Published on August 28th, 2022 | by Staples Soccer0
Obituary: Pete Noonan P’79, ’83
Pete Noonan — father of 2 Staples High School state champion soccer players, a founder of the Westport Soccer Association, and one of the founders of the town’s girls soccer program — died peacefully Tuesday, at his Las Vegas home. He was 90 years old.
He became passionately involved in soccer as his children grew with the game. He coached and refereed in the Westport Soccer Association — and served as its inaugural president, giving countless hours to not only his children but thousands of others. He was especially instrumental in the early development of competitive soccer for girls and women.
Pete’s son Mike Noonan ’79 is the head coach of the reigning NCAA Division I national champion Clemson University Tigers. Mark Noonan ’83 has had a career in sports marketing, including as assistant commissioner of MLS, with US Soccer, and CEO of the powerhouse Ghana club Hearts of Oak. Last week, Mark was named commissioner of the Canadian Premier League.
Mike was part of the 1978 state championship squad, and went on to stardom at Middlebury College, before playing professionally in the US and Sweden. Mark won state titles in 1982 and ’83, then helped Duke University to its first-ever national championship — in any sport — in 1986.
Pete was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School.
His professional life as an engineer and management consultant led him, among many diverse engagements, to the Apollo space project, and Taiwan to consult on modernizing the island’s national rail system. He also worked on the merger of the American and National Football Leagues, to create today’s NFL.
In later years he took the entrepreneurial plunge with a pistachio farm in Argentina, leveraging the expertise he acquired from his many agricultural consulting assignments.
Pete loved classical music, opera and Shakespeare, and collected Shona sculpture and modern Chinese ink painting. His trained tenor voice was heard in opera and choral performances, turned heads in church, and turned lights on in houses as he organized annual family and neighborhood Christmas caroling.
He was an avid and competitive sailor, and loved soccer.
He was a lifelong Boston sports fan, but particularly loved the Red Sox (and enjoyed bantering with his 2 Yankee-loving sons).
Pete was predeceased by his brother James E. Noonan and beloved daughter Clare Noonan Bolich. He is survived by his wife Eva Meder, brother Rev. Mark L. Noonan, former spouse Margaret Ryan Noonan, children Mary Alma, Michael, Mark and Diane Eichler, and granddaughters Olivia, Tess, Caleigh and Meghan.