Merritt Guthrie National Referee Coach – updated 9-6-2021


Merritt Guthrie in his own words Mar 1, 2019:

Soccer!  What was soccer?  Grew up playing little league Football and Baseball.  There was not any soccer in the area I grew up.   Got into soccer while in college at Valdosta State.  Was asked to play on the College CLUB team.  If you showed up, you were on the team. We did play some pretty good College Club teams from FSU, UF and Jacksonville University.  That was my start into Soccer.     

 My Referee career started in 1992. I had established a pretty good Corporate Career with 5 weeks of earned vacation time. Vacation time came in handy for Refereeing.     Coaching one of my son’s soccer teams, it appeared to me the Refereeing was terrible.  Don’t complain unless you’re willing to do something about it.   I took a Referee course with a room full of 13-15 year old kids.  My extensive Corporate career and Management training fit right in with being a Soccer Referee.  Within a few years, I made it to a Grade 3, National Referee.   With all that Vacation time, mentioned above, my availability gave me some opportunities to do some great matches.  Nike Friendlies, MLS preseason, USL Pro, A League at the time and National Team International Matches for the U-17 & U-20 teams.  

All that have excelled to the upper levels of Refereeing have had a Mentor or Guardian Angel to help them out.  Paul Larson, the ARA at the time, helped out tremendously in the beginning of my career.  Jozsef Michna, SRA at the time, was another Mentor at the right time.  Jozsef helped with advice and coaching to push me over the top.  At times, they both seemed like they were trying to push me off the ledge instead of over the top.  It was for my own good.  

In 2008 I became a National Assessor/Coach after finishing up my National Referee career. It is really rewarding to see Referee’s you work with early in their career go on to be successful.  This year I was invited and went through a year long training to be one of the 29 on the 2019 PRO Assessor panel.  Just getting invited is something to celebrate and I am looking forward to the Challenge. 

Have fun and enjoy every game you get to Referee.  Give it 100% to do your best.   There might be a super star on that U-13 game.  One day, you too can say you Refereed that great player.  Good Luck to all.

Merritt Guthrie
January 2, 1954 – September 6, 2021

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