Published on August 26th, 2022 | by Staples Soccer1
Obituary: Chip Young ’68
Chip Young ’68 — a 3-sport athlete at Staples, and a soccer All-American at Brown University — died suddenly yesterday in Rhode Island. He was 72.
The former soccer, basketball and baseball Wrecker legend was known for many things: journalism, environmental activism, rabble-rousing, and a larger-than-life character.
A lifelong Ocean Stater after Brown, he served as head of public relations for Save the (Narragansett) Bay, and as a senior fellow for communications at the University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute.
He spent over 40 years as a columnist — one-half of the “Phillipe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World” duo — for the Providence Phoenix and Motif Magazine. Motif said: “Chip’s commentary, often incendiary, generally wry and barbed, helped shape RI’s cultural and political landscape….he was a wise source of advice and support, a greatly valued contributor and a friend.”
Chip played semi-pro soccer in New England after graduation, and also served 2 years as public relations director of the American Soccer League. He had also been sports editor of the Providence Eagle, controller of Bear Wear Company of Providence, a member of the Professional Soccer Reporters Association, and New England correspondent for Soccer America magazine.
Chip’s stellar athletic career may never have happened, though. Born with a hole the size of a half-dollar in his heart, he had open heart surgery in 1959. He was 9 years old — one of the first children to undergo the procedure.
“Without the operation,” he said, “I would not have been able to even participate in gym class by my teens, and probably wouldn’t have lived past my 20s.”
Chip returned to Westport in 2008, for Staples soccer’s 50th anniversary. He came to training the day before the ceremony and match, and addressed the team. Head coach Dan Woog introduced him to then-sophomore Brendan Lesch — who lived in the same house Chip had grown up in, on Pond Edge Road. Like Young, Lesch went on to earn All-America honors (in high school).
Last winter, Woog connected Chip with senior Ryan Thomas. Chip offered advice on applying to URI’s oceanography school — and was delighted when Ryan was accepted, and enrolled.
“Chip was one of the giants of Staples soccer,” says Woog. “He was a dominant defender, and helped establish the program’s renown during an important era. He had a similar impact at Brown, which was an Ivy League force during his time there. He was a passionate, caring and very quirky guy. He made his mark on many people, in many ways.”