Ankeney, a founding father of Beavercreek soccer, dies at 79


BEAVERCREEK — John Ankeney died on Sunday at the age of 79 after leaving a profound impact on local youth through his love of soccer.

Ankeney is thought of by his peers as a “founding father” of the growth of organized soccer in Beavercreek and the surrounding areas. He created the John C. Ankeney Soccer Complex located just off of U. S. 35 on South Orchard Lane in Beavercreek.

It has the ability to house more than 30 fields at once and is the home facility for the Beavercreek Soccer Association, which he formed in 1975 and held the position of executive director. The BSA currently hosts recreational and professional leagues as well as several local and national tournaments including the long-running Creek Classic.

Beavercreek High School boys soccer coach Jason Guiliano said almost every individual who has played for the school, including himself in his youth, at one point likely played in a program Ankeney helped create.

“He was a driving factor to building the soccer community in Beavercreek long before it was cool or hip or even on the radar of a lot of communities in the Dayton area,” Guiliano said. “As I look back on where we’re at today, a lot of it could never have been where it was had it not been for John.”

The idea of a static soccer complex was concocted after early organized efforts saw single events being held in multiple locations at the same time, including on the site of the current Beavercreek Golf Club and Rotary Park.

Ankeney frequently could be seen tending to the fields during the years. He attended its events and always had a story for the many individuals he wanted to greet.

Beavercreek City Schools athletic director Brad Pompos described Ankeney as a kind person who was athlete focused. Guiliano echoed that sentiment.

“John always held true to his values that everything went toward the development of the players first,” Guiliano said. “He would do whatever it took to keep that in the forefront of everybody’s mind.”

Ankeney was named the U.S. Youth Soccer Administrator of the Year in 2017. He also coached at the recreational, club, and high school levels, provided instruction in adult leagues and also created participation opportunities for disadvantaged youth.

Ankeney is survived by his wife, Carol, five children, many other grandchildren and great grandchildren, and two siblings.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

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