Photo by Elizabeth Dranitzke

Patrick Coyne

Patrick Coyne jokingly says he's still teaching five year olds to play soccer 25 years after starting that volunteer coaching task because he "need[s] kids to yell at" and his own don't listen any more. 

It was due to his devotion to soccer via the Sports on the Hill organization that he was one of the group of four who received he newly initiated Steve Cymrot Spark Award at the Capitol Hill Community Foundation's Achievement Awards dinner in 2016. In this February, 2016, interview with Stephanie Deutsch preceding the dinner, the conversation focuses on the logistics and psychology associated with five year olds and soccer skills, and the neighborhood engagement it engenders.

Read Transcript
Interview Date
February 22, 2016
Stephanie Deutsch
Betsy Barnett

Full Directory

TAPE 1/SIDE 1DEUTSCH: This is Stephanie Deutsch with Patrick Coyne.

COYNE: Hello.

DEUTSCH: February 22, 2016. Patrick, where did you grow up?

COYNE: I grew up in this area. I grew up in Northern Virginia, just inside the Beltway.


COYNE: In Annandale.

DEUTSCH: Uh-huh. And were you an athlete as a child?

COYNE: No, I was not. [Laughs] I was more of the nerdy kid and brainy and didn’t do much athletic at all. My brothers were much more athletic than I was.

DEUTSCH: How many brothers did you have?COYNE: Four.
DEUTSCH: Oh, my god.
COYNE: Still do.

DEUTSCH: [Laughs] What were their sports?

COYNE: Well, the second—I was the oldest—Mike played football, Dennis has always been a biker, Tim was a basketball player, and the youngest wasn’t very big in sports when he was young either. But we’re all still pretty active and athletic today.

DEUTSCH: Mm-hmm. That’s fun. So, did you stay in this area to go to school?

COYNE: I grew up out in Annandale until I was 18, went away to college, first at Virginia Tech and then to U.Va. [University of Virginia]. And, then, finished up at U.Va. and came back to the Washington area and worked for a year as an engineer. Then, I went back to U.Va. for law school. And I just couldn’t leave the area. I looked at different parts of the country. I took a clerkship here in town and looked at different parts of the country again after the clerkship and decided this is really where I wanted to stay. And, by

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

that point, I had gotten to know the Hill a little bit and decided to take an apartment—I rented a house with a friend of mine on Capitol Hill—and I’ve been here ever since. Since 1981.

DEUTSCH: And do you work for a law firm?

COYNE: I do. I’m a partner at Finnegan, here in Washington.

DEUTSCH: Uh-huh. Specializing in ...?

COYNE: Intellectual property. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and related unfair competition matters.

DEUTSCH: Mm. Okay. I bet that’s on the website.COYNE: It is.
DEUTSCH: I can look it up.

COYNE: It is. Not everybody does all of it. I tend to be more of a mutt. I do everything. A lot of the people in the firm specialize in only one or the other. But, I was in a general practice for several years before I went back to Finnegan. For 20 years I was at another firm and was doing a general practice there.

DEUTSCH: Well, it must be—the internet age has opened up all kinds of possibilities ...

COYNE: It has.

DEUTSCH: ... in this field of intellectual property, I would think.

COYNE: It has. Well, the practice has changed a lot, but that’s probably not what you want to hear about.

DEUTSCH: No. No, it isn’t, but it’s interesting. [Interviewee laughs] Okay, Sports on the Hill.

COYNE: Sports on the Hill.

DEUTSCH: When did you get involved?

COYNE: You know my wife Nancy [Lazear]. Nancy and I were both runners when we were courting and I’ve always been ...

DEUTSCH: You ran after her?
COYNE: Yeah, I did. And luckily she wasn’t running fast enough for me not to catch her. [Interviewer

laughs] So, we’ve always been pretty active, hiking and outdoors, and things of that nature. And we tried page 3

Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

to get the kids interested. Our oldest daughter at the time was four and she really wanted to do ballet. So, I tried to see if she would do soccer and she wasn’t interested. Then, finally, after about a year and a half of ballet, she decided this was not for her and just announced one morning that she was going to do soccer.


COYNE: So, we showed up at Providence Park, X Park. And Denny McGrann was still running the program then. And it was kind of like bumblebee-ball. But Megan really liked it. And Denny did what I do now, which is shame the parents into helping out and coerce them into coaching. And he did that to me. And I’ve been involved with Sports on the Hill, Soccer on the Hill for, oh, since Megan was four. She is now 29.

DEUTSCH: So, that’s a good quarter century.
COYNE: It is, it is.
DEUTSCH: And you’ve been all soccer? No other sport?COYNE: Just soccer.


COYNE: I never played soccer when I was growing up but it’s a very accessible sport. I picked it up. And the league sends the coaches off to a coaching class up at Jelleff [D.C. Community Center] and I took one of those. And the kids were interested in it. So, what got me into soccer is my kids.

DEUTSCH: So, you have Megan and ...?
COYNE: Peter and Rachel. Megan’s now 29 and Peter is 26 and Rachel will be 23 in a couple of weeks.DEUTSCH: So, besides coaching, have you done other ...

COYNE: Well, I am on several boards and have been an officer of several nonprofit associations. I’m not crazy about the office side of being on a board. [Interviewer laughs] So, no, I tend not to discharge my duties adequately. And so I have Sports on the Hill. And I told Greg [Frane] and Larry [ Kaufer] years ago I’m happy to continue to be the guy on the field and to coach and schlepp the balls around and all that, but I ...

DEUTSCH: That’s more fun.
COYNE: ... really don’t like going to nonprofit board meetings. [Laughs]

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

DEUTSCH: I know the feeling. Do you have a favorite—you must have a favorite soccer memory or several favorite ...

COYNE: Oh, it’s interesting. Over the years I think the Hill has changed a lot. And I think that watching these kids come through is a good microcosm of it. I mean, families used to have kids .... You only had the hearty few, yourself included, who stuck it out and stayed on the Hill when their kids grew up. And most people left. And I’d say 20, 15 years ago, say, that really started changing. More and more families started staying. And the character, shall we say, of the parents starting changing. [Laughs] And not always for the better.

COYNE: But, there’s many ...
DEUTSCH: More intense. Would you say more intense about the kids?

COYNE: You could say intense, yeah. You know, I didn’t used to get requests for an Olympic Development Team for five year olds and I don’t quite know how to break it to them that there is no Olympic Development Team for five year olds. [Interviewer laughs] But they don’t seem to get that. But, it’s a ...

DEUTSCH: I take it you have had such a request?

COYNE: Oh, yes, absolutely. So, soccer memories. I guess part of the problem is that with the little kids it really is kind of organized chaos and some of the parents would push for more structure. Cognitively, five year olds really aren’t able to handle a whole lot. So, I developed this program over the years. It’s probably a little more tailored for older kids, but in my experience the five year olds can do it. So, I tend to run that with them and I’ve been running it that way for most of the last 25 years. I’d say, probably ...

DEUTSCH: And what’s distinctive about it?

COYNE: We just goof around and I run them around the field and we do some calisthenics for a few minutes. And, then, we do a drill each week, a new skill each week. And they practice that a few minutes alone or [in] small groups. And we keep the field very small, break them into teams of no more than eight. So, four-on-four. And there’s a lot of developmental psychology that’s gone into this. The professional soccer associations, like FIFA [Federation Internationale de Football Association], of which we’re a part, really endorse keeping small-sided games at that age. Otherwise, you just get everybody chasing the ball and it’s just like a big cluster of bumblebees. And this way they ...

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

DEUTSCH: Is that a term you invented, the “bumblebee’?

COYNE: No, I’m sure other people have used it, too. [Laughs] But, you know, the kids start chasing the ball around and whoever is the dominant kid ends up spending the most of the time with the ball and everybody else is just chasing him. So, if you keep the teams small-sided and really work with the kids on the skills, they really can develop very good skills, even at this age, as long as they are age-appropriate skills. And, then, they get time to practice it with a small-sided game when it’s, you know, two to four people on a side. And, if somebody feels like sitting it out for a few minutes, they can do that, too. It’s no problem.

DEUTSCH: Do you have assistants? I mean, when you’re coaching do you have parent helpers?COYNE: I try to solicit, or shame, or coerce, whatever phrase you want to use, some of the parents that

are there because, let’s face it, I haven’t had a kid out there doing this for at least 10, 15 years.DEUTSCH: Right.

COYNE: And the parents are usually very good about volunteering to help. And I see some of them coming back, you know, after the next kid comes, and the one after that. And it’s great. And that’s our feeder program for coaches as the kids get older, because I only have them for a year, now.

DEUTSCH: So, you’ve stuck with the little kids.
COYNE: Well, we used to have U-6, U-8, U-10, U-12, -14, -16, and then the kids go off into high

school. And a lot of them break off the program at that point ...DEUTSCH: Because they can play at school.

COYNE: ... Because they play at their school. And most of them tend not to stay with a club or house team after that. So, we got to a point about 15 years ago where families started staying on the Hill. I’d usually get, maybe, 40 kids for Under-6s, for all the Under-6s. And then it got to be 50, then 60, then 80, then 100.


COYNE: And at one point we got up to—we started getting around 160, 170, and Larry and Greg kept encouraging me, “We really need to break this up!” And I had it organized and it was still running efficiently ...

DEUTSCH: 160 kids in the Under-6?

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

COYNE: 160 kids showing up each weekend. And it finally got to the point where we had about 200 kids registered and I finally acceded to Larry and Greg’s request that we break it up. So, we’ve now broken it into a U-6, the five year olds, and a U-4, and we at times have had a U-3 as well. So, there’s a lot of families with little kids that are staying on the Hill these days. Much more than used to.

DEUTSCH: Yeah. Wow, that’s a lot of kids.

COYNE: So, basically we run the program that I developed for the U-6s, the five year olds, and then it’s much more of a pickup game, much more like Denny used to do with my daughter, with the U-5s and U- 4s.

DEUTSCH: Yeah. And is it still at X Park?

COYNE: Well, no, they’re still at X Park. We switched over to Watkins several years ago when D.C. ... Well, I mean, the other thing about the city, in general, is that the city has really gotten its act together a lot better, not perfect, but much better than it was 20, 30 years ago. And one of the organizations in the city government that has really gotten it together a lot better is D.C. Rec [Department of Parks and Recreation]. And they have taken possession of a lot of sports fields around town and improved them. And improved them in ways they had not 20, 30 years ago. So, for example, the Watkins field is a D.C. Rec field and when we got permits for that I moved the Under-6s over there, and the Under-5s and Under- 4s are still playing over at X Park. So, it takes a lot of pressure ... That’s not actually a city field and we’ve had some interesting incidents over time with that. It’s actually the property of the Capitol.

COYNE: And, at times, [the] Capitol Police have felt that it’s their duty to move civilian interlopers off

of the Capitol’s land.

DEUTSCH: Even when they’re six year olds playing soccer?

COYNE: Even when they’re six year olds playing soccer. And, so, we’ve had situations where certain representatives and senators living nearby the park didn’t like the noise. It’s been up and down over the years, but we’ve kind of had an uneasy peace. If we don’t blow loud whistles and don’t do a lot of yelling and screaming and take care of the turf and not play when it’s raining and that kind of thing, it seems to have worked out. But we switched over to Watkins for the U-6s. The league has got a permit for multiple fields there during the day on Saturdays and Sundays and I usually take an 8:30–10:00 slot with the Under-6s. It might interfere with Power Rangers or whatever’s hot these days, but it seems to work.

DEUTSCH: [Laughs] Yeah, well, they’re better off.

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

COYNE: Well, the field’s fantastic. It’s one of these synthetic turf fields like the high schools have put in around town. A lot of the private high schools have put these fields in and they’re just fantastic. They drain.

DEUTSCH: Because they don’t get messed up in the rain?

COYNE: Well, it’s like a four-inch blade of polyethylene. It’s not like Astroturf, like when we were kids, where you’d fall and you’d kill yourself on it because it’s concrete with a piece of plastic on top of it. It’s a four-inch blade back filled with crushed rubber, crushed tires. So, it’s very tiny pellets of rubber and it’s very compliant. It’s an easy surface to run on. You don’t get hurt when you fall on it. You don’t get rug burns when you fall on it. It’s really great. And you can play on it wet and it doesn’t damage the field and the water just drains right through. So, that’s the Watkins field and we have other D.C. Rec fields for other of the age groups.

DEUTSCH: Did any of your kids go on to—did they stay with soccer in ...

COYNE: Oh, yeah. Well, Megan, the oldest, stayed with it and I did not coach her at an older age. I kept the U-6s when she moved up. And she actually had both Larry and Greg as coaches at different times. I think she might have even had Luis [Granados] as a coach at some point. I’m not sure about that. But I coached, when Peter came in, the 26 year old. He really wasn’t—he was one of the tree climbers and sideliners rather than playing on the field with the U-6s. But I kept his team when he moved up. I took another team and was coaching two teams at a time, the U-6s and then his team. I stayed with them until they were about 14. And then a lot of kids started drifting off into travel [or their school teams]. And, then, when my youngest, Rachel, came through I still had the U-6s and then I kept her team as she moved up. So, I kept two teams during that period as well. So, now I’ve kind of fallen back to just the U-6s and get some help from some other coaches, people like David McDonough, who lives down the street.

DEUTSCH: Mm-hmm. Lives down there. Yeah.

COYNE: David helps out with the U-6s now after his kids have all aged out and he’s looking for something to do with his Saturday mornings. And then we just get a lot of the other parents to volunteer. So, you were asking before about vignettes over the years ...


COYNE: ... of what happened. So, one incident was—I won’t name any names, but ... the Capitol Police at one point did come over and a certain Majority Leader ... I probably shouldn’t even say more about the specific office this individual was holding. But we were making noise on Saturday mornings

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

and it was loud and it was disturbing. And they lived nearby X Park. So, they weren’t happy there. So, the Capitol Police came over and tried to move us on a couple of times and finally told us we can’t use the park anymore. So, I had to try to intervene with all of the Hill parents who had connections on the Hill to see who we can talk to ...

DEUTSCH: Who they could lean on?
COYNE: ... to get this fixed. And Chief [Gary] Abrecht, on your [Capitol Hill Community Foundation]

board ...DEUTSCH: Yes.

COYNE: ... was the chief [of the Capitol Police] at the time, and his daughter went through Soccer on the Hill. So, he felt he had a conflict and couldn’t address it. But I did address it successfully with one of his lieutenants and we kind of agreed we would not use whistles in the morning and not make a lot of noise and keep control of the crowd and not play on the field when it was wet and would tear up the turf. And that seemed to work out just fine for many more years, until we moved to Watkins. The other vignette is that a lot of parents come in, even at age five, and are trying to relive their own misspent youth and they want their kid to be, like I said, on the Olympic Development Team. There is no Olympic Development Team for five year olds. But I get play-up requests all the time and ...

DEUTSCH: What kind of requests?
COYNE: Requests to play up. You know, their kid’s five but they want him to play with the seven and

eight year olds. Or they want him to play with other kids in their class that are a little older.DEUTSCH: Because they’re a special five year old. Yes, yes.

COYNE: That’s all right. I have my little speech and I start with Lake Wobegone, you know, all the women are strong and the men are beautiful and the children are all above average. And I tell them: “do the math.” They all can’t be above average because that’s what average is. But there have been kids, at times, that have been truly exceptional. For example, this one child, his mother was a Duke [University] Division I track star and she ran some very challenging distances, you know, 440, 880, 1600. So, that’s a tough distance to sprint. So, she was a really good athlete. The father was the striker for the Cameroon national team. And this kid was a phenomenal athlete, at age two.

DEUTSCH: At age two?

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

COYNE: At age two. So, he was playing up with the U-5s. And the father was very helpful in terms of coaching and the kid was just phenomenal, absolutely great, and running rings around the five year olds, twice his age. So, we have had some that really are true ...

DEUTSCH: What became of him?
COYNE: I think one of them worked for an international organization and they finally got transferred out

of town. But a delightful family and the kid was a phenomenal athlete, truly a joy to watch.

DEUTSCH: At the age of two.

COYNE: At the age of two. So, there are some that really do merit playing up, but not all of them. And I get requests from time to time—I had one request a couple of years ago. So, I started getting harder about it over the years, trying to explain that, you know, the kids that really do excel are the ones that are held back and have more time to learn. You know, look at major league baseball. Look at National Hockey League. It’s not the kids that were pushed and are younger than everybody else that excel. It’s the kids that were held back a class or two, got more time, learned the skills, learned the basics, that became the really, truly phenomenal athletes.

And this all falls on deaf ears, from time to time. So, this mother kept sending me emails saying she wants her child to play up. And I said, “Well, how old is he?” And she said, “Well, he’s almost seven.” And I kept sending this email back to her saying, well, when is his birthday? And she wouldn’t answer me directly. So, finally, you know, after saying he’s almost seven, she finally gives me the birthday. I look up the child’s name, I get it out of the league roster—the kid’s four. He’s playing up to be in the U-6s and she wants him playing up in the U-7s. [Laughs] So, we do get requests that people are pushing. And he was not like this other kid who the father was the Cameroon striker and the mother was a track star. This kid was a study in genetic engineering. He really was. He was fantastic.

But, I get a lot of requests from kids who aren’t and they really would benefit from being with their age group and doing it. So, you know, it does put a lot of pressure on the league because, you know, that child then has to go up to an older age group and how do they fit in there? And most of the time it’s not a good fit. So, we seem to have worked it out over the years. And it’s much more common for play-up requests when somebody’s 10, 12, 13, and really an exceptional athlete. But, for five year olds, it’s just [generally] not appropriate.

DEUTSCH: Yeah. What keeps you going? What’s your motivation?
COYNE: Oh, I need kids to yell at. I can’t yell at mine, they don’t listen anymore.

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DEUTSCH: [Laughs] And they’re ...

COYNE: No, it’s fun. It is a lot of fun. There’s a couple of things about the little kids. A friend of mine, one of my law partners for 20 years—he was also coaching, mostly baseball. But, he was coaching a lot of [other] sports, too. And we used to have these philosophical discussions about coaching. What we finally realized is that you end up coaching the age group that you have an affinity with. [Laughs]

So, as my son teases me, you know, I’m really a child. You know, I may dress up like a lawyer during the day but at times I can be as immature as a five year old. And it’s just a lot of fun. It’s a great age. They’re still learning and exploring and learning what they can do and they end up, if you motivate them and give them direction, they really do respond at that age. And they are eager to learn and they just want to have fun. And it’s great being around them. It’s a very high energy activity. You really have to be on and be managing it to make sure everything’s flowing smoothly and it’s safe for everybody. But it’s just a blast, it really is.

They have two speeds, fast and off. They’re either engaged or they are totally checked out. And, you know, it’s fun keeping them engaged. And I really do feel like with this program that we run, after one season, they really are competently playing soccer for their appropriate age group.

DEUTSCH: Because you’re their entry. You’re the entry point into ...

COYNE: Yeah, we’re the entry point into the league. And it really is important for us to be able to teach them the skills because if they get up there the next year and kids have been playing for two and three years and they don’t know their way around the field, it’s going to be very frustrating for them. They’re not going to have a good time, they’re not going to have fun. And you get injuries because somebody’s not paying attention and not looking or not keeping up and you get hurt. So, it’s a ...

DEUTSCH: So, you have boys and girls.

COYNE: We have boys and girls. And another challenge we have is that a lot of the ... you know, if I had a boys team, a boys-only team, I’d get sued and I’d lose. But a lot of people insist on a girls-only team. And not only do I not get sued and not lose, I have to do it. And I don’t necessarily think personally that a girls-only team is the right thing to do at age five.

DEUTSCH: You mean it’s the mothers of the girls [who] want them on a girls only ...

COYNE: Not necessarily the mothers. The fathers, too. The girls sometimes. But I think a lot of the parents push the girls to do a girls-only team. And I’ll have another observation about that in a minute, but let me just finish that story. So, [what] we end up doing, we do offer that option and I try to talk

Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

people out of it. My girls both played coed until they were in their mid-teens. And, granted, when they get to their mid-teens it’s a significant issue. The boys are a lot bigger, a lot heavier, a lot stronger, for the most part, at that age. There are exceptions. But, you know, the average kid, you could have—the guys could be 40, 50 pounds bigger by the time they’re 14 or 15. And it becomes a significant intimidation and disadvantage for the girls. But at age five, that’s just not true. And they are pretty much equally capable within their own ...

DEUTSCH: Do you see a difference in the degree of competitiveness?

COYNE: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. That leads me to one—one of my two little vignettes I’ll share with you is that I’ve learned two things during this whole time, for 25 years, coaching soccer. Number One, the girls are way smarter than the boys. [Laughs] I won’t even put an age limit on that one. They are more ...

DEUTSCH: Do you mean that seriously?

COYNE: I do, I do. They’re thinking more about the strategy of the game and position on the field and what they need to do, where the guys are just, they want to get a ball and run and score. And, you know, they’re kind of out there doing the Lone Ranger thing.

DEUTSCH: And, of course, soccer may be particularly well suited to women’s ...COYNE: It is well suited because it’s a team sport.

DEUTSCH: It’s collaborative in a kind of way. Well, I mean I guess they’re all collaborative but baseball’s not collaborative.

COYNE: Well, if you are trying to play hotshot and there’s 11—well, there aren’t at the age we play. We only do two-on-two or four-on-four, but, you know, as they move up, the field gets bigger. The field gets a lot bigger fast and the number of kids on the field [grows quickly as well]. So, if you’re hot-dogging it, you’ve got 11 people that are going after you. And it really is a very collaborative team sport.

And that’s the other thing that I’ve noticed, is that the boys will have a relationship with the other kids in order to compete. The girls will compete in order to have a relationship.

DEUTSCH: Yes, I think that’s so true.

COYNE: It’s a very different perspective in terms of their socialization. But it works out well for both of them. And I think my girls, in particular, became a lot better soccer players by being on coed teams. And, like I said, you know, certainly by the time they hit 15 or 16, it’s a significant enough factor that they really do need to be playing the same sex. But, you know, when they’re little kids at five, no.

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DEUTSCH: Mm. So interesting.

COYNE: There are plenty of girls on the field that are better than the average guy out there. And they really can hold their own. And they learn how to ... I mean, realistically, part of it is not just developing the skills, it’s learning how to play a team sport. It’s learning how to cooperate. It’s learning how to get along with people. It’s learning how to, you know, take a hit or take a fall or get a bad ruling from the ref and not let your emotions rule your reaction.

DEUTSCH: Yes. I seem to remember my son getting a yellow card when I think I wasn’t there. But he was so upset he walked off the field.

COYNE: Yeah.
DEUTSCH: You can’t really do that.

COYNE: Well, and that’s part of the thing. You know, I tell the kids, you know, all calls by the referees are final, especially the wrong ones. [Laughs] It’s just ...

DEUTSCH: Part of learning the game.

COYNE: Part of what I think we’ve got to teach them at that age is learn how to play a team sport. Not just necessarily soccer, but learn how to be with other people and cooperate and play an organized sport as a team player.

DEUTSCH: Yeah. That’s so interesting.
COYNE: So, that’s my story.
DEUTSCH: Yeah. It’s wonderful. Do you watch a lot of soccer?

COYNE: No, I don’t really. I mean, I didn’t know anything about soccer, never played it, until Megan started with this. And it’s a very accessible game. It’s very easy to learn. It’s not easy to become really good at, like [Brazilian professional] Ronaldinho, sitting 50 yards out and pounding the ball across the crossbar of the goal 15 times. That takes a good amount of skill. But you can get decent, reasonable at the game in a very quick amount of time. It’s very accessible. The ball’s a great teacher. It’s played everywhere in the world, so wherever you end up going there’s always a soccer game. And it’s a lot of fun. And it is, unlike American football or rugby—there aren’t as many injuries. And they aren’t as bad injuries when you get them. It’s a great sport.

DEUTSCH: Anything else?

Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

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Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

DEUTSCH: Okay. Tell me about keeping the league organized.

COYNE: Well, it takes a lot of effort and dedication to keep the league organized. And I’m happy to do my little piece of it, being out there on Saturday mornings with the little kids. But you’ve got to have a quartermaster. Somebody’s got to get all the equipment and somebody’s got to schlepp it all around and kids need transportation and teams have to be organized and referees have to be trained and assigned.

DEUTSCH: And the schedule has to be ... Yeah.

COYNE: Permits have to be obtained. And it just takes a lot of effort. And what I really think has been phenomenal is that, you know, folks like Luis [Granados], like Greg [Frane], like Larry [Kaufer], like Mike Godec, and, you know, innumerable others whose kids have long since aged out of this, stay involved and are still active and participating on behalf of the community.

DEUTSCH: And doing some of those somewhat tedious things.

COYNE: Right. I haven’t had a kid in this for, you know, [Laughs] more than a decade. And, so, there is that engagement. This is the one community thing I do. I mean, I do professional things. I do stuff for the bar association, for the court that I appear before most frequently. I was an officer of their bar association for a year. I’m on the board of another [bar association in which I am active]. But this is the only community thing I do. And it’s just a blast. It’s great. It’s a lot of fun. It’s great seeing the kids around the neighborhood. You know, they show up at your house on Halloween and [in an excited voice] “Oh, it’s my coach’s house!” You know, it’s great. And then they turn seven and because you’re associated with when they were five they never want to admit they knew you!

DEUTSCH: Right. They don’t admit ... Yeah.

COYNE: But it’s fun. And now we’re getting kind of the second generation of kids coming through where kids that I coached as little kids, you know, 20 years ago are now coming back and their kids are in the program. So, that’s really nice. And it’s not just one or two. There’s a lot of families where there’s now the next generation of kids coming through these programs.

DEUTSCH: That really is nice.

COYNE: And I’m sure there’s always ways to make it better and, you know, things could be done, but the bottom line is it takes a lot of dedication by, frankly, people like Greg and Larry who are willing to do the administrative side of this, and Luis, that is really thankless and very time consuming.

page 14

Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project Patrick Coyne Interview, February 22, 2016

DEUTSCH: He does the web, doesn’t he?
COYNE: And doesn’t get any recognition or visibility. But it just wouldn’t work without somebody

being willing to put the time in and keep it running.

DEUTSCH: Right. Now I understand you’re going to speak, you’re going to be the speaker for ... [for the Capitol Hill Community Achievement Awards Dinner on behalf of himself, Greg Frane, Luis Granados, and Larry Kaufer]

COYNE: I shall.
COYNE: So, nice and short. Five minutes.DEUTSCH: Anything else?

COYNE: No, that’s it.