After 25 seasons, UConn men’s soccer’s longtime coach is hanging them up. Ray Reid announced his retirement today, stepping away from the UConn program after 312 wins, eight regular season titles, four Big East tournament championships, and one national title.
“My time at UConn has been a fantastic experience both professionally and personally,” Reid said in a release. ”Unfortunately, my mother and father continue to experience health challenges and I want to be there for them as much as possible. I’ve been blessed to work with great assistant coaches and fantastic players. I have also been afforded the opportunity to learn from and interact with some of the top coaches in the country on a daily basis here in Storrs. UConn Nation has always been good to me and our student-athletes and I want to thank everyone, including administrators, support staff and facilities staff, who have worked tirelessly to benefit UConn men’s soccer.
After taking the reins in 1997 from legendary coach Joe Morrone, Reid brought UConn to the College Cup by 1999 and won the whole thing a year later in 2000. From 1997 to 2013, Reid had the Huskies in the NCAA Tournament every year, although they have not been back since 2018.
Before UConn, Reid turned his alma mater Southern Connecticut State into a regional superpower in Division II, capturing three championships in eight years at the helm. UConn’s had 14 first-round picks in the MLS under Reid’s tenure, including current CONCACAF studs Andre Blake and Cyle Larin, the No. 1 overall picks in the 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Reid’s resume is impeccable but the program has been stuck in the mud the last six seasons, with only one NCAA tournament appearance since 2016. The low point came in 2019, when the Huskies went 5-12-1 — Reid’s first losing season at UConn. This fall, UConn went 7-7-1 to finish 10th in the Big East, missing the preseason projection of t-8.
The Huskies will begin a national search for a new coach.
Still, Reid is worthy of praise for keeping UConn men’s soccer in the national forefront.
Soccer in the 1990s and 2000’s didn’t have the burgeoning popularity and access it’s blessed with now. As a kid growing up playing the beautiful game in the Nutmeg state, some of my fondest memories were driving to Storrs in five layers of clothing to watch the Huskies go deep into the postseason.
Risking frost bite to see the Huskies play in front of a rowdy Goal Patrol probably helped many a Connecticut kid fall in love with the game. His youth camps he ran across the state, a few of which I had the pleasure of working toward the end of my own career, were always filled the fields in the summer heat.
It was always fun to see the often ornery head coach chop it up and turn on the charm to a bunch of campers. All of that — the nation-leading attendance, the popular youth camps, the NCAA and Big East titles — are because of Reid. He may have lost his fastball in recent years, but he certainly kept Connecticut soccer on the map.