Mike Balson can best be characterized as a true and complete professional in his 25-year participation in Georgia Soccer. His professional career in the States began in 1979 with the Atlanta Chiefs of the NASL. He began teaching and training youth coaches and players that same year. Mike's name has become synonymous with many of the coaching and youth player clinics and camps that he developed and conducted. These clinics continue to offer excellent development and growth opportunities for coaches and players throughout the country.
In 1982 became the Assistant Player-Coach of the Georgia Generals. That same year, Balson developed the first affiliated indoor soccer league in Georgia, The SISL, after playing, pioneering and convincing coaches and leagues to adopt the sport. In 1985, Balson spearheaded the creation of the Soccer Academy in Lilburn, a combined indoor/outdoor facility.
From 1987 to 2000, Balson served as Commissioner for the United Soccer Leage and helped develop several franchises for that league. From 1998 to 2001, he acted as the General Manager of the Atlanta Silverbacks and provided players for youth clinics, camps and training sessions throughout the state.
Over the years he has coached both indoor and outdoor teams. In 1989 and 1990, Balson coached the 16U Steamers and 19U Concord to State Championships. Later in his career, he assisted with the 15U Dacula boys, as well as the 19U boys at Lanier and the Gwinnett YMCA.
In Adult Amateur Soccer, Balson coached the GASA Adult Select Team in 1986 and 1987. In 1986, they hosted the USASA Regional Championship and then won that in 1987.
In college soccer, he served as Assistant to the Georgia State University team from 1981-1984, and coached DeKalb College from 1990-1993.
Balson has also spent time as a referee. He has officiated finals and championships for the ACC, SEC, the NCCAA, and NCAA Women’s and Men’s Division Championships in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
At the national level, Balson has served on the USSF Discipline and Appeals Committee and on the National Referee Committee.
With this record of participation and activity it is easy to understand the part Mike Balson has played in the creation and growth of our exemplary soccer programs in Georgia. This is why in 2004 he was inducted into the Georgia Soccer Hall of Fame.