National Soccer Hall of Famer Robert Hermann
died recently at the age of 97.
Hermann was one of the driving forces in getting the outlaw National Professional Soccer League off the
ground in 1967 as its president and was the owner of the St. Louis Stars in the NPSL for its one season and then in the NASL, where he was the league's executive committee chairman.
Stars played through the 1977 NASL season when Hermann moved them to Anaheim, where they played as the California Surf until he folded the team in 1980.
Hermann was the second
longest-serving owner in the NASL after Lamar Hunt,
who owned the Dallas Tornado from its start in 1967 through 1981 and then had an interest in the Tampa Bay Rowdies until 1983.
In 1967, Hermann established a trophy -- originally named the Hermann Award -- to annually recognize the top men's collegiate soccer player. The MAC Hermann Trophy, which is today given each year to
the best male and female soccer players in the country, is named after him. Hermann Stadium, opened on the campus of Saint Louis University in 1999, is named after Hermann.
inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001 and the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012.
Hermann's first wife was Lilly Busch
, daughter of Gussie Busch
Anheuser Busch magnate. Hermann Companies, which he founded, is one of the largest private-sector employers in St. Louis. He was also predeceased by his second wife, Mary Lee Marshall Hermann