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Menace mainstay, moving on to chase passion

By Des Moines Menace, 10/08/18, 3:30PM CDT


Long-time Menace Director of Operations, Adam Small, transitioning out of his full-time position with club to pursue a teaching career.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Oct. 8, 2018 – The Des Moines Menace is sad to announce that long-time colleague and friend, Adam Small, is transitioning out of his full-time position with the club.

Through five general managers, six head coaches, 177 Menace interns, and 49 Menace-hosted tournaments consisting of 3,800 teams, there remained one constant; Adam. The man behind the scenes making everything happen with a smile on his face and never asking for anything in return.

Adam joined the Menace front office in September 2007. During his tenure as Director of Operations, he led the club's internship program, media relations, operations and youth-soccer tournaments to never-before-seen heights. Adam will be moving on to follow his passion—a career in teaching. And, while not having Adam in the office every day will be different, he’ll still be engaged with the Menace as his schedule permits. This is encouraging news considering all the wonderful sentiments his colleagues and friends conveyed upon learning about his transition.

As Matt Homonoff, former General Manager of the Menace said, “Adam made a massive impact during his 10-plus years with the organization. He has done more for aspiring players of all ages in Iowa then many people realize. His operational expertise, commitment to quality, and relationships throughout the community and region have aided the growth of soccer immensely.”

Abby Johnson, a former Menace colleague, echoed these sentiments. “I don't think there is any way to quantify and describe all Adam's many valued contributions to the Menace. His leadership, flexibility and perseverance have been invaluable to the organization and will be greatly missed.”

Todd Meiners, another former General Manager of the Menace, had this to say. “I am extremely proud to have worked with Adam for five years. Although I was technically his boss, he taught me many lessons and coached me through many situations, with grace and patience; to which I am forever thankful. His mark on the Des Moines Menace and soccer is indelible.”

Lyle Hunt, current Director of Operations, emphasized Meiners’ thoughts, saying, “I have learned so much from Adam on the sports side, but working with Adam meant so much more than learning the industry. His ability to connect, instruct and lead, will always stick with me in my personal career. Adam truly demonstrates that the best organizations put people and the community first.”

Clearly, Small’s immense soccer knowledge, love of the game, and really, all things Menace, were icing on the cake for his past and current colleagues, all of whom had the same sentiment—Small is a genuinely nice guy who cares for people, and that was apparent in every interaction.

“He was kind to everyone he met and treated everyone the same from the CEOs of the world, to the college interns he hired, to the Menace super fans banging drums and throwing streamers at opposing goalies,” said Jordan Guy, a 2013 and 2014 Menace intern. “Adam treated me with the same kindness and respect when I was a stubborn 19-year-old kid as he does now as a stubborn 26 year-old-man. He’s someone I know that I can depend on and I’m proud to call him a friend,” said former Menace player Charlie Bales.

Evan Janssen, current Director of Youth Soccer Operations, had this to say. “There are very few people left in this world that value being a good person above all else. Adam did everything in his power to make the people around him better. He demonstrated kindness, care and love, for his co-workers while also being stern enough to allow people to grow. His leadership has touched many lives and will continue to do so in his future classrooms.”

The Des Moines Menace is sad to see Adam go, but is proud of his accomplishments and stellar reputation in the soccer world. “Adam’s departure is a big loss for our organization,” said Tiley Nunnink, current Menace General Manager. “He is literally the walking ‘Google’ of the Des Moines Menace and he epitomizes what hard work and dedication looks like.  I will personally miss engaging with him on a daily basis, but feel fortunate that we will be able to ‘break glass’ and call on Adam as necessary.”

That said, the organization knows that as Adam follows his passion for teaching, the young people he interacts with will see firsthand his kindness, leadership and ability to connect with people—even if it’s away from the soccer field.

Thank you, Adam, for everything you've done for the Menace!