In 1972 Jim Moynihan, husband of Laura and father of 4 young kids, quit his job and started a metal cutting company in his friend’s garage. The company was Demand & Precision Parts, Inc. (D&P). Jim started the company with his longtime friend John Grellinger. A few months in they moved to a building in an industrial building in Wauwatosa, WI. John and Jim soon parted ways as far as the business went, but remain good friends until this day.
Jim, along with his wife Laura, maintained ownership of D&P and John Grellinger started a new company. In 1977 Jim built a pair of soccer goals for his children’s grade school, St. Jude’s in Wauwatosa, WI. His friend, engineer Dick Bielefeld, lent his expertise to help design the goals so they would be both durable and safe due to their counter-balanced design. People in the area saw the goals and other schools and clubs began to inquire about buying them and in 1978 Keeper Goals was born as a division of Demand & Precision Parts. Today Keeper Goals manufactures and distributes a wide variety of athletic facility equipment including soccer goals to schools, parks and clubs across the United States and Canada.
Jim not only made soccer goals, but he and Laura were extremely instrumental in the development of youth soccer in the state of Wisconsin. Jim Moynihan never wanted to coach soccer. He was inundated with the game as a boy. In his childhood summers, he traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to visit family. One of Jim’s St. Louis cousins, (Joe Hamm), played for the U.S. National Team. And every miserable summer Jim Moynihan’s cousins subjected him to soccer and he learned to loath it.
In 1975, Jim’s sons, Mike and John, asked if they could play soccer. He answered like the good father he was, “Fine, but I’m not going to any of your games!” But of course, he went to their games. He didn’t enjoy them though; not because he hated the game, but because they played it all wrong. It looked nothing like the game he watched and played as a child. Therefore, Jim Moynihan did what Jim Moynihan does when he thinks something is done incorrectly – he does it himself. Jim began his opinionated, unrelenting and inexhaustible love affair with Tosa youth soccer and the kids who play the game.
Jim immediately affected the seven and eight year old kids he coached. He scared the hell out of them. He was the loudest thing in the Wauwatosa. When Jim coached at Hawthorne the neighbors closed their windows, and the Milwaukee County Zoo reported strange behavior in the gorilla cage. Today, Jim’s hearing isn’t good. He claims it was because of the loud saws he worked with, but the kids he coached know the truth. He, actually, damaged his own ears screaming infamous soccer jargon like “kick the bloomin’ apple.” Assisted by his wife, Laura, and a hidden microphone he eventually learned his own volume and lowered it a few decibels.
Jim Moynihan was a great coach. It wasn’t just the trademark jean shorts and loud voice. Jim loves kids. He enjoyed practice, so the kids enjoyed practice. He’s humble. He knew he didn’t know everything. He always sought assistance. Jim has a soccer brain. He applied common sense. The teams won, because Jim Moynihan solved problems.
Jim’s Tosa Kicks teams won 7 state titles, played in two Regional Championship games, and his players played, starred and captained at Division I, II and III colleges across the country.
In addition to the players whose lives he impacted, Jim Moynihan’s contributions to the Wauwatosa soccer community are on almost every field. One day, Jim looked at the goals being used and said, “I can make a goal better than that.” So, he did.
Jim didn’t only make the goals, he lined the fields, mowed the fields and kept the nets and corner flags at his house. He went to Milwaukee Kicker meetings and argued with everybody because, as you may or may not know, Jim “the Big Guy” Moynihan is always ready for a good argument. Jim Moynihan is a founding volunteer of Tosa Soccer. His legacy is on the fields. More importantly, though, his attitude of excellence, hard work, and volunteerism lives in the hearts and actions of Tosa’s next generation of coaches and players.
– Written 2014