Fitzgerald “Fidgi” Haig arrived at Florida Tech from his native Haiti in the fall of 1987. Fidgi was part of a new wave of international soccer players recruited to turn the soccer program into championship contenders. He played four seasons for the Panthers, helping to win Florida Tech’s first-ever NCAA National Championship in 1988. During his stellar career he earned all-region, all-state, and all-SCC honors. To this day, he remains fourth in career goals (43) and fifth in career points (105) in the Panthers record book.
Fidgi always made it a habit of rising to the occasion. He found the back of the net in the Panthers’ 3–2 win over Cal State Northridge in the 1988 NCAA Division II National Championship and scored a goal in two separate NCAA Division II South Region Championship games.
Haig’s involvement in Panthers athletics didn’t end when he graduated: he was selected to start the first women’s soccer program and quickly built it into one of the SSC’s strongest and most respected programs. His teams earned a trip to the NCAA Division II post-season five times, including a Final Four appearance, and were Sunshine State Conference Co-Champions during their historic run in 2010.
Before returning to Florida Tech to take over the women’s soccer program, Fidgi was already an accomplished head coach at Satellite High School from 1996 to 2005. His teams were among the most dominant in the state, winning two state championships in four appearances, seven conference titles, and five district championships. He held an astonishing record of 231–18–8for a .914 winning percentage. He was awarded numerous coach-of-the-year awards, including the 2005 United States Youth Adidas Soccer National Coach of the Year. He coached several NCAA National Champions, along with former and current U.S. National Team players.
A member of the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame and Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, Fidgi had a tremendous impact on soccer not only in his hometown but across the U.S., where he was recognized as one of the leading women’s coaches.
Sadly, Fidgi left us too early, suffering a fatal heart attack in 2015.
Fidgi was featured in Florida Tech’s 60th Anniversary special edition book, “60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology.” Copies are available for purchase here.