Tag Archives: Marcus Hahnemann

The Gifts of Cliff McCrath

Wanted: Someone to supervise 300 kids 24/7 during summer, take 22 rowdy college boys cross-country to win a soccer championship in the fall, marry a couple on Saturday, christen a newborn on Sunday, keynote a corporate speech to hundreds first thing Monday and pull votes for a stadium initiative on Tuesday. Ten fingers not necessary. Sense of humor a must.

Unless your name happens to be Charles Clifford McCrath, there’s no need to apply.

Cliff McCrath often shares company with soccer’s royalty, in this instance Pelé.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, a true treasure of Seattle and soccer, Cliff McCrath, will be inducted into Seattle Pacific University’s Falcon Legends Hall of Fame. McCrath knows the drill. After all, it’s his 10th such enshrinement around the country.

Unlike the others, however, this will be celebrated on his turf, where since arriving 47 years ago he grew to be an outsized figure capable of accomplishing amazing feats for a sport that, at times, struggled to take hold.

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A Stand-Up Character

Looking back, those first impressions of Marcus Hahnemann were the most telling. That last 24 years have only served up reinforcements.

He arrived at Whidbey Island’s Camp Casey as the third- or fourth-choice goalkeeper. A week later Hahnemann was Number 2 and by late September the starter for Seattle Pacific. It was not only his ability, but his drive that made the difference.

That winter, prior to an intramural basketball game featuring a team of SPU soccer players, Hahnemann capped the pregame huddle by barking, “Kyle on three. One-two-three: Kyle!” Our first child had been born the previous morning. His name: Kyle. More than just a colorful character, this young man was not only very much aware but thoughtful of others.

Wherever he played over 20-plus years, Hahnemann was a crowd pleaser (Courtesy Sounders FC)

That’s what made it so easy to root for him all these years, knowing that he was earnest and talented and caring and so full of life. The fact that he started and finished his body of work in his hometown merely made it better. Best of all, however, is knowing he traveled the world and represented himself and Seattle with an honesty and transparency that is refreshing and also emblematic of what we desire of our ambassadors.

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