Monday, 1 December 2008

Eddie Austin 1975, 1976

Edward "Eddie" Austin was born March 14th, 1952 in Scotland. He arrived in the US at an early age. He attended Hartwick College of Oneonta, New York. A captain of his junior and senior seasons, Eddie finished his career with 21 goals. He had five game-winning goals and was the leading scorer during his All-American season. He helped Hartwick to a 44-10-5 record and three NCAA Tournament appearances in four years. He was a three-time Hartwick Indoor Tournament MVP and was selected to the Senior Bowl Game in 1973. He also won the Harry Mosher Award as a senior.
Eddie was inducted into the Hartwick College Hall of Fame in 2001.
He was drafted by the New York Cosmos, but was injured before signing. In 1975, Eddie signed for the Rowdies, He made his debut against the San Antonio Thunder, coming on a substitute, in a 4-0 win, on May 31st. He would appear in 6 games.
During the 1976 season, Eddie would only play in 5 games, 2 of those from the start.
In 1977, he joined the New Jersey Americans of the American Soccer League, and was part of their League Championship team. During the 1978 season, he lived ever soccer player's nightmare, he dislocated a knee, tearing ligaments and tendons in the process. The injury ended Eddie's playing days, but that started him on a different soccer career.
During his recuperation from surgery, he completed his Master's Degree from East Stroudsburg University and worked as the Public Relations Director for the New Jersey Americans.
In 1979, Eddie rejoined the Rowdies, as part of the front office. Eddie went from being the Rowdies' Director of Player and Community Development to Director of Operations, running the show during game day.
It was during this time he earned his USSF "A" coaching license, he was also in charge of the Camp Kikinthegrass from 1981 to 1987. He also met his future wife, Marcia Schallert who was the Rowdies' Director of Media Sales.
In the summer of 1986, he was inducted into the Rowdies Hall of Fame.
In 1987, he announced his "retirement" from the professional soccer scene, to join the American Automobile Asssociation, those in the game, who knew him, knew he would not be away for long.
He was a member of the Tampa Bay World Cup Task Force, trying to make Tampa a World Cup venue. The Citrus Bowl in Orlando was eventually chosen.
Later Eddie served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer. He was named MLS Operations Executive of the Year in 1998. He also served as game producer for the World Cup USA in 1994 and the 1996 Olympics.
Today, Eddie resides with his wife Marcia in Odessa, Florida. He is an administrator at Saint Leo University in Pasco County. He is also usually behind the scenes of Rowdies' Reunions.


Pete said...

Eddie is a true gentleman and helped me out as a youngster. Great ambassador, 1st class guy!

Stephen Sleboda said...

Great coach at University of Tampa!!