December 13, 2013

Hicabi "Turk" Emekli '58

Inducted April 25, 1992

Hicabi "Turk" Emekli was a standout player and later a standout coach at Catholic. A tower of strength at center halfback whose teams set national records in scoring in numerous years, Emekli was player-head coach his sophomore through senior seasons and named First Team All Mason-Dixon Conference in 1956 and 1957. During his playing days and later under his tutelage as coach, Catholic University soccer was "on a par with national powerhouses such as Pittsburgh, Maryland and Penn State," according to The Tower. The Cardinals won Mason-Dixon Conference titles in 1956 and 1957. Catholic's undefeated 1957 championship team - the nation's leading scoring - averaged over seven goals per game. Catholic University, to this day, would surpass the all-time best NCAA Division I soccer records for team and individual goals scored per game average in a season.

As Catholic's coach for 21 seasons, Emekli's commitment to service included introducing soccer to inner-city youth through free summer camps at CUA.

A United States soccer pioneer, Emekli went on to coach the Washington Whips in the inaugural season of the North American Soccer League. Named the best player on the field by Gündüz Kılıç and echoed by the U.S. soccer community, Emekli also starred in the United States with the Greek Americans in the historic German American Soccer League, Central Valet, Lido, and the Italian Americans in the National Soccer League, and as an inside left forward for the Gencerbirligi Soccer Club in Turkey. After his playing and coaching days, Emekli enjoyed an iconic 40-year officiating career before hanging up his cleats at age 83.

In total, Emekli celebrated a seven decade career in soccer that began in the 1930s and culminating in 2010. Presently, Turk lives life with Alzheimer's Disease with the same spirit, teamwork, and courage that he carried throughout his soccer years and in life. Age 88, Emekli is a Cardinals game regular and big fan of the nationally prominent Catholic University soccer teams of today. Turk says: “Play on.”

Participation

  • Soccer 1,2,3,4
  • Tennis 3,4
  • Soccer Coach
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