Jeff Wexler was inducted into the Eastern New York Hall of Fame during the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s holiday party at Marina del Rey in the Bronx Dec. 17.
The Poughkeepsie, N.Y. resident began his career in youth soccer 30 years ago as coach of his then five-year-old daughter Lauren’s intramural team.
Quickly progressing to a travel team coach, Wexler also coached both his sons Michael’s and Ryan’s travel teams as well, developing them into premier teams and contributing eight players to the starting roster of Spackenkill High School’s state championship run. He also served for several years as an academy coach in the East Hudson Youth Soccer League for Boys Under-15 and U-16 Academy teams. He recently returned to coaching, taking on a Girls U-6 intramural team that needed a coach.
Wexler has served on the Town of Poughkeepsie Soccer Club’s executive board for more than 25 years and counting. He has done virtually every job in the management of the club from running the refreshment stand to managing the fields and participating in the tryouts.
In 1999, then EHYSL President Ken Gulmi asked Wexler to fill a trustee vacancy on the EHYSL board of directors. He accepted and continues on the board to this day, assuming the position of 2nd Vice President and director of the East Hudson Academy for the past seven years. In this capacity, he hires coaching staff, supervises tryouts, uniform and equipment purchases, arranges indoor winter training and secures outdoor training sites and oversees the four tournament competitions in which each team participates. He also serves on a variety of league committees including supervisory, rules, risk management, recognition, sponsors, Premier League, etc. Wexler was inducted in to the EHYSL Hall of Fame in 2011.
“Jeff has been a major contributor to youth soccer in East Hudson for several decades. From his beginnings as a youth coach for the Town of Poughkeepsie through his current service as a EHYSL board member, Jeff has been for many years one person you can count out when a task needs to get done,” EHYSL president Jim Purdy said. “He has been and continues to be a great asset to East Hudson and the entire local soccer community.”
Wexler also served four years on the Eastern New York executive board as a trustee. He was a member of the Premier League committee, supervisory committee (on which he still serves) and organized the Division Champions Tournament during its two-year run. The strain of running a company and having a 200-mile commute to board meetings forced Wexler to decide not to seek reelection to a third Eastern New York term.
“His is always the first hand raised whenever a task needs to be done,” ENYYSA treasurer Jim Eleftherion said. “He was always a gentleman and the voice of reason and his loss to the Eastern New York executive board was unfortunate.”