Legendary SMU coach Hyndman now success for FC Dallas
Published: Friday, April 8, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Schellas Hyndman is more than a coach and a legacy at SMU. He is a man who has accomplished much, and will always be remembered at SMU.
Hyndman was born in Macau, China in 1949 to a Russian-French mother, and a Portuguese father.
In 1957, while China was just in eight years of Communism control, Hyndman and his family had to leave the country in the cargo hold of a ship.
Once an American, Hyndman had to face adversity in his life such as: his father passing away, language barriers, and his mother remarrying. However, he found a way to cope.
"Sports and martial arts was an escape for me," Hyndman said.
Hyndman was a very talented athlete in high school, playing football and soccer and practicing martial arts.
His high school coaches are the ones who ultimately inspired him to become a coach.
"Bob Costello and George Pavalakos were my coaches at Vandalia- Butler High School. They always cared about me and were really the ones who inspired me to be a coach," Hyndman said.
Following high school, Hyndman earned a soccer scholarship at Eastern Illinois University and earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1973.
After graduation, Hyndman played one season of professional soccer for the Cincinnati Comets, but his calling for coaching then took him to Murray State University.
"While I was at Murray State I was earning my master's degree in physical education, and coaching the men's soccer team," Hyndman said.
Upon earning his masters degree in 1975, Hyndman received a job at Escola Graduada in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1976.
"Escola Graduada is an American/English speaking school for people who wanted their children to earn an American diploma, and I was also coaching indoor/outdoor soccer at the school," Hyndman said. "Though, at Sao Paulo I got a wonderful opportunity to be an ‘Estagio' [coaching apprentice] at Sao Paulo Futebol Club."
At Sao Paulo, Hyndman gained valuable experience and memories.
"I'll never forget my first day, Pele was leaving to the states to play for the Cosmos," Hyndman said. "I met him and he took out his number 10 jersey for Brazil from his car, signed it for me, and it's hanging in my house today."
In 1977, Schellas returned to the United States to become the head soccer coach at his Alma mater Eastern Illinois University.
There, Hyndman complied an impressive 98-24-11 career record before ultimately attracting the attention of SMU.
"It was a great feeling knowing that you're wanted by another program, but I was a young coach, I didn't know if I was ready for the move," Hyndman said.
"I knew I had to leave my comfort zone. My wife was a huge reason why I came to SMU. She said to me ‘They want you, this is a very good opportunity, if you don't take it I don't want to hear you complain on how things could have turned out.'"
After Mrs. Hyndman's words of support, Hyndman came to SMU.
He immediately made an impact and made an even bigger name for himself in the U.S. soccer community.
In his 26 years of coaching at SMU, Hyndman compiled an impressive 368-96-38 winning record, eight league Coach of the Year honors, and five regional Coach of the Year honors.
He also served as the president of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 2005.
It was only a matter of time before this SMU coach went to the professional level.
On June 16, 2008, Hyndman signed with Major League Soccer team FC Dallas.
"It's hard for me to drive by SMU sometimes because SMU is my baby, I developed the program there, and I miss being around the college environment, games, events, young students, academics and everything. Though, I'm very happy with what I have done there, life is about accepting the next challenge," Hyndman said. "Professional soccer is a different world from college soccer, though I think I have the hang of it now."
Last year at FC Dallas, Hyndman took the team all the way to the MLS Cup Finals and was the MLS Coach of the Year.
A huge reason for Hyndman's ‘never give up' attitude and success is his passion for martial arts.
Hyndman is a 10th degree black belt and still practices Ju-Jitsu today at the age of 61.
"It's a huge part of who I am, and I love what it teaches you," Hyndman said.
Hyndman's martial arts mentor is Dr. Sacharanoski, who is one of the biggest names in the martial arts world.
"He is one of the people in my life that is a huge inspiration to me," Hyndman said.
Hyndman stressed how martial arts not only teaches you discipline, but self-confidence as well.
This is something crucial that he transcends to his soccer players.
"If you believe it, you can achieve it, they believe they are better," Hyndman said. "I don't miss a beat or anything because of martial arts."