On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is with great pleasure that I announce the hiring of our new Executive Director, Mr. Leslie Fitzpatrick. Leslie comes to us from the Toronto/Buffalo area and brings over 17 years of soccer experience as a player, coach, and director. Leslie’s biography is attached below.
Leslie’s passion for and focus on holistic player development, coupled with his energy and drive to grow soccer at all levels, will serve our Club well as we move towards the future. He is very excited about leading our Club and getting to know our players, families, staff and coaches.
Please join us in welcoming Leslie to the NRU Family and the Blacksburg community when he arrives later this summer.
President, NRU Board of Directors
Leslie Fitzpatrick Bio
Former Trinidad &Tobago international football (soccer) player Leslie “Tiger” Fitzpatrick is a U.S.S.F. A-licensed coach with an extensive background in holistic youth player development. The former M.L.S. (Major League Soccer) player has over 17 years of coaching experience having started his licenses during his professional playing days in Columbus, OH. Throughout the years, Tiger has been responsible for developing a number of players who have gone on to represent various National teams, secured professional contracts, and attained scholarships in both the United States and Canada.
Fitzpatrick’s love for the sport began at a tender age and his passion for the sport vaulted him into representing his native country from the Under-15 level all the way through to the Senior National team. In 1994, at the age of 16, he earned a spot with the professional academy team of Roda J.C. in the Dutch Eredivisie in the Netherlands. The pinnacle of his playing career came with being a member of the historic Trinidad & Tobago team that qualified for the 2006 F.I.F.A. World Cup in Germany. The twin island republic was the smallest country to ever qualify for a World Cup until Iceland qualified for the 2018 event in Russia. Tiger retired from play in 2012 following a 10-year playing career that saw him ply his trade in the US, Germany, the Netherlands, China, Sweden, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad & Tobago.
Fitzpatrick holds a B.A. from Columbia University where he completed a double major in Economics and Political Science at the Ivy League Institution. He also holds a Master’s degree in Sports Administration and Sports Management from the University of Miami, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. As a scholar-athlete, Fitzpatrick represented the quintessential balance between sport and academics. Fitzpatrick's tenacity, skill, and leadership qualities resurrected the soccer program at the Ivy-league institution. Tiger was a two time Regional All-American, a four-year All-Ivy player, as well as a three-year Academic All-Ivy League player. He garnered the Offensive MVP of the FIU Golden Panther Classic and finished his school career 3rd on the All-Time Assists board for the Ivy League Institution. As a member of the First-team All-Ivy and First Team All-Northeast Region, he was second best in the league with 10 goals and 12 assists, the highest scorer in 2000.
Upon retirement, Tiger went into coaching full time and took up the position of Technical Director and General Manager of a Toronto-based Academy for 5 years. Concurrently, Fitzpatrick ran his own small soccer academy in Buffalo, NY with the hope of giving back to the Western NY region, where he had many great experiences as a professional player. At the beginning of 2018, he embarked on some new challenges, including moving into Collegiate coaching with the George Brown College Women’s soccer program taking over the reins of Head Coach in the summer of 2018. The team earned a playoff spot for the first time since the women’s program was re-introduced, with two players being named Ontario Collegiate Athletic Association (O.C.A.A.) All-Stars. At the end of the season, Fitzpatrick was named as the O.C.A.A. Central Division Coach of the Year.
Tiger spearheaded the development program for the Scarborough GS United soccer club which has been one of the preeminent adult soccer clubs both provincially and nationally in Canada. He worked as the assistant coach for the Senior Women’s team who won their 6th consecutive Ontario Cup and 1st National Championship at the end of 2018.