MARQUETTE, Mich.—A generous donation was made in the name of Northern Michigan University Men's Soccer Head Coach David Poggi to Surge for Water. The donation was used to build a well that brought clean water to the Alunga community in Kampala, Uganda.
The group of donors, who wish to remain anonymous, is made up of former University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men's soccer players. The group played for the Phoenix under Poggi who was the head coach of the program from 1992 through the 1995 season.
"I'm very proud of what these guys accomplished as student-athletes and continue to accomplish in their respective lives," Poggi said of the group's donation. "Their anonymous donation to Surge for Water will help provide a basic human need, which speaks to their character. I'm truly humbled by their kindness."
Poggi inherited a UW-Green Bay squad that had seen a decline in wins four out of five seasons prior and no record above .500 in five seasons. In his first year (1992), Poggi more than doubled the teams wins from the year prior, going 16-2-1. During his four seasons with the Phoenix, Poggi amassed a 40-25-10 (.578) record.
A spokesperson for the group of donors said the decision to donate in Poggi's honor was made by the group describing Poggi's impact on the former players as that of a "father figure". The spokesperson cited a number of phrases Poggi repeated to his teams that shaped their desire to be involved with charitable organizations later in life. Those quotes are listed below.
• "Have awareness, then have an action."
• "Make more than a footprint in the grass."
• "Listen, learn, and love."
"It is great to hear that these individuals have gone on to lead charitable lives," Poggi said of the group of donors. "Wins and losses aside, it is important that these student-athletes develop into well-rounded individuals. That is what every coach wants, and it is encouraging to see such a large group making this kind of an impact in the world."
Surge for Water is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, but does charitable work across the globe. The goal of the organization is to provide sustainable and safe water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to those individuals and areas in need. Of the funds donated to the organization, 100% go to water, sanitation, and education projects.
"Surge for Water is a great organization that does a lot of good all over the world," Poggi noted of the charitable organization. "Something as common as clean water to us is not that common in certain corners of our planet."
For more information on Surge for Water, visit surgeforwater.org.
In just the second year of the Men's Soccer program at NMU, Poggi lead the Wildcats to the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals.