In organizations that serve a large number of people, such as soccer with its many branches, one often hears about those choosing to work “behind the scenes.” What is implied here is the idea that one prefers to deflect the credit, and in its most positive form satisfaction is derived from the success of others. But there comes a time when those in the back must come to the front and take a bow, and so it is with Kathy Robinson, member of the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame, Class of 2018 and group leader extraordinaire. “Behind” can briefly wait, as it is in good hands, thanks to our inductee and her outstanding staff. It is her time to shine.
Kathy has been involved with youth soccer in North Carolina for more than 30 years and has worked with every level: recreation, competitive, Academy, Olympic Development. She has overseen tremendous NCYSA membership growth (almost doubled in her tenure) while also being instrumental in the state’s hosting of championships.
As with so many others, Robinson’s involvement began on the local level. She was a board member with the Greensboro Youth Soccer Association before moving to state service in 1990 as a State Select/ODP Administrator and then, in 1993, to NCYSA Vice President of Tournaments and Travel. In August 1994, she became NCYSA President-Elect but a few months later, in 1995, she stepped away from an elective role with NCYSA and was hired as its Director of Operations. In 1997 the latter position title was renamed and she became Executive Director, a job she still held 20 years later. Other services have included election to the vice-chairmanship of the NC Soccer Hall of Fame Board and time as a Corporate Officer of the NC Soccer Referees Association.
Kathy also became the NCYSA State Representative for Regionals and Nationals in 1993 and remains in that role in 2018. She was the central figure in organizing and administering four Region III Championship tournaments in Greensboro in 1992, 1997, 2003 and 2017 and one in Raleigh/Wilson in 2008. Also, she led our state in hosting both a Region III Presidents Cup and a USYS President’s Cup National Championship, the latter in 2009. In addition, she is a founding member of the National Strategic Planning committee, whose goal is to provide space for recreational soccer, its enjoyment and player development without the stress of constant high-level competition.
It is telling that in the mid to late 90’s, in the midst of her great involvement with so many levels of the game, she was also seeing two sons through Greensboro Page High School and beyond. Eddie (NC Soccer Hall of Fame, 2013) and Chris would move on to play successfully in college and in the professional game. What was remarkable was the energy and support she could give that scholastic program at a time when so much more was going on. As NCYSA administrator Ruthann Cage has put it: “…Kathy holds the treasured memories of good experiences for the players as the ultimate measure of success of youth soccer programs.”
In June 1995 Kathy Robinson was awarded the Tom and Linda Mosier Award for contributions to the development of NC youth soccer. Twenty plus years later, what she had given then has been multiplied many times over. It is most appropriate that the sport, by way of the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame, gives something back to her.