Originally from New York City, Ira grew up in central New Jersey, where he was introduced to soccer by two neighbors who had just moved from Cuba. He played on youth teams and was a varsity player for Woodbridge High School. He then played one year of freshman soccer and one year of varsity soccer at Princeton University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences. The knee injury that ended his college playing days didn’t stop him from playing an additional thirty-one years of adult amateur soccer in South Bend IN (earning a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame in his spare time), Hershey PA (where he did research on cystic fibrosis), Middlebury VT (while teaching at Middlebury College), and Cedar Falls. Long-standing members of the CVSC may remember Ira as one of the founders of the CVSC’s predecessor, the Cedar Valley Youth Soccer Association (CVYSA), and its first president. He also was a co-chair of the committee that developed the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex. He is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
at the University of Northern Iowa. He lives in Cedar Falls with his wife Nancy, a retired chemistry professor and master knitter. His daughter Melanie, a former CVYSA player, is a data scientist in Chicago. Ira is a Chelsea and USWNT follower.
Ira first coached U10 boys teams with the Princeton (NJ) Recreation Division in 1975. He then coached U12 and U14 boys teams for three years with the Michiana (IN) Soccer Association, winning one club championship. In the following three years, he coached U16 and U19 boys recreational and competitive teams and a State Cup-winning U19 girlscompetitive team in Hershey PA. Ira coached a junior high boysrecreational team in Middlebury before moving to Iowa, where he helped Waterloo Recreation and Cedar Falls Recreation with their K-6 soccer programs for three years. He also started coaching the University of Northern Iowa women’s club soccer team, a position he held for thirteen years. With the Cedar Valley Youth Soccer Association, he coached a variety of U8 to U19 boys and girls recreational teams before starting with competitive girls teams. In 2002 he led a State Cup semifinalist U17 girls team on a trip to Denmark and Sweden, playing in the international Gothia Cup tournament. He has been coaching high school age girls teams, including one State Cup semifinalist, since the CVYSA became the CVSC.
* US Soccer National D License
* United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) National Diploma
* Iowa Soccer Association Hall of Fame
* Coach of the Year, Central Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association
* Commissioner’s Award for Outstanding Coaching, Michiana Soccer Association