Soccer alum pledges record $8 million for stadium

[CONNECTICUT] Tony Rizza, who started 59 games as a defender for the University of Connecticut over four seasons (1983-86), has pledged a total of $8 million to transform UConn's soccer complex and build a brand-new state-of-the-art soccer stadium.
The new facility will be built on the site of the current Joseph J. Morrone Stadium and will bear the same name. The overall soccer complex, which will include the new stadium as well as the existing training grounds and practice field adjacent to the stadium, will be named the Rizza Family Soccer Complex in recognition of this transformative gift.

"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," says Rizza, who is senior managing director of Columbus Circle Investors, Inc., a Stamford investment advisory firm with $16.6 billion in assets and 65 employees.

Rizza pledged $5 million to match donations for the facility and two years ago he gave $3 million for the project. The two combined gifts make him the single-largest donor in the history of the UConn athletics.

Current UConn men's head coach Ray Reid was the first donor to support Rizza's match with his own gift of $100,000.

"It's Husky soccer under Coach [Joe] Morrone that helped put UConn athletics in the national spotlight, winning UConn's first NCAA men's championship in any sport  in 1981, and Coach Reid continues that great tradition," says UConn president Susan Herbst.  "UConn soccer is one of the nation's premiere programs with both the men's and women's teams among the elite programs in the country. Morrone Stadium is one of the nation's most enthusiastic college soccer venues, drawing record numbers of vocal fans year after year. Tony Rizza's generous gift will help make an already-great program at Storrs even better."

UConn has had one of the best supported men's programs in the country dating back to the early 1980s.
1 comment about "Soccer alum pledges record $8 million for stadium".
  1. Cory Belgrade, October 14, 2014 at 8:34 a.m.

    UConn should move to Big East and focus on basketball, soccer, & other sports other than football. Football has never been and never will be a major draw at UConn. Soccer always had better attendance & and more spirit in the 70's/80's. Will also save $'s and headaches in the long run.

    Cory '78

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