Born and raised on a farm near Haskell, OK, Pat Hamilton saw his first soccer game at the age of thirteen when German POWs played on the town’s high school football field during World War II. He remembers thinking at the time that the players were crazy for letting a kicked ball hit them in the head and wondering whether that was the reason that Germany was losing the war. He saw his second soccer game while he was working on his Ph. D. in Microbiology and Biochemistry in Madison, WI. The match was played between German-Americans and Italian-Americans residing in the area.After completing his graduate work, Pat was employed in Albany, NY, where a lot of ethnic soccer was played, and later in Ponca City, OK, where there was no soccer. Then he moved to North Carolina, where he first worked with the Research Triangle Institute before joining the faculty of North Carolina State University. After a massive heart attack in 1971, Pat was told by doctors to get a weekend hobby and not to work seven days a week. He was assured that being involved in youth soccer administration would be non-stressful, non-demanding and enjoyable. In 1993, he retired from his position at NC State and currently holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Poultry Science. Continuing his research and writing while in retirement and also serving as a consultant on animal agriculture to governments of thirteen foreign countries, Pat has received fourteen national and international awards for his research.
Pat provided energy, direction and inspiration as a soccer organizer in the early 1970’s in the Raleigh area. In the early 1980’s, recognizing the pioneer work of several people, the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) identified Pat and three others – Steve Almasi, Bill Holleman and Bill Plunkett — as cofounders of the Raleigh Soccer League, predecessor to CASL, and of CASL itself.
Significant contributions attributed to Pat and ways in which his contributions have been recognized include:
Cofounder of Capital Area Soccer League, for whom he served as Vice President and Treasurer, started a drive to acquire playing fields which resulted in the development of the CASL/WRAL Soccer Complex
- Organized and bankrolled for three years the tournament that developed into the Raleigh Shootout
- Cofounder and manager of the Raleigh Vikings Soccer Club which won 11 championships in CASL in five years in all age divisions
- Manager and assistant coach of the Raleigh Vikings when the team was the first North Carolina representative at the USYSA Southern Regional Tournament
- Cofounder of North Carolina Youth Soccer Association
- Served as Vice President and President (1979-1981) of NCYSA
- Organized and directed the first interstate tournament sanctioned by NCYSA and the first NC Cup tournament
- Helped to get the North Carolina Olympic Development Program started
- Served on two USYSA national committees
- Designed the original shoulder patches of NCYSA and CASL
- Silver Cup Award from the Raleigh Vikings for organizing, managing and coaching the Raleigh Vikings
- “Outstanding Service to Youth Soccer” Award from CASL
- NCYSA’s “Pioneer of the Game” Award in 1992
Pat is proud to say that his entire family is crazy about soccer. His wife, Dolores, is the mother of a goalkeeper and screamed whenever the ball crossed midfield. His goalkeeper son, Matthew, was one of the fifteen kids that showed up for the first scrimmage that eventually led to the formation of the Capital Area Soccer League. Their other children, Jeffrey and Cynthia, were already too old at the beginning, when Pat and others were getting soccer started in the Raleigh area. But four of his five grandchildren play soccer … and the fifth can be forgiven for not having started yet because he is only one and a half years old!