(Friday, May 11, 2007) -- Stephen H. Baumann, a former North American Soccer League player who has served as a museum director and college professor, was named today as president and chief operating officer of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, which is located in Oneonta, N.Y.
"I am delighted with this opportunity," Baumann said. "I look forward to the new challenges presented by this position. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that allows me to couple my museum career with my lifelong passion for soccer, and I cannot wait to get started."
Baumann replaces George Brown, secretary of the board of directors, who served as acting president since September when long-time president Will Lunn resigned.
"It's great to have someone like Baumann," said Brown, who was inducted into the Hall in 1995, nine years after his father George was installed. "We are excited to have someone with his energy and his enthusiasm, and his passion for the game. . . You could not have found someone with a better combination (of qualifications)."
Doug Willies, the Hall's chairman of the board, made the announcement. "This is the culmination of an exhaustive national search, which commenced in the fall of 2006," he said.
Baumann played for University of Pennsylvania from 1971-73 and was named to the school's 15-member All-Century Team in 2005. After the Quakers captured Ivy League titles in 1971 and 1972, he was co-captain of the 1973 team and was named a first-team All-American after leading the Quakers to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. He later coached Penn from 1987-92.
He was also the place-kicker for the 1971 Penn football team.
Baumann, who still holds the school record for assists in a game (4), season (18) and career (39), was a first round draft-pick of the Miami Toros and spent four years with the NASL club.
After receiving a bachelor or arts in elementary education from Penn, Baumann earned a masters degree in science education from University of Virginia. From 1977 to 1987, Baumann held a variety of teaching positions in the Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools and was an adjunct instructor in science education and educational technology at George Mason University in Fairfax and Rosemont College in Pennsylvania.
Baumann then entered the museum field. Most recently, he served as executive director of the Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena, Calif., since 2004. Previously, he held the position of vice president of education and programs with the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J., following a stint as director of educational technology programs at The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia.
"What is unique about Steve is that not only does he have the broad-based non-profit management and museum experience that we were seeking, but he also has a rich background in soccer," Willies said. "This unique combination should hold the Hall in good stead and we are confident that he will be able to move the Hall to another level."
Before stepping down, Lunn had worked at the Hall for 16 years, the last 10 as president.
Hall amends voting procedures
ONEONTA, N.Y. -- The National Soccer Hall of Fame board of directors has revamped its induction voting procedure.
In the player category, candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast. Each voter still will be asked to vote for up to 10 candidates on his or her ballot.
Previously, two candidates were inducted if they were named on 50 percent of the ballots cast. A third former player would also be inducted if he or she was included on 80 percent of ballots.
To remain on the ballot, a candidate must be named on five percent of the ballots. If the five percent is not received, that player would not be considered again until veteran eligibility, which begins when the player is retired for more than 10 years.
Changes were also made to the veteran voting, where the top vote-getter will be inducted should he or she receive a minimum of 50 percent of the vote. A second veteran can gain induction only in case of a tie. Candidates must be nominated; however, a review committee has been established to add any worthy veterans who might have been excluded by the nomination process. The field is then thinned by a screening committee.
Voting is done by members of the Hall of Fame, who also are asked to name up to 10 veterans on their ballots.
The Hall board added an age limit of 50 for the induction of builders, which includes owners, administrators, coaches and referees. Referees now must be sanctioned by world governing body FIFA for at least seven years to be eligible.
The builder category also has a screening process. The top vote-getter will gain induction should he or she be named on 50 percent of ballots with a second inductee possible only in case of a tie.
The voting panel includes all Hall of Famers, as well as the United States Soccer Federation secretary general and director of officials, and Major League Soccer commissioner and management representatives. Each voter is asked to vote for up to five candidates.
"These changes to the election policies set an appropriately high standard for election to the Hall of Fame and will remove players from the ballot who have not received significant support in the voting process," Hall of Fame acting president George Brown said.