KANSAS CITY, Mo—Former University of Mobile men’s soccer coach Peter Fuller will be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, as announced by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Currently an assistant coach with the New England Revolution, Fuller is one of 18 members of the 2011-12 Hall of Fame class. The induction ceremony will take place in Orange Beach, Ala., at the 2011 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Nov. 28 – Dec. 3.
The honor is the highest bestowed by the NAIA. Individuals inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame must be persons of outstanding quality, high moral character, fine leadership ability and must be held in high esteem by colleagues, coaches and athletes.
“I was pleasantly surprised, it’s a wonderful honor,” Fuller said. “With all of the people that are already in the Hall of Fame, it’s a great honor and thrill. There were so many people that shaped and molded me. I was fortunate to have great people to work with and great players to coach.”
A native of Sudbury, Mass., Fuller took the reins of the Rams’ program in 1995 and racked up a 219-97-17 record in 16 seasons, including a high of 23 wins in 1999 and a NAIA National Championship in 2002. He also won the NAIA National Championship in 1992 with Belhaven, and is a 3-time NAIA Coach of the Year. Forty-four players earned NAIA All-American honors during Fuller’s tenure with the Rams.
“I spent 16 years at Mobile, and from the first day to the last day it was an absolute privilege to work there,” Fuller said. “I got to work with great people and a wonderful president in Dr. Mark Foley, who was very supportive. I had a great A.D. in Joe Niland, and before him John Runda. I owe them a massive debt of gratitude.”
In 2010, Fuller guided the Rams to a 17-4-2 record and a trip to the Round of 4 at the NAIA National Championships. Under his guidance, the Rams advanced to the Round of 4 or later on four occasions and made 12 trips to the tournament.
“We were very fortunate that we had Peter as a coach here for as long as we did,” University of Mobile Athletics Director Joe Niland said. “He did an outstanding job of building our program, and we are very pleased that he’s been selected to the Hall of Fame. It’s a great honor for him and for our University.”
Prior to coming to Mobile, he spent one season at Houghton and four seasons at Belhaven. He boasts a 311-115-21 overall record. His teams have won 15+ games 11 times since the 1992 season that saw him lead Belhaven to a 22-2-1 mark.
Back in his playing days, Fuller earned NAIA All-America honors at Houghton College and was later selected by the New York Eagles of the American Soccer League with its first draft pick. Fuller later played professionally for the Rochester Flash, Memphis Americans, Sports Life and Jackson Rockers.
The Hall of Fame consists of a division for each sport currently or formerly sponsored by the association and a division for general meritorious service to the NAIA. The NAIA Hall of Fame is divided into three categories: athlete, coach and meritorious service.
The 2011-12 NAIA Hall of Fame class includes: Ms. Melody (Robinson) Britt (Women’s Track & Field, Athlete), Mr. Bob Burchard (Men’s Basketball, Coach), Mr. Robert Cornett (Men’s Golf, Coach), Ms. Natalie (Steele) Crane (Volleyball, Athlete), Dr. Brian Crossman (Men’s Soccer, Meritorious Service), Mr. Clarence “Bevo” Francis (Men’s Basketball, Meritorious Service), Mr. Peter Fuller (Men’s Soccer, Coach), Dr. Marion “Woody” Gibson (Men’s Soccer, Meritorious Service), Mr. Ron Hall (Football, Athlete), Mr. Pete Hansen (Meritorious Service), Mr. Harold Hubbard (Meritorious Service), Mr. Steve Hulsey (Women’s Golf, Coach), Mr. E.L. Hutton (Meritorious Service), Mr. John Loftin (Women’s Basketball, Coach), Mr. Richard Panella (Women’s Basketball, Coach), Mr. Freddy Sanchez (Baseball, Meritorious Service), Dr. Darrell Saunders (Men’s Soccer, Meritorious Service) and Mr. Earl Woudstra (Women’s Basketball, Coach).