Scholarship to Be Awarded in Honor of Dan Woog

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Photo contributed by Dan Woog

For decades, Dan Woog has been a major presence both at Staples and throughout Westport. Though Woog has gained recognition in the community as a writer and historian, Staples students know him best for his position as soccer coach.

On Sunday, Dec. 5 at the boys soccer banquette, the Top of the Hill Booster Club established a scholarship in Woog’s name to honor his commitment to Staples Soccer.

The Top of the Hill Club is a group which was started in 2006 by parent, Mark Gudis and four other Staples soccer team alumni. The club provides funding for the soccer team by providing more equipment that is not included under the town’s athletic budget.

“The award is a $5,000 scholarship grant given each year to either a current Staples Boys Soccer Senior, or a recent Alumnus who is in college. The recipient will be someone who shows the same dedication and commitment to Staples Soccer that Dan exhibits every day,” Mark Gudis said.

According to Gudis, the scholarship will be awarded annually at the soccer sports banquet. Woog will nominate a candidate for the award to a committee of Top of the Hill members, headed by Gudis.

“I feel incredibly honored, humbled, surprised, and inspired,” Woog said.

With Woog as coach, the team has had over 125 victories and three FCIAC victories.

According to Gudis, the scholarship will be funded each year by the Top of the Hill Club as well as other alumni and friends. He also hopes that seniors on the team, including his son, Greg Gudis, will become involved in the award after they graduate from college and start careers.

“I believe it is now time to show our gratitude and thank Dan, for everything he has done on and off the field for the program and our kids,” Mark Gudis said.

Dan Woog was extremely pleased about the scholarship because of its potential to help soccer players pay for college.

“Of course I am passionate about soccer, but in our program at Staples we also stress the importance of academics. Our team has won an All-America academic award for seven of the past nine years, and we celebrate success in the classroom as well as on the field,” Woog said.

“So the fact that an award in my name will provide substantial help to soccer players in college makes me feel very, very proud.”

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