Oakville Images
Iafrati, Phil (Died)
appeared in Oakville Beaver, 19 Sep 2013, p. 31
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Phil Iafrati remembered as coach, mentor, friend by Jon Kuiperij Beaver Sports Editor It would seem easy to suggest Phil Iafrati simply lived for soccer. It would also seem inaccurate. The legendary Oakville Soccer Club coach was so much more than that, according to those whose lives he touched through the beautiful game. Yes, Iafrati was incredibly successful on the pitch, winning dozens of league championships, countless tournaments, eight Ontario Cup titles and two national crowns. But Iafrati's greatest legacy may be how he not only brought out the potential in his players, he helped transform those boys into men. Iafrati passed away Saturday at Brampton Civic Hospital, succumbing to multiple myeloma. He spent his final afternoon watching his beloved Manchester City tie Stoke City 0-0 in Barclays Premier League action on television, hours before a blood clot lodged in his lung. He was 66 years old. "He loved to compete, even if you wanted to have a thumbwrestle. He loved the game of soccer," said Tim Hyde, whose son Will played 10 seasons on Iafrati's most successful squad, the U1990-A Oakville Blue Stars. "More than that, he loved the boys. He loved guiding the boys and helping them. We've all been talking about how we all unabashedly say, with some exceptions, that Phil is like a second father to all of our boys... I think Phil loved the boys and loved the game, and he just couldn't get enough of the of values. Call them Christian values, call them citizenship, two-way relationship of what he could give them through call them whatever you want to call them," Tim Hyde said. "He was so passionate. I think we got Christmas Day off, but soccer and what they could give him." From a strictly on-the-field perspective, the Blue Stars are then we'd shovel off some Astroturf somewhere and have a the team for which Iafrati will best be remembered. He took practice Boxing Day. "I'm a hockey guy, not a soccer guy. I would say, `When over the squad when the players were eight years old, an entirely different demographic than the U19 Oakville Blue does the damn Zamboni door open so this practice can end?' Devils club he had just led to a Canadian title. Over the next Phil's practices would go two-and-a-half or three hours, in January, in Oakville, on the Appleby (Col13 years, the Blue Stars would win three Onlege) field hockey turf. And he'd be the first tario Cups (U14, U15 and U21) and a nationguy there, and he would always have time al club championship (U14). for any parent or kid who wanted to talk to Most Blue Stars players -- many from him after practice." Oakville, some from out of town -- went on Iafrati's impact on the game of soccer was to reach higher levels. Fifteen played unihardly limited to the Blue Stars. One parversity soccer south of the border, a dozen ticular year, according to former Blue Stars more played at Canadian universities. Seven manager Dan Pastoric, Iafrati coached two have represented Canada either at the youth teams while also playing competitively himlevel or the Olympic squad. Many have been self. For many summers, Iafrati was visible at picked up by Major League Soccer teams, inShell Park nearly every night, either playing cluding Kyle Bekker, Toronto FC's first-round or coaching. He served on the OSC's board draft pick earlier this year. Another of Iafrati's of directors for many years, also serving as former players, Mike Vanderjagt, went on to its president. In 2001, Iafrati became a Life become the most accurate field-goal kicker in Member of the OSC in recognition of his serNational Football League history (minimum vice and dedication. In 2012, he was named of 100 field goals attempted). one of the OSC's 40 People of Influence. "He definitely put us on the right path and Iafrati was also the first soccer inductee set an example for all of us to look up to, even Will Hyde into the Oakville Sports Hall of Fame, receivif we didn't really know it yet," said Will Hyde, Former Oakville Blue Stars player ing the honour in 2000. now the captain of the University of British "He was a fixture on the Oakville sports Columbia men's soccer team. "As we got oldscene, especially here (at the OSC), and ever, we realized what he had done for us." The dedication Iafrati showed towards his players, and to erybody was devastated to hear about (his death)," said OSC soccer in general, was remarkable. A bachelor until his 60s, executive director David Harris. "You just don't get a better guy than him. Not simply as a Iafrati seemed to view his teams as his family. "He somehow (instilled) in the boys such a strong sense soccer person, but as a member of the community and as a Phil Iafrati directs soccer practice for the Oakville Blue Stars under-10 boys' team in 1999. Iafrati would go on to coach the team to three Ontario Cup titles, a national championship and countless league and tournament crowns. Iafrati passed away Saturday at the age of 66. Pictured on the bench beside Iafrati in 1999 are (left to right) Lucas Severin, Matt Healey, Chris Tsipas and Kenton Carr-Hall. | Oakville Beaver file photo really solid positive role model." Phil Iafrati leaves behind wife Denise and step-sons Justin and Sean. He had extended family members across Canada, England, Australia and Germany. Visitation will take place tomorrow (Friday) at the Kopriva Taylor Community Funeral Home, 64 Lakeshore Rd. W., Oakville, from 6-9 p.m. Funeral mass will be held Saturday at St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church, 47 Reynolds St., Oakville, beginning at 11 a.m. Donations to the Oakville Hospital Foundation would be appreciated by the family. (Phil Iafrati) set an example for all of us to look up to, even if we didn't really know it yet.

Media Type
Genealogical Resource
Item Types
Iafrati, Philip Augustine
Date of Publication
19 Sep 2013
Date Of Event
14 Sep 2013
Last Name(s)
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.4473682625124 Longitude: -79.6665048808289
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Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Iafrati, Phil (Died)