When the New Jersey Soccer Association selected Teddy Kottakhs as its first Referee of the Year honoree at the inaugural Hall of Fame dinner in 1997 it was an indication of how respected the Greek-born referee from East Windsor was in the Garden State soccer community.
The honors for Teddy Kottakhs have continued to pour in ever since. Tonight comes the most prestigious honor of all with his selection as the NJSA’s newest Hall of Fame referee.
Born in Greece where he developed his love for soccer as a 12-year old, Teddy soon was playing for the top teams in his hometown, making it to the Division 2 level at 16-years old.
He arrived in the United States in 1970, married a year later, and by 1971 was playing for one of New Jersey’s most respected sides – the Mercer County-based German American Kickers of Hamilton.
One of Teddy’s earliest teammates was current NJSA director Pat Varsallona, and after playing for Trenton Panorama through the 1980 season, Teddy’s soccer career moved to a different phase when he became a certified USSF referee.
Upgrades came quickly, and by 1983 he was officiating his first U.S. Amateur Cup match. Three times he was selected to referee at the Region One level, and twice officiated the Champions League final at Giants Stadium.
He also worked the U.S. Amateur Cup regional final between New York’s Greek Americans and Club Espana of Baltimore, and by 1980 was assisting New Jersey referee assignor John Zangrilli with assigning referees throughout the state. In addition to being honored as New Jersey’s Referee of the Year, Teddy was named Referee of the Year by the L.I.S.A. League.
He has continued to be active at the youth level, coaching in the East Windsor PAL program for 25 years. He has also officiated and assigned referees for the amateur leagues in East Windsor and Mercer County area for 25 years. He has spent several weeks each winter officiating matches in the warmth of Florida.
Teddy Kottakhs continues to officiate high school boys and girls soccer matches for NJSIAA in the Central Jersey area, providing the same Hall of Fame quality officiating that has made him one of the most respected referees in the U.S.