Former United States women’s soccer coach Tony DiCicco died on Monday night, his family announced in a public statement. He was 68.
“While the health challenges Tony faced were confronted head on and with eyes open, we never could have foreseen the beautiful journey that truly defined the magnificence of this man’s life,” the DiCicco family said in a statement.
DiCicco, who coached the Americans from 1994-99 and won nearly 90% of his games, spearheaded the U.S. women’s national team to a gold medal in 1996 at the Atlanta Games and, most notably, piloted the iconic 1999 World Cup team that defeated China in the final after a penalty shootout. He is the only U.S. coach to win both, and compiled a 103-8-8 international record.
“Today we mourn the loss of one of the most influential coaches in U.S. Soccer history,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement.
DiCicco, who also led Team USA to the 2008 Under-20 Women’s World Cup title, was the first commissioner of the Women’s United Soccer Association from 2000-03, before coaching the Boston Breakers of the Women’s Professional Soccer League from 2009-11.
“We are very saddened to learn of last night’s passing of legendary women’s soccer coach Tony DiCicco,” said Amanda Duffy, managing director of operations for the National Women’s Soccer League. “A pioneer in the world of soccer, Tony will be remembered for his immense passion, his dedication to the game and his life pursuit to inspire players and people. A truly influential figure, no one will forget the impact he has had on so many people’s lives and his role in the tremendous growth of women’s soccer in the U.S. On behalf of the NWSL, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tony DiCicco. He will be missed by all.”
DiCicco was elected to the…