Click on video to learn more about FM Soccer Coach Ed Schmitt
There are high school coaches … and then there are those few who revolutionize their sport.
Hall of Famer Mike Messere is to lacrosse in Central and Upstate New York what Hall of Famer Leo Johnson is to wrestling. In soccer, that coach is Ed Schmitt.
Born in Ellenville, NY, he received undergraduate and graduate degrees from SUNY-Cortland (where he played soccer). Schmitt coached scholastic soccer and basketball in Andes and wrestling in Accord before being named boys’ soccer coach at Fayetteville-Manlius in 1965.
Not only did Ed change the face of soccer in our area, but his impact was felt regionally and nationally. His F-M Hornets enjoyed unprecedented success. ‘F-M Pride Soccer’ utilized a sophisticated style of play modeled after the English Premier League, incorporating international training regimen and a flair for European-style uniforms.
Ed’s F-M program dominated CNY soccer and was one of the best Upstate. Over 21 seasons, he compiled a record of 264 wins, 55 losses, 14 ties and a winning percentage of .814. Schmitt’s Hornets won 15 league and sectional Class A championships.
Ed Schmitt-coached F-M went undefeated nine times — a remarkable feat!
He was among the first scholastic coaches to earn a United States Soccer Federation Coaching License, qualifying him as a top-level coach and enabling him to coach world-class players.
Ed conceived and developed one of the first summer youth soccer camps in the United States. His ‘National Soccer Camp’ began in 1967 at Manlius Military Academy, and was later held at Utica College and Hamilton College over the next 30 years. A revolutionary concept started in Central New York, it was a precursor of the development of sports camps across the USA.
Some of America’s coaching legends, including Hartwick’s Al Miller, and star players, such as Shep Messing of the N.Y. Cosmos, taught the most sophisticated soccer training techniques available in this country.
In 1980, Ed was named National Soccer Coaches Association of America Regional High School Coach of the Year. And his team, led by future Syracuse University forward Kevin Smith, played in the N.Y. State High School Championship Game.
In 1991, Ed joined one of his former F-M assistants, Dean Foti, at SU. Over 10 years, Ed developed some great Big East goalies and was honored with a piece in SU’s official football program entitled ‘The Silent Legend.’
Now, Ed Schmitt becomes a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.