Neil Fisher has been a key contributor in the Rochester area soccer community for over thirty years, initially as a competitive coach, and then as an administrator. His first involvement with the New York State West Youth Soccer Association (NYSWYSA) began with the Irondequoit Soccer Club in 1979-1980 as a coach of a Boys’ Under 12 Travel Team. He was then asked and convinced by the Pittsford Mustangs Soccer Club to coach in the town in which he resided. From 1981-1994, Neil coached Boys’ Under 9 through Under 16 Travel Teams for his town’s club. During his successful coaching career, Neil coached over 900 games with a 75% winning percentage, and obtained his “D” License Certification. His accomplishments were recognized when he was honored by being selected the NYSWYSA Boys’ Coach of the Year in 1992.
Not being satisfied with just coaching; Neil also became a member of the Pittsford Mustangs S.C. Board of Directors (BOD) during the same time frame helping in a variety of capacities. He returned to the club’s BOD in 2000 serving as the liaison with the Rochester District Youth Soccer League until 2009.
Neil’s involvement as an administrator did not stop at the club level. When the boys’ Travel League, the Rochester Area Youth Soccer league (RAYSL), was just starting up and only had a few teams and players, he once again stepped forward to help in any capacity that he could to benefit the newly formed league and its players, and soccer in the area. He served on the league’s BOD as Boys’ Under 10, 12, 14 and 16 Age Group Division Coordinators from 1983-1986. In 1984, he was honored for his efforts with the RAYSL Gene Quatro Sportsmanship Award recognizing his significant contributions to the league’s huge growth and success.
Neil’s continuing contributions to the league and his organizational skills did not go unnoticed and he was elected the RAYSL Vice-President serving in that capacity from 1987- 1991. He was further recognized in 1992 when he was elected the RAYSL President. Neil held that position until 2000, at which time he elected to step down. However, his involvement with the league did not end. Since then he has remained on the Rochester District Youth Soccer League (RDYSL) BOD, which replaced the RAYSL, as the Boys’ Vice-President and Coordinator.
Neil is a retired schoolteacher from the West Irondequoit School District where he not only coached soccer, but also baseball, basketball, softball and track and field at the Junior/Senior High School. He has lived in the Rochester area all of his life and currently resides with his parents in Pittsford. Since 2001, Neil has been volunteering at Strong Memorial Hospital as a Patient Advocate and Pediatric Worker. In 2006, he was recognized with an award by the hospital for his long-term service in volunteering in these positions.
Past RDYSL President and 2007 NYSWYSA Hall of Fame Inductee Ken Bliss said, “Neil has served with dedication and integrity as a coach, mentor and administrator. Anyone who has been affiliated with Rochester youth leagues and NYSW knows that Neil is deserving of recognition.”
Roger Best, the NYSWYSA Rochester District Commissioner, said this of Neil, “I have known and worked with Neil for many years and everything that he did was always in the best interests of the players. It is my hope that Neil will continue to serve the youth of the area for years to come. People of his caliber with a sincere concern for the players and dedication to the betterment of the sport are few and far between.”