Virgil Lewis, 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee, Coach and Administrator
For more than three decades, Virgil Lewis has been a very influential part of the growth of youth soccer in the United States as both a coach and administrator. Many of those close to Lewis will say that his endless pursuit to promote the game is motivated by his immense love of soccer and all it offers.
In the 1980s, Lewis served for four years as the President of the New Mexico Youth Soccer Association and acted as the Chair of the US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Committee for two years. In addition to his administrative work, Lewis also became an A-Licensed coach — helping his Thunderbird Soccer Club and Legend teams to a number of New Mexico State Cup titles. Lewis also acted as a head of delegation, team manager and trainer for the U.S. team led by Bob Bradley that traveled to France in the late 1980s.
Lewis continued to coach club soccer and once again acted as the head of delegation for another international trip in 1992-93 with the U.S. Under-17 National Team — helping lead the team to the tournament title in France. He later received the honor of acting as the head of delegation for a third time, again with an Under-17 National Team. The squad included players such as Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan and Damarcus Beasley.
From 1996-2000, Virgil led the association as President of US Youth Soccer, where he continued to help the organization grow. During his tenure as President, US Youth Soccer acquired sponsorships with major corporations like Tide, Nokia, Chevrolet and adidas.
To this day, Lewis continues to follow soccer and give back to the game. He conducted a coaching clinic for orphans in Iraq in 2010. Despite having to move the clinic inside because of rocket attacks in the area, Lewis saw the positive in the event and described it as “marvelous.” After all the years of working as an administrator and coach, Lewis has never lost his love for the game. His own words explain his connection with soccer best, as he wrote, “I could never give back what I have received from the game.”
VIDEO: Lewis Inducted into US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame