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Jun, 2017

Complex Being Renamed to honor founder, Cleveland T. Grims

North River Soccer Complex re-naming ceremony in honor of Cleveland T. Grimes to be held Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

May 18, 2017 - North River Soccer Association is inviting all past players of teams coached by Cleveland T. Grimes, as well as past soccer associates and friends of Mr. Grimes, to attend a brief ceremony to be held on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 at 10:00 AM, where a tree and plaque will be dedicated to  Grimes’, in addition to celebrating the City’s official renaming of the DuPont Park soccer complex in Grimes’ honor.  Cleveland Grimes passed unexpectedly in April 2016.

On that same day, youth recreational soccer players from around the region will participate in the newly re-named Cleveland Grimes Friendship Cup, a recreational tournament sponsored by Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA), the main Tennessee governing body for soccer in Tennessee.  Grimes served as the Southeast District Representative for TSSA for 16 years, and was serving as its Executive Vice President at the time of his death.  TSSA announced the renaming of the Friendship Cup in honor of Mr.  Grimes shortly after his passing.

The Chattanooga City Council approved renaming the city-owned soccer complex by resolution on May 16, 2017 to:  Cleveland T. Grimes Soccer Complex, at DuPont Park,.   

Mr. Grimes became involved in Chattanooga soccer in the early 1990’s through the recreational soccer program at the North River YMCA, largely because of his young son’s interest in the game.  The program was quickly outsizing the single YMCA soccer field, and after leading the navigation of the politics necessary to create a nonprofit association to register teams with TSSA, Grimes enlisted the help of others and was instrumental in having another field built at the Hixson YMCA. 

Due to continued growth of the sport in Chattanooga, Grimes ultimately spearheaded the development of the DuPont Park soccer complex, leading the negotiation with DuPont which ultimately lead to donation of the land for the construction of the soccer facility.  Once donated, Grimes was instrumental in organizing the efforts to make the North River Complex a reality.  He worked with his friends John Straussberger and Joe Hutcherson, and the City of Chattanooga, to realize the dream of so many soccer coaches and players. 

Once built, Grimes spent countless hours volunteering, maintaining the fields and most of all, coaching players of all ages.  During tournaments or big events one could find Grimes working the grill at the concession stand.  There were many days he was the first to arrive and the last to leave.  Long after his own children had grown up and left for college, Cleveland continued to volunteer countless hours and was a leader in the soccer community here in Chattanooga.

“Coach Cleveland”, as he was known to many who had participated in the early years of North River Soccer’s recreational soccer programs, coached hundreds of “Rug Rat” players (players aged 3 and 4).  He particularly loved working with the youngest group, having a knack for teaching soccer skills to a group many coaches find difficult to work with. 

In the early days of the NRSA soccer programs in 2004 and as a Board member for 11 years he continued to shepherd the Association’s growth from under 100 players to the more than 600 playing today.  Grimes’ steadfast desire to ensure youth soccer was safe, fun and accessible to everyone was one of his guiding principles

TSSA posted on its website that “Cleveland was a great leader and a man that gave so much of his life to youth soccer, to each of us individually, to our clubs, districts, the State Association, and most importantly to our children in the advancement of the beautiful game.”  [His passing leaves] “an unparalleled legacy to the game we all love.”   “Cleveland touched many lives along the way including those of us that serve on the board and work in the state office.”

Cleveland’s years of loyalty and dedication to soccer in Tennessee at the state level date back to 1998 when he began service as Southeastern District director.  TSSA Executive Director Hans Hobson was quoted on the TN Soccer website as saying, “Tennessee State Soccer Association has lost an incredible leader, volunteer, and most importantly friend.  Cleveland gave tirelessly of himself to grow soccer in our state over the last 25 years whether in his local community or at the State Board of Director level.”   “His gentle approach to policy changes and conflict resolution was always respected by those who knew him.  He will be deeply missed and he leaves some very large shoes to fill,” said Hobson.

North River Soccer Association operates the nonprofit youth soccer program at the Cleveland T. Grimes Soccer Complex and is dedicated to advancement of fun and learning through recreational soccer. 


North River Soccer Association
FIELDS: Cleveland T Grimes Soccer Complex, 4502 N. Access Road Chattanooga TN 37343 --
SEND MAIL TO: 5895 Union Springs Road Chattanooga, Tennessee 37415

Phone: 423-505-9451
Email: [email protected]

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