On November 14, 2001, Chris Nedelcovych died from injuries he received in a tragic, multi-car collision. He was the seat-belted passenger in his friend's car and the victim of that friend's reckless driving. Chris was a senior at Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia. He had recently submitted his application for admission to the University of Tampa where he was applying for early admission. We remember the campus visit he made with his father last summer and how he excitedly called his mother to tell her how much he loved it. He was very enthusiastic about the prospects of majoring in business/marketing and playing soccer on the University team. Chris was waiting eagerly to hear of his acceptance from the Admissions Office when he died.
Along with the admissions application to the university, an essay was required. Chris wrote an eloquent and moving essay describing his recently acquired passion for coaching soccer. He had taken upon himself the task of "digging" his brother's U15 soccer team "out of a slump." The entire experience of mentoring younger soccer players was very rewarding and inspired Chris to want to continue coaching soccer in the future. Chris' essay is the source of inspiration for the creation of a fund for the purpose of promoting, encouraging, and assisting young soccer coaches.
An admissions officer at the University of Tampa, unaware of Chris' tragic death just two days before, happily called to inform Chris of the good news that he had been accepted and that a formal letter of acceptance would be arriving in the mail. Chris never received either the phone call or the letter he wanted so much. Along with the formal letter of acceptance came a handwritten note to his parents from the Assistant Director of Admissions, who wrote: "I only learned about your tragic loss yesterday. I am sorry I never had the opportunity to meet Chris myself, but after reading his admissions application, essay, and recommendation, I am sure Chris would have made a positive impact on our institution for years to come."
The Chris Nedelcovych Soccer Foundation for Youth Soccer Coaches (CNSF) was established to assist and encourage young people who love soccer and want to "teach" the game to younger players. It is the fervent hope and prayer of Chris' family and friends that, through the CNSF, Chris' hopes and dreams for the future will not die and that he will, indeed, have a "positive impact for years to come."