After approval by the UConn Board of Trustees on Wednesday, the UConn Department of Athletics announced that the on-campus field at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium will be named “Ray Reid Field,” in honor of men’s soccer head coach Ray Reid’s 25 years of service and several philanthropic gifts to the university.
“It is an honor to have the pitch at Morrone Stadium named after me,” said Reid. “I am so appreciative of everyone who helped make this happen, especially the many tremendous coaches who supported me and our fantastic student-athletes. This is one of the highest honors of my life and I am truly humbled and thankful.”
Reid, now 62 years old, stepped away from heading the program in 2021, as he wanted to spend more time with his aging parents. UConn hired now-head coach Chris Gbandi in his stead soon after.
“Coach Reid has done so much for UConn soccer over the past two decades, it is only fitting that the university is honoring him by naming the field after him,” said Gbandi in a statement. “His name and legacy can now live on forever.”
Reid, who won three national championships in eight years at his alma mater of Southern Connecticut State University, led UConn to nine Big East regular season titles and four Big East Championships. Under his tenure, the Huskies were able to reach 18 NCAA Tournaments and win the 2000 National Championship, back when Gbandi was playing for him. For all of his coaching efforts, Reid was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003.
The legend was known for developing talent around him, having 46 of his UConn players become drafted by Major League Soccer, including three No. 1 overall selections: Gbandi, Cyle Larin, and Andre Blake. After learning from Reid, 19 of his former players and assistant coaches also went on to coach at the Division I level.
“UConn has built a legacy of Hall of Fame coaches, and Ray Reid’s quarter century at the helm of our men’s soccer program was a cornerstone of our championship tradition,” said Director of Athletics David Benedict. “The national stature of our soccer program is due in large part to Ray’s leadership and commitment to UConn, and I can think of no more fitting recognition of his impact than having the field upon which his teams earned unprecedented success bear his name.”
The naming ceremony will take place on Oct. 22, during the Huskies’ clash with DePaul at 7 p.m. It will be hosted by both the Department of Athletics and the National “C” Club.