support of soccer has spanned every aspect of the game …
grassroots development at the local level, effective involvement
at the state level and inspiring leadership at the regional
level. For countless years, he has dedicated himself selflessly
as soccer has grown and matured in North Carolina and in
A graduate of the University of Leeds,
England, he was employed by IBM UK and moved with his family
to the United States in the early 1970s. In 1979 the family
moved with IBM to Charlotte and in 1981 he was asked to
be an assistant coach for a ’68 Classic team in the
Park Sharon Athletic Association. The team won the U14 State
Championship that spring and advanced to the Southern Regionals
in San Antonio. André then helped to form a ‘66
team and coached a ‘69 team.
As the number of teams wanting to
play at the classic level increased in PSAA, André
offered to serve as the association’s liaison to NCYSA.
Shortly afterwards, Andre and other enthusiastic parents
created the Charlotte Park Sharon Soccer Club as a classic-only
entity and he served the next few years as its President
and Secretary. Another member of the CPSSC board at the
time describes André’s service this way: “From
the very first, he displayed the characteristics that folks
throughout the broader soccer community have come to know
him for. He is totally unflappable, a thoughtful man capable
of focusing on the small-bore, immediate details, while
at the same time clearly grasping the larger picture. He
has an unfailing sense of humor, is passionate about all
aspects of the sport of soccer and is totally committed
in doing things right, regardless of his current assignment.
People naturally looked toward him for leadership and guidance
Another long-time fixture of Charlotte-area
soccer says this about André: “One of his strengths
is the ability to get everyone to get together to talk about
the best interests of youth soccer and how it can help to
make a bigger and better impact on the youth involved.”
His ability to get everyone to talk was the major factor
in bringing about the 1994 merger of Charlotte Park Sharon
Soccer Club and Charlotte United Soccer Association. The
merger, which created Charlotte Park Sharon United SC, marked
the first time in Charlotte history that there was one unified
classic organization for the greater Charlotte area. The
name was soon shortened to Charlotte Soccer Club. André
was the first president of the newly merged club and he
remained in that position until 1997.
Early in the 1990s, a serious move
began to develop a good soccer field complex in Charlotte.
This was unquestionably an André Burger driven initiative
not likely to have been achieved without his leadership,
energy, determination and commitment. The result is known
today as the Ramblewood Soccer Complex.
During André’s years
of involvement in the Charlotte area, he was frequently
called on to provide direction and leadership at the state
level but he politely resisted the calls. He finally acceded
in 2001 when he agreed to stand for election as NCYSA VP
for Tournaments, a position that he held until 2009. During
his tenure, André’s insight into how to work
constructively and positively with people became the hallmark
of NCYSA’s tournaments. André was honored by
NCYSA in 1996 with the Pioneer of the Game Award and in
1997 and 2003 with the President’s Award.
Early in the 2000s, Andre’s good works began to be
felt and recognized outside of North Carolina when the concept
of a new form of competition for highly-skilled teams and
players in the South was forming. The new form, labeled
the Premier League, involved identification of a small number
of high-performing teams in each state and a schedule of
competition among the teams on a multi-state basis. André
was one of the original movers and shakers of the Region
III Premier League and remains to this day one of the persons
the league goes to when the current leadership has questions.
André added to his reputation
in the region when North Carolina hosted the Southern Regional
tournament in 2008. He served as the co-chair for the local
organizing committee that conducted the tournament. The
event was highly successful and André’s effective
leadership was widely praised. During that time Andre’
served not only as co-chair of the local organizing committee,
but simultaneously served as chair of the Region III Boys
ODP program and as chair of the Region III Premier League
Committee. As time passed, it was becoming increasingly
clear not only in North Carolina but throughout the South
that André Burger was a person that could be counted
on to get a job done effectively and constructively.
Mike McDaniel, past Region III Director,
eloquently expresses the shared sentiment about André:
“Of all the accolades I could give André, perhaps
the best one is that he is truly a gentleman’s gentleman.
I have never seen him angry or heard him use foul language.
I think he is the guy we all want to be when we grow up.”
André was presented with a special award in 2008
for his dedication and effectiveness as a soccer leader
in the South.
André is married to the former
Ruth Homer. They have three children, Clive André,
Jason Paul and Christopher Robert.