders won 13 district titles, appeared in four regional finals, two state final fours and in 2004 came up just short in the state title game. From 1991 until 2011, the Raiders appeared in the post season 18 times.
Like most great coaches, Skip Arrich had a special woman by his side, his wife Laurie. For 37 of the couple’s 45 years of marriage she sacrificed the two biggest holidays of the year and spending time with her husband.
As others planned winter break excursions, Arrich was on the field practicing. And while a lot of coaches endure those sacrifices that time of the year, very few can say they did it for nearly four decades.
Coach Arrich is the father of Christopher and Cheryl, and coached Chris during his time playing soccer at Rockledge. He was on the sideline when Chris scored a goal during a 6-1 win against Bishop Moore in 1994, as the Raiders won their first regional championship.
Asked how and why he was able to coach at one program for so long, Arrich replied, “Because of the kids, I did it for the kids. The love of the game played a part, but to hear the sounds of soccer balls being kicked and seeing kids play the sport and play it well drove me to want to keep coaching.”
STANDS ALONE ON THE PITCH
How appropriate that Coach Arrich teached physics. After all, in some senses, it is the oldest and most basic pure science that spawned so many inventions and so many great minds. The same can be said for soccer in Brevard county when it comes to Coach Arrich’s contributions.
Arrich, and then Rockledge Athletic Director Charlie Thompson, helped spawn a journey that has seen many local teams and many great coaches win championships in Brevard, with two this past year alone.
In fact, no other varsity sport has experienced as much success as soccer has on the Space Coast since the 1990s.
If there is a mantra surrounding the 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class, it is one of sharing a commitment for love of sport for an extraordinary period of time.
While several inductees fit that mold, Skip Arrich certainly stands alone on the pitch for his commitment to the Rockledge Raiders, his contributions to Brevard County sports, and his love of soccer and the kids he coached.
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced, Induction Ceremony Set May 12
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee announced Thursday an impressive array of outstanding individuals to be inducted into the 2017 Class of the Hall of Fame.
Dozens of nominees were considered for the 2017 class in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports.
Special honorary recognition will also be bestowed upon individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, and has so far inducted more than 100 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Vice President Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, Assistant Editor Alan Zlotorzynski, local youth sports advocate and promoter Mike Cadore, Friday Night Locker Room Founders Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, former Health First COO Larry Garrison, Cocoa Beach City Manager Jim McKnight and AAU Vice President Rusty Buchanan.
“The list of inductees for 2017 induction include athletes and coaches everybody knows – and some that may have been forgotten with the passing of time,” said Tom Palermo.
INDUCTION GALA & SPORTS AWARDS SET FOR MAY 12
The 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Sports Awards will be held Friday, May 12 at the Cocoa Beach County Club.
The festivities include a meet and greet with the area’s sports royalty, dinner and the induction proceeding which includes compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
The 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event, and the 2017 High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards, are sponsored by Community Credit Union, First Choice Medical Group, SOAR, Clear Choice Health Care, BioCellular Therapies, Savings Safari, Spectrum Sports, Friday Night Locker Room, Dr. Sangiv Patel, Dr. Mark Pinsky and Rock Paper Simple..
FOR INFORMATION about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, or to make a reservation, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017
• PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Joe Kohlbrand, Football; and Cory Philpot, Football
• COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Jason Arnold, Baseball; Michael Coffey, Bowling; Reggie Hannah, Basketball; Paige Kearns, Swimming; and Charles Wilson, Football.
• PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Kristen Gordon, Softball; Ray Herring, Jr. Football; Katie Jackson, Soccer; and Hunter Pingston, Football.
• AMATEUR/REC CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Richard Chapman, Little League; Todd Erickson, Softball; Al Genchi, Youth Soccer; and David Kilgore, Running.
• COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Skip Arrich, Soccer; Tom Dooley, Baseball; Chuck Keener, Tennis; Steve Lamontagne, Golf; and Mike Soliven, Basketball.
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEES: Jeff Carr, Eastern Florida State College; and Steve Englehart, Florida Tech.
• LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEES: Linda Anderson, Athletic Director; and Les Stafford, Volunteer
• SPORTS OFFICIALS INDUCTEES: Neely Dunn and Bob Walton.
• SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEES: Hillard Grossman.
• SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE : Gary Gregory, PAL Boxing.
• CHALLENGER AWARDS INDUCTEES: Brevard Special Olympics – Coach Cindy Dropeski, Athlete Chuck Conway and Volunteer Kathi Madden.
• TEAM OF THE YEAR: Cocoa High School 2016 Football State Champions.
• SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Jim Grimes, Basketball, Eastern Florida State College
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME