When a person joins the Saint Louis Scott Gallagher community as a player, coach, staff or employee they aren’t just another number they become a part of our family. As a family we spend countless hours with each other growing and supporting everyone both on and off the field. At times though we experience a tragedy, and it is during those times where we come together as one where we are the strongest.
Last year the Saint Louis Scott Gallagher family lost one of our own, Will Lange. Will played and coached in the club and impacted the lives of so many players throughout his life. We want to do our part in keeping his memory alive by sharing a note from his parents and those he worked with at the club.
“We are Janet and Dave Lange, the parents of former SLSG player and coach Will Lange, who passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 23, 2020.
We take pride in Will’s accomplishments as a player and coach, and especially as a person. After Will’s passing, young players he trained, coaches he knew, and people he worked with told how Will helped them in ways big and small."
Here are some examples from Will’s friends at SLSG.
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Santiago Castillo, STLFC U15 Academy Coach:
"I had the opportunity to run multiple soccer school sessions with Will while working for SLSG-Illinois. I also worked with him at a Saint Louis University summer camp. The best memory I have from Will is his positive attitude and work rate. He was always willing to go one step further, whether that was running a third session in a row or taking care of camp operations until midnight. He was always up for the challenge."
Jeremy Alumbaugh, former STLFC General Manager and current Managing Director of Chattanooga FC:
“As I was fading out of SLSG Illinois Soccer School as my STLFC duties became more and more, I really relied on some good people to work training sessions and help develop players. I was fortunate to have Santi, Elliott, Brian and Will.
“I remember a Tuesday night session at Collinsville. I was running the session with a girls’ group of players after having missed the previous week. As we were demonstrating some individual skill work, one of the girls said, "What about ‘the Big Will?’
“I replied that Will was working with a different group that night.
“She said, ‘No, not the Coach, the move.’ Now, we had a Preki, a Cruyff and many others. ButbI had no idea what ‘the Big Will’ was. Then the giggles started."
“You know the one move,' they said.
“No, actually I don't.'
“Well, Coach Will knows it and he showed us ... it's kind of a stepover, with a pullback.’
“I attempted a move that I had NO IDEA what it was ... and all the players laughed. I later found out that Coach Will had set them up to have a little fun with me and see if I would try and demonstrate a move that didn't exist and fall on my face!”
“I enjoyed my interactions with him at SLSG and was always good to see him at an STLFC game, supporting his club, hanging out with Shawn, Santi, Kyle, and other coaches. He was great with all levels of players, enjoyed being a coach, and just simply being around the game. He was dependable, focused, and always at a session with a smile ready to go!”
Kyle Riebeling, Boys ECNL/HS Boys Director:
“I first had the pleasure of meeting Will when he was being recruited to Greenville College (now University). After he committed and enrolled at Greenville, we spent the next three years playing soccer together and becoming friends."
“We reconnected a few years after college when he came to coach at SLSG. Will had an unforgettable and contagious laugh. So many times, he would start laughing about something and within seconds everyone was laughing with him. He also had a very kind and humble spirit. He got along with everyone and was willing to do anything he could to help others. I loved seeing him share his enjoyment, passion and knowledge of the game to all of the youth players who had the privilege to be coached by him. He passed along the reminder to always have fun and enjoy playing the game to so many kids.”
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We thank SLSG for remembering Will and for its support of the Will Lange Memorial Fund, which financially assists non-profit organizations that help kids through soccer and education.
We hope the fund will be a lasting way to continue Will’s work in helping others.
If you would like to donate to Will’s memorial please visit https://stlgives.org/give-today, select the Will Lange Memorial Fund at the bottom of the list.