Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame’s Fidgi Haig’s Influence On Soccer In Brevard Legendary
By Space Coast Daily // September 26, 2013
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Twenty-six years after helping lead the Panthers men’s soccer team to its first Division II National Championship in 1988, Haig is now leading the women’s program in its quest for its first championship.
FIDGI HAIG – 2013 INDUCTEE
• Collegiate National Champion
• Florida Tech Hall of Famer
• National Youth Soccer Coach of the Year
LEAD TECH TO NATIONAL SOCCER TITLE
For Florida Institute of Technology women’s soccer head coach Fitzgerald “Fidgi” Haig, his soccer career has come full circle.
Twenty-six years after helping lead the Panthers men’s soccer team to its first Division II National Championship in 1988, Haig is now leading the women’s program in its quest for its first championship. A winner since he arrived in the United States from Port Au-Prince, Haiti, Haig can add another honor to his career when he is inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in May.
“I was very flattered,” Haig said. “This came a week after I was inducted into the Florida Institute of Technology Sports Hall of Fame so the feeling was doubled. I feel privileged to be inducted alongside the other members of this class.”
In 58 games for the Panthers he scored 45 goals and handed out 18 assists for 108 points as a forward from 1987-90. When Tech needed him, Haig always rose to the occasion as he helped the Panthers claim its first men’s soccer national title with the game’s first goal in a 3-2 win over California-State Northridge.
Haig scored a career-high 16 goals his freshman season to lead the entire Sunshine State Conference. In 1988, he lead the team with 14 goals. He was a two-time all-region and all-state player and was selected All-Sunshine State Conference three times in four years.
Before Haig came back to lead the Panthers as a coach, he had a nine-year run from 1996 – 2005 as the head coach of the Satellite High School women’s soccer program that went down as one of the best in Florida women’s soccer history.
Haig led the Scorpions to back-to-back Class 3A state championships in 2002 and 2003. The 2002 squad, which featured over a dozen Division 1 players, including 2012 SCSHOF inductee Ashlyn Harris and new 2013 inductee Courtney Baines-Lundy, beat a St. Thomas Aquinas team that hadn’t been scored upon all season.
The Scorpions won seven Cape Coast Conference championships and appeared in the Class 3A state championship game four times under Haig. His record of 231 wins – 18 losses – eight ties produced a .941 winning percentage that is still ranked fourth all-time in the USA.
Haig earned numerous Coach of the Year honors in high school but none were bigger than when he was named the United States Youth Soccer Adidas National Coach of the Year in 2005. Danielle Keath, who scored 167 goals from 1999 – 2001 for the Scorpions before playing at Louisiana State University for four years calls Fidgi the best coach she’s ever played for.
“Almost everything I know about the game, I learned from Fidgi,” Keath said. “He believes in every single person. He was always willing to point every girl in the right direction.”
‘I LOVE THIS GAME’
Since bringing his talents to FIT, Haig has taken the Panthers program to new heights. After eight seasons, Haig is already the all-time leader in wins with a record of 78-45-22.
The Panthers reached its first-ever Final Four in 2010 and in 2011, and hit No. 1 in the Division II national rankings for the first time in school history. However, for Haig, he doesn’t measure his career in wins and losses. It’s the impact off the field and down the road that is most rewarding for him.
“For me, every year coaching has been special,” Haig said. “I do it because I love the game and being around so many great athletes. These girls challenge me every day.”
“It was never about chasing trophies. I used soccer as a tool to teach them about working hard and playing together as a team. With the bond and friendships that I’ve made over the years, it’s so rewarding to see how successful many of them have gone on to be down the road.”
To make a nomination for the Class of 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com. Nomination deadline is March 1, 2017.