Linda Hamilton

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  Philippines
  • 2010  –  Ivory Coast
  • 2011  –  Brazil
  • 2013  –  Chile
  • 2014  –  Bangladesh
  • 2015  –  Burma
  • 2016  –  China
  • 2019  –  Egypt

Linda Hamilton enters her fifth season as head coach of the Southwestern women’s soccer team, coming off a season in which she was named the SCAC Coach of the Year, leading the Pirates to the SCAC Championship match.

Hamilton brings a wealth of experience to the program, both as a player and coach. She played collegiately at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina, earning All-America status and all-conference honors all four years. She was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1988. Hamilton was a member of the United States National Team, where she played in 82 international matches. She helped the team to a World Cup gold medal in 1991 and bronze in 1995.

Hamilton, who owns a United States Soccer Federation “A” coaching license, got her start in coaching at Old Dominion University as the team’s head coach from 1993 to 1995. She later served as an assistant at Hofstra University (2006-2007) and most recently served as head coach at the University of North Florida (2007-2013). She has additionally worked with the Easter Seals and National Multiple Sclerosis Society (2002-2006), serving as director of development.

Jeff Agoos

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Egypt
  • 2019  –  Italy

MLS Senior Vice President of Competition, Operations, Medical Administration

Five-time MLS Cup champion and National Soccer Hall of Famer Jeff Agoos is Major League Soccer’s Senior Vice President of Competition, Operations and Medical Administration, in which he is responsible for improving the quality of the on-field product, ensuring a best in class sports experience and providing exceptional, individualized medical care. Additionally, Agoos provides input on technical development, disciplinary matters and serves as the league liaison with MLS coaches and Chief Soccer Officers on all game-related matters. Agoos serves on the COVID-19 Task Force Agoos and is responsible for all medical and testing protocols. Agoos joined MLS in April of 2011, after serving as Sporting Director and Technical Director for the New York Red Bulls.

Soccer fans know Agoos as a rock-solid fixture in the U.S. National Team defense for more than 15 years, including two FIFA World Cups and the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Agoos has played at every level of the game including earning a silver medal in the 1992 FIFA Futsal World Championships. He also won the 2002 Concacaf Gold Cup and was named to that tournament’s Best XI. Agoos ranks fifth all-time in appearances for the United States with 134 caps.

A 10-year MLS veteran, Agoos was named an MLS All-Star nine times while playing 244 games with three clubs: D.C. United, the San Jose Earthquakes and the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls). He was selected to the MLS Best XI on three occasions, and to the league’s “All-Time Best XI,” the latter awarded to commemorate the league’s 10th anniversary in 2005.

Agoos played every minute of all five MLS Cup victories, winning three championships with D.C. United (1996, 1997 and 1999) and two with the San Jose Earthquakes (2001 and 2003). Agoos also won the 1996 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with D.C.

In 2009, Agoos was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He has gone on to earn his MBA in Sports Administration from Southern New Hampshire University while working for Major League Soccer.

Greg Meyer

Running

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Egypt

Greg Meyer was the last American man to win the Boston Marathon (in 2:09.00 in 1983). He set American road racing records at 8k, 10k, 15k, 25k, and ten miles, and established world bests in the 15K (at Gasparilla in Tampa, FL) and ten miles (the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile in Washington, DC). He was also a sub-4:00 miler. Meyer was nominated for the Sullivan Award as America’s top amateur athlete in 1983. He has been inducted into the ESPN Road Racing, Road Runners Club of America, and Grand Rapids Sports Halls of Fame. Besides Boston, Meyer won the 1980 Detroit and 1982 Chicago Marathons and was the River Bank Run 25K champ seven times. Meyer is the University of Michigan’s Regional Director for Planned Giving.

Lisa Rainsberger

Running

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Egypt

Lisa Larsen Rainsberger, previously known as Lisa Larsen Weidenbach, (born May 7, 1961) is a distance runner. She is a member of the University of Michigan Track and Field and Road Runners of America Halls of Fame. Her marathon times were among the top ten in the US in 1984 and 1987–1994. As of 2008, she was listed four times in the top 100 all-time US women’s marathon performances, with a best time of 2:28:15.

In 1984, she ran the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon trials where she finished fourth, missing a spot in the Olympic games. In 1985, she won the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:34:06. An American did not win the Boston Marathon again until 2018, 33 years later, when Desiree Linden ran to victory. Rainsberger finished first back-to-back in the Chicago Marathon in 1988 (2:29:17) and 1989 (2:28:15), something no American woman has repeated since. She had run in numerous other distance races on the track and road, in the United States and abroad (notably Japan’s Hokkaido Marathon).

Rainsberger ended her 12-year career of professional competition after a final attempt to become a professional triathlete and training for the Olympics. She now focuses on her family and coaching. She coaches members of the Army’s world class athlete program, and her daughter, Katie Rainsberger, who is a champion in her own right.

Thomas Grilk

Running

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Egypt

Thomas S. Grilk, Chief Executive Officer | Boston Athletic Association | Boston Marathon

Tom Grilk is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Athletic Association | Boston Marathon, taking on that role in January of 2011. He served as President of the B.A.A. Board of Governors from 2003 until 2011.

In addition to his duties as Chief Executive Officer, he served as the marathon’s finish line announcer from 1979 through 2013, and he is a former marathon competitor, with a personal best of 2:49 and a personal best at Boston of 2:54.

He was for many years a corporate and business lawyer, both with the Boston law firm Hale and Dorr and serving as counsel and general counsel to Boston area technology companies. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School.

Alice Moat

Special Olympics Swimming

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Egypt

I have been a Special Olympics swimming coach for more than 25 years, serving as Head Coach of the Bethlehem Pennsylvania team for the 20 years. I am also the Pennsylvania Aquatics Sport Director, providing a liaison between the state competition staff and other volunteer aquatics coaches. In this position, I provide Special Olympics skills certification training to coaches, write articles on coaching tips, and help coaches with training and competition issues. I have been Aquatics Venue Coordinator at sectional and state competitions for the past 20 years, and I was the Head Aquatics Coach for Team PA USA at the 1999 World Games in North Carolina, and for the Pennsylvania team at National Games in 2010.

I am also a member of the local Bethlehem Special Olympics management team, currently serving as Manager, and previously as Volunteer Coordinator, Database Coordinator, Sports & Competition Coordinator, and Fundraising Coordinator.

I am currently retired, but previously worked for 31 years at PPL, Inc. (electric utility company) in the Fossil Fuels, Environmental and Information Services Departments.

Outside of Special Olympics, I am a lifetime member and volunteer for Girl Scouts and I help with science lessons at a local elementary school.

I have a sister with Down Syndrome who is a Special Olympics athlete in Virginia.

Denis Crean

Special Olympics Swimming

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Egypt

Denis is an active marathon open water swimmer and the founder and CEO of WaveOne Swimming, an internationally recognized open water swimming organization. Denis organizes races, swim clinics, and events and develops swim programs for teams and organizations worldwide. Denis is a USA Swimming and USMS certified Coach. His 25 years of pool and open water training and racing give him the experience and expertise to cover a broad range of swim topics, including the fundamentals of swimming; stroke technique and proper body positioning; advanced pace/interval/distance training; and open water race preparation, safety, and strategy techniques.

Denis is an avid open water swimmer and competitor, with an accomplished race record of over 250 racing miles including:
• 1st place: Tampa Bay 24-mile Marathon Swim (2004);
• 2nd place (male), 3rd place (overall): 28.5 mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (2006);
• 2nd place (male), 4th place (overall): 41k Lake George Marathon Swim (2007);
• 1st place (age group), 5th place (overall): 5.85 mile Little Red Lighthouse Swim (2009);
• 5th overall Swim Around Governors Island (2012);
• 1st place (age group) Frogman 5K (2013)
2013 highlights:
• Handpicked to participate as a coach in USA Swimming’s National Team open water training camp.
• Creator of the Inaugural Aloha Splash Pool Open Water Race on April 6, 2013

Kester Edwards

Special Olympics Swimming

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Egypt

Kester Edwards became involved in Special Olympics at age eight and has participated in aquatics, athletics, football, basketball, volleyball and floor hockey. Being a disciplined athlete he did well and was selected in 1987 and 1991 to represent Special Olympics Trinidad and Tobago at the International Special Olympics Games where he won a gold medal in football and both silver and bronze in aquatics.
In 1995, he served as an official at the Aquatics venue at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Connecticut. He has also excelled as a trainer, working to condition Special Olympics athletes in Aquatics.
As the first Special Olympics athlete from Trinidad and Tobago appointed to Special Olympics Inc. Board of Directors, serve on the Rules committee and the first class of Special Olympics Former International Global Messenger.

In June 2001, Kester accepted an offer from Special Olympics Inc. as a Coordinator for Special Olympics’ Health and Research Initiatives, as well as the Regional Growth Division and now my position is Sport department and a member of the Washington DC (Special Olympics) Lions Club.

Gail Morning

Special Olympics Swimming

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Egypt

See Ree Seo was born in Seoul, South Korea on September 14, 1983. She was adopted by the Morning family through Philadelphia Catholic Social Services and given the name Gail Lynn in December of 1983. Shortly thereafter, Gail was diagnosed as developmentally delayed and she became a member of the Special Olympics family at the age of five. She participated in many sports including gymnastics, volleyball and tennis winning numerous gold medals in local and county competitions.

Recently, Gail has focused on five sports, bocce, bowling, power lifting, swimming and tennis. Gail was fortunate enough to be chosen to represent the United States at two Special Olympics World Games competitions. In 2003 she traveled to Dublin, Ireland and won three gold medals in power lifting. In 2007, Gail was a member of the U.S. swimming team and won a bronze medal as part of the women’s relay team.
Gail continues to train and hopes to represent the United States again at the 2015 World Games being held in California.

Tiffany Roberts-Sahaydak

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  Uganda
  • 2007  –  Philippines
  • 2010  –  Thailand
  • 2011  –  Brazil
  • 2014  –  Brazil
  • 2015  –  Indonesia
  • 2017  –  Belarus
  • 2017  –  Albania
  • 2019  –  Egypt

An Olympic gold medalist, World Cup champion and two-time NCAA champion, Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak was named head women’s soccer coach at UCF in May 2013.

A three-time American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Roberts Sahaydak has wasted no time in putting her stamp on UCF’s successful program. Under her guidance, the Knights have earned four NCAA Tournament bids and four American Athletic Conference championships while boasting 11 conference Player of the Year awards and 38 all-league and tournament selections.

In her first season (2013), she led UCF to a school-record unbeaten streak (18 matches), an NSCAA national standing through much of the year and the program’s first undefeated conference season since 1999. In addition, UCF made history as the first program to win an American Athletic Conference Championship.

Roberts Sahaydak came to Orlando after serving six seasons at VCU alongside her co-head coach, husband and current UCF associate head coach Tim Sahaydak.

Roberts Sahaydak spent a decade with the U.S. National Team from 1994-2004, earning 112 caps (with 60 starts). Her career was highlighted by three women’s World Cups – among them, the unforgettable 1999 championship – and a gold medal with the 1996 Olympic team.

After retiring from the USWNT, she has served as an ambassador for U.S. Soccer with the U.S. Department of State Sports Envoy Program since 2007, promoting the power and benefit of sport internationally. With the program, she has visited Indonesia, Uganda, the Philippines, Thailand, Namibia, Brazil and France. In 2014, she was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Presidential Delegation to the Federative Republic of Brazil at the opening of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. She is a native of San Ramon, Calif., and was selected as the 1994 California High School Player of the Year.

She was a three-time Parade High School All-American, a three-time NSCAA All-American and was the two-time National Girl’s High School Player of the Year. She debuted for the Stars and Stripes in 1994 when she was only 16 as one of the youngest players ever to suit up for the National Team. She played in her first FIFA Women’s World Cup a month after her 18th birthday and won Olympic gold before she was out of her teens (USSoccer.com).

As a collegian, Roberts Sahaydak was a standout midfielder for North Carolina (1995-98) as a three-time All-ACC First Team selection. She led the Tar Heels to two NCAA titles (1996, 1997) during her tenure, was voted the 1998 ACC Tournament MVP and finished third in voting for collegiate soccer’s highest honor, the Hermann Trophy.

She still ranks among the top five for career starts in UNC’s record book.She was a two-time captain for the Carolina Courage in the first fully professional U.S. women’s league (Women’s United Soccer Association). She helped the Courage win the 2002 title after finishing last in the team’s inaugural campaign one year prior.

Roberts Sahaydak took over VCU’s program in 2007 and led the Rams to three conference championship game appearances. She was voted as the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Co-Head Coach of the Year, along with her husband Tim. The duo mentored two CAA Defenders of the Year, one CAA Rookie of the Year and 20 all-conference players, including six first-team honorees.The Sahaydaks reside in Orlando with their two daughters, Layla and Evie.

“It’s been a life changing experience being involved in the Sports Diplomacy Envoys. I have had the good fortune of participating in programs all over the globe, and I’ve worked together with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I am constantly reminded that sport can bring us closer together. We can celebrate our differences and our common interests. Every time we start to play a game we start to connect and the world seems to get a bit smaller.”