On Saturday, August 15, 2020, Robert 'Bob' Asklof, husband of 55 years to Kathleen 'Connie' Asklof, father of two children, grandfather, and youth sports community leader passed away comfortably in his own home with family at his side following an extended illness. Bob was 81.
Bob’s friend John Murphy, Cal North Past Chairman, recalls, “I will never forget Bob’s statement to a US Soccer official after Bob and I defended CYSA against a grievance brought by US Soccer. At that time, US Soccer’s grievance process was set up so that it was both the complaining party and the judge of its own complaints, a seriously deficient process to put it mildly. After the hearing, the US Soccer official said to us ‘why don’t you give up; we have all the power and all the money.’ Bob replied: ‘The difference between you and us is that you want our kids for the benefit of your game, and we want your game for the benefit of our kids. I am not giving up.’”
Bob lived by the core principles he expressed that day. He vigorously fought to defend them and his impact on soccer is long lasting.
Bob was raised in Culver City, CA, by Danish immigrant parents, Bernhard and Thora Asklof. His childhood and young adulthood was an early indication of his future dedication to youth sports in California. Bob was a football standout at Culver High School, where he also met his highschool sweetheart and lifelong partner, Connie. Following high school, Bob served in the United States Marine Corps and was based in Okinawa, Japan, where he mastered karate.
After his military service, Bob moved to Northern California where he laid roots and where his children were born. His children’s sports activities spurred his involvement and reignited his passion for youth sports. He was a dedicated multi-sport parent and coach, but his passion for soccer was second to none. He loved to officiate games and ran tournaments, but most importantly served as the Cal North District 8 Commissioner for 25 years.
As the Cal North District 8 Commissioner, he offered leadership in the communities he served, and built and developed playing leagues to serve every level of competition. His knowledge and experience were unmatched. His relentless giving to youth soccer programs, and his dedication to Cal North's mission was rewarded with his induction in the Cal North Hall of Fame in 2014.
Bob believed in Cal North’s mission that the primary purpose of youth soccer was to develop kids by helping them grow into mature and responsible adults, not just to develop kids into soccer players for the self-interests of those at the elite level. As the Cal North District 8 Commissioner, member leagues’ were treated equally, without preference, bias, or favoritism. In reference to Cal North’s motto “kids first”, he would say, “never forget that the word ‘kids’ is plural,” meaning all kids should be considered at all times.
Bob is survived by his wife, Connie; son, Ray Asklof and his family (wife, Amanda and daughters, Payton and Reagan) of Fresno; daughter, Lisa Asklof of Lodi; and sister, Linda Asklof of Culver City. His vast Cal North soccer family joins Bob's family and friends to honor and celebrate Bob’s life. We know that his legacy of courage and integrity have inspired generations of youth soccer kids, coaches, referees, administrators and soccer fans in our communities. Thank you, Bob, for all that you have done for Cal North and youth soccer. You made the world a better place.