By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
April 11, 2018-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is pleased to announce that Hauppauge Soccer Club coach Nick Massimo is being honored as our Personality of the Month for April.
Nick grew up in West Islip and played both goalkeeper and center midfielder for the West Islip Soccer Club from 1974 to ’79, when he was five to nine years old, in the early history of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL).
Nick’s father Fred was an avid soccer player and fan, playing for the US Military Team when he was in the Air Force and the family moved to Rome, Italy when Nick was nine years old.
“My father’s love of the game translated to me and he coached me in my early soccer days,” Nick said. “I went to an American school in Rome where I continued to play soccer from middle school, culminating with playing varsity my junior and senior years. We competed against other American and international schools in Italy.”
Italians love basketball after soccer and Nick also played hoops, captaining his high school team during his senior year.
Nick explained, “We would travel to different US military bases in Italy to play both soccer and basketball. I graduated from the American Overseas School of Rome in 1987.”
Nick moved to Hauppauge in 1995 after becoming married to Denise a year earlier and has been volunteering for the Hauppauge Soccer Club since the turn of the millennium. He started coaching his daughter Maria in Hauppauge’s intramural program, followed by coaching his son Nicky.
As Nick had lived in Italy and Hauppauge wears blue uniforms, it was only natural that his son’s team would be named the Hauppauge Azzurri. They were together for 14 years through the boys’ senior year of high school, winning two LIJSL division championships and one LIJSL Sportsmanship Award along the way while moving up from the LIJSL’s Division 4 to become one of the top teams in Eastern New York.
Nick recently was honored as the Hauppauge Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the LIJSL Convention on March 9. The club wrote that “Nick was more than a coach to his players, he went above and beyond in his role, driving kids back and forth to practices, games and taking them to tournaments. He even paid for uniforms and equipment for players whose families were struggling financially. When you spoke to Nick about his team and players, his love of both were evident.”
Coaching against Nick was the Oceanside Fusion’s Steve Padaetz, the LIJSL Director of Marketing and Member Services, who had nominated him for Personality of the Month. Steve said, “Nick's teams always competed with respect, a direct extension of his selfless character and conduct as both an individual and a youth coach. As a coach, I always looked forward to matches with his sides, knowing they would be highly competitive, while also underscoring the principles of sportsmanship, character and respect. Nick Massimo is a consummate volunteer whose commitment has bettered every team, every player he coaches as well as his community at large.”
If that was not enough, Nick also coached basketball and baseball, developing a friendship with another parent, Steve Tursellino, and they coached travel baseball for three seasons together. Steve, a Port Authority Police Officer, was a First Responder during 9/11 who died of cancer, leaving behind his wife Lisa and kids Jake, Ryan, Regan and Thomas.
In the fall of 2016, Nick heard there was a need for coaches in the Hauppauge Soccer Club’s 6-year-old intramural division. He was finishing up coaching the Azzurri and wanted to move on to other things, but after hearing that Steve Tursellino’s youngest child Thomas was part of the group needing a coach, he decided to coach another team. He has just started his fourth season with the Sharknados, who received that name because one of the players loves the “Sharknado” movies.
Nick is the only Hauppauge Soccer Club coach without any kids currently in the program. And all this volunteering is in addition to his “real job” as a Retirement Benefits Specialist for AXA Advisors. Congratulations to Nick Massimo, the April Personality of the Month in Eastern New York.
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.