Ex-Guilford soccer coach Bill Wallach to have pair of fields named after him

Two soccer fields at A.W. Cox Elementary School in Guilford are being named after a former coach who won six state championships with the Guilford boys soccer program.

The Bill Wallach Soccer Fields will become official on Saturday at a dedication ceremony beginning at 1:30 p.m.

A number of Wallach’s former players at Guilford, including Adam Cohen, now the women’s soccer coach at Southern Connecticut State University, formed a committee and made a push to get the two fields at Three Mile Course Park named after Wallach.

“Coach Wallach was an inspiration to generations of young people in Guilford. His influence transcended sports,” said Cohen, who played for Wallach in the late 1980s. “He challenged us to be better, more responsible leaders. We aspired to live up to his standards and we never wanted to let him down. We are overjoyed that we can honor Coach Wallach with the Bill Wallach Soccer Fields.”

The committee was able to get this accomplished last August. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an official education was pushed back to Saturday.

“It’s incredible. Something like this never occurred to me that it could happen. I’m just a coach, a teacher of the game,” Wallach, 81, told Hearst Connecticut Media back in February.

Wallach, an East Haven resident, also won 11 Shoreline Conference championships in addition to the half-dozen state titles in two different stints as head coach. Wallach’s overall record at Guilford was 220-13-9, which included a three-year stay with the Guilford girls soccer team from 1997-99.

Wallach also coached girls soccer at both North Branford and Sacred Heart Academy, in addition to brief stints in the men’s collegiate game at both the University of New Haven and Quinnipiac College.

Admission is free but donations are being accepted to help cover the cost of the event, in addition to the maintenance of the fields by the Guilford Parks & and Recreation. To inquire about donations, or to attend, email WallachFieldDedication@gmail.com.

“They (the committee) had to go through a lot of work to get this thing pushed through. It’s a blessing that they did this. A lot of work went into it,” Wallach said.

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli