UConn men’s soccer Head Coach Ray Reid once again showed his commitment to the program and the university by donating $250,000 according to a press release by the University of Connecticut Athletics.
"UConn has changed me both personally and professionally and I wanted to do my part to help," Reid said in the press release.
Reid previously donated $100,000 in 2014 to help build The Rizza Family Soccer Complex, which will replace Joseph Morrone Stadium.
Reid has been the Huskies’ coach for 20 seasons and in that time, they have won three national championships, the most recent being the 2000 national championship, and appeared in 35 NCAA tournament appearances.
UConn has long been a breeding ground for breakthrough soccer players such as Cyle Larin and Andre Blake, both players were the first-overall picks in the MLS draft in 2014 and 2015. Most recently, Jake Nerwinski and Kwame Awuah were drafted in the first-round by the Vancouver Whitecaps and New York City FC.
The men’s team is also number two in soccer attendance behind UC Santa Barbara. In 2015, UConn had an average attendance of 3,844.
Both the men’s and women’s programs are power houses in soccer. The women’s soccer team has gone to 29 NCAA tournaments in the past 33 years.
"There is a great legacy here at UConn in men's soccer from Coach Joe Morrone and many others," Reid said. "Soccer is a very important sport in our state. I want to do my part to make sure UConn is always among the best,” Reid said in the press release.
Back in 2014, former UConn men’s soccer student-athlete Tony Rizza committed to donate five million to build a new soccer field and adjacent training grounds.
Two years before that Rizza donated three million. Combined, it is the largest donation UConn division of Athletics has received.
"This gift is my way of recognizing coaches, faculty and campus staff who helped me while I was at UConn and it's a small way of saying thank you. My experience at UConn and, more specifically, with the men's soccer program provided me with important life skills that have helped me succeed in my career,” Rizza said according to a UConn foundation article.
Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.