Fred Engh is the founder of the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) and the International Alliance for Youth Sports (IAYS).
His remarkable career was defined by innovation, vision and passion, as he tirelessly worked to make a difference in the lives of children through the power of sports.
He created the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA) in 1981 because he was deeply concerned about the emotional and physical damage volunteer coaches were causing to children they were coaching, often without even realizing it.
It was an idea that forever changed the nation’s youth sports landscape.
The organization evolved into the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) in 1993, where NYSCA became one of many programs Mr. Engh oversaw – along with spearheading innovative training programs for parents, administrators and officials that have been embraced and utilized in more than 3,000 cities nationwide and on U.S. military bases worldwide.
In 1999 he authored Why Johnny Hates Sports, which at the time was a first-of-its-kind look at the serious problems plaguing organized sports and, more importantly, what needed to be done to correct them. In 2015 he wrote Unsinkable Spirit, which chronicles his amazing life story.
Through the years he spoke at numerous national and international conferences, including the International Forum on Sport in Doha, Qatar and the Pre-Olympic Symposium in Greece. He also appeared frequently on national television programs such as Good Morning America, CNN, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, The Today Show and ABC World News Tonight.
He has received many prestigious awards and honors throughout his career, including being named one of America’s Top 100 sports educators, being chosen for the Youth Sports Hall of Fame, and being inducted into the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Sports Hall of Fame, among others.
An accomplished athlete himself, he was a national prep school wrestling champion. He also coached high school football, served as an athletic director and held high level positions with the Athletic Institute and the American Sports Education Institute before creating NAYS, which would become the nation’s most well-known and respected advocate for youth sports under his leadership.
He grew up in Ocean City, Maryland and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He resides in West Palm Beach, Florida with his wife Michaele.
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