Evelyn Gill Inducted Into NJ Youth Soccer Hall of Fame

Evelyn Gill NJ Youth Soccer
Photo by Jeffrey Auger.

New Jersey Youth Soccer is proud to bestow Evelyn Gill with its highest honor, as the state association officially announces her induction into the NJYS Hall of Fame. Gill, who is a Past President of NJ Youth Soccer, passed away in December after finishing her third term as NJYS President the previous year.

“Becoming President after Evelyn was very intimidating because of her breadth of knowledge and her standing in the US soccer community,” said Jess Yeager, current NJYS President. “She was tireless in her work to make sure we were always improving and even in the toughest of times never gave up hope. She was a mentor to me and after her passing so many others came forward with the same sentiment. This award is long overdue and recognizes a woman who gave much in her personal and professional life to ensure children were treated fairly and justly in a safe environment.”

Gill began her involvement with youth soccer by coaching her sons at the recreational and competitive level. She was later elected as President of NJ Youth Soccer on three occasions, first in the early 1990s and most recently completed a term as NJYS President in 2020. Her contributions to youth soccer started in New Jersey but stretched across the country as a whole. She established the first NJYS State Office, initiated the US Youth Soccer American Cup Festival and also organized NJ Youth Soccer’s first coaching workshop. Additionally, she was a major factor in helping to equalize funding for the Girls’ Olympic Development Program in New Jersey.

“Evelyn’s tireless efforts throughout the years of her involvement in New Jersey Youth Soccer is second to none,” said Flo Egan, 2005 NJYS Hall of Fame inductee. “Her vast knowledge and mentorship have resonated and taught me to give back to the soccer community while being a strong advocate for all youth in New Jersey and beyond who choose to play the beautiful game. I learned from Evelyn to keep the players front and center and always leave the game better than you found it. Her positive impact on players from the past and present will also carry over to our future players.”

Gill was selected as Secretary of the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors in 1996. She held that position until she was elected as Vice President of the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors, a position she held for 14 years. She was also on the US Soccer Board of Directors as well as its Disabled Athletes Committee and Credentials Committees. Further, she spent time serving on the US Soccer Governance Taskforce. Gill was later inducted into the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015.

“I had the honor of Evelyn being my mentor for her most recent four years as NJYS President. I never would have imagined learning more from any individual,” said Evan Dabby, NJYS Executive Director. “Her commitment, dedication and drive were unmatched. Beyond that, she also displayed a compassion and understanding that motivated me every day to be a better worker and person. In a relatively short amount of time, she overcame massive hurdles to set NJ Youth Soccer on a better path for long term success.”

Gill joins an esteemed group in the NJYS Hall of Fame, which includes the likes of international standouts Tony Meola, Christie Pearce Rampone, Tab Ramos, Carli Lloyd, John Harkes and Tobin Heath.

“Evelyn was a true believer of the power that the game of soccer has on every participant, and we should make every effort possible to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate regardless of the level,” said Nelson Ramirez, NJYS 3rd Vice President. “She definitively led by example, coaching and supporting her children and her grandchildren. I can only hope that they follow a little bit of her example.”

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