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UConn names soccer field after retired men’s soccer coach Ray Reid

The Huskies’ soccer facility will now bear the name of two national champion coaches.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The soccer field at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium will now bear the name of another UConn men’s soccer coach. On Wednesday, the school announced the pitch will be named after Ray Reid, the Huskies’ longtime head coach who retired last year.

“It is an honor to have the pitch at Morrone Stadium named after me,” Reid said in a statement. “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 spent 25 years at the helm of the UConn men’s soccer program, totaling 457 wins, 13 Big East championships, 18 NCAA Tournament appearances and a national championship in 2000. He is the second winningest coach in NCAA Division I history.

During his time in Storrs, the Huskies had 46 players taken in the MLS SuperDraft, including three No. 1 picks. 19 of his former players and assistants work as coaches at the Division I level, 10 of whom are head coaches — including his successor at UConn, Chris Gbandi.

“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,” Gbandi said. “His name and legacy can now live on forever.”

“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,” athletic director David Benedict said. “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.”

In addition to his success as a coach, Reid was instrumental in the construction of the new Olympic Village which comprises the new soccer, baseball and softball stadiums as well as a practice field and training center. He played a central role in raising money for the new facilities and one of his former players, Tony Rizza, donated $8 million, which put the project in motion.

“Coach Reid’s commitment to soccer across the country has been instrumental, however, the work and passion he gave to UConn is unmatched,” UConn women’s soccer head coach Margaret Rodriguez said. ”No man has worked harder to raise money and give back to UConn soccer like Ray has. I am proud to call him a mentor and friend and he left this place better than he found it. His name belongs on our field.”

UConn’s soccer stadium, which was re-built and opened in 2020, is named after Reid’s predecessor, Joe Morrone. He helmed the program from 1969 to 1996 and helped build the soccer stadium on campus — literally. Morrone turned the Huskies into a national powerhouse, winning a national championship in 1981 and 16 NCAA Tournament appearances.

A naming ceremony will be held at UConn’s Oct. 22 matchup against DePaul. The Huskies are 2-4-1 in their first season without Reid.