Hall of Fame 2019
Jack Koeberlein was born August 21, 1930 in Sundern, Germany. At the age of 22 he traveled to the United States and settled in the Philadelphia area. Jack was a sports writer and for 45 years contributed to German newspapers as well as the Inquirer, Bulletin and The Daily News. He would cover major sporting events over the weekend, and by Monday morning the scores were reported and the write-ups turned in. (Remember – no cell phones or computers then!) He was a typesetter and also worked in Marketing and Public Relations. From 1970 – 1990 he covered every World Cup, traveling worldwide for the German newspaper New York Staats-Zeitung. Of all the countries, Jack says “I loved especially Argentina and Mexico.”
Jack was friends with many of the prominent figures in the soccer world, including Werner Fricker Sr. (EPSA President, US Soccer Vice-President and President) and Gino Ferraguti (EPSA President). Jack became a trusted member of the Phoenix Soccer Club where, along with his many other roles, he served as Secretary, and was presented with the honor of their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Within the realm of Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer, Jack served as Cup Commissioner for eight years. He worked hard canvassing the local clubs to spark participation, increasing the number of teams from 8 to 28 in just a few years. Many of the nuances still used today regarding the Cup Draw and forming the team brackets were put into place by Jack.
As a lifelong soccer enthusiast, Jack coached at all levels, club and high school, boys and girls. In addition, as a result of his sports coverage, he had the distinct pleasure of interviewing top soccer personalities, such as Pele, John Varas (FIFA referee) and Franz Beckenbauer. He speaks fluent German and Italian, and understands Spanish, Swedish and Dutch. Jack lives in Ivyland with his wife Brigitte, has two daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Craig Lowry grew up in the Lancaster Pennsylvania area, playing soccer at the youth, high school and amateur levels. He began his career as a soccer official in 1985 as a grade 8 referee, rapidly progressing to State referee and then USSF National Referee. His keen eye for the game as well as his fitness didn’t go unnoticed, and he reached the Major League Soccer (MLS) ranks as Assistant Referee (AR) in 1996 and then the prestigious position of FIFA Assistant Referee in 1998.
As a FIFA Assistant Referee, Craig worked the Goodwill Games and the World Military Championships. He distinctively worked the World Cup Qualifier between Thailand and Saudi Arabia, as well as CONCACAF and International exhibition matches, notably between Manchester United and Celtic, and in Philadelphia the match between AC Milan and Chelsea. During his career he has officiated matches ranging from local, regional and National youth to the highest levels in the amateur and professional leagues.
After retiring as a FIFA AR, Craig continued his career as a National referee and National referee Instructor. He had the high distinction of serving on the Platinum Panel for US Soccer ID and Selection. He has been influential within Eastern Pennsylvania, working Development Academy games and mentoring groups of all ages. He continues to give back to the grassroots as a referee, and currently is a US Soccer National Coach (combination Instructor and Assessor), and he is our EPA Italian Translator.
Outside of soccer Craig has a myriad of hobbies, including gardening, bicycling, running, hiking and camping. He finds Chile-head participation quite heated, Craft brew tasting enjoyable and studying insects fascinating! Craig currently lives in New Holland PA apprenticing in the restaurant business as an every day learning trainee.
John Paul (1927 – 2006)
John Paul was born in Yugoslavia in 1927, and started played soccer as a young boy. After moving to Germany at the age of twenty nine he began playing at a more competitive level, and was also a licensed referee in Germany. By trade a cabinet maker in Germany, he became a house painter after he and his family migrated to the United States in 1956.
Soon after his arrival in the United States, John became affiliated with the United German Hungarian club in Oakford. He and his family were and are still heavily involved, with John serving many roles with the Club including Vice-president, Soccer Director, Senior Soccer Coordinator, Board of Governor and was also a Life Member at the United German Hungarian Club.
John Paul was a prominent figure in the United Soccer League, holding positions of Financial Secretary and Registrar for many years. And to round off his passion, he was a registered US Soccer referee for over 30 years along with being a referee assignor as well. John Paul was a true pioneer of Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer, paving the way for many others in helping to develop a strong league and club.
John was the proud father of two sons, John and Steven and six grandchildren, some of whom continue to play and coach within the United German Hungarian club and the United Soccer League.