In the coaching world, there are only a few true pioneers of the game of soccer here in the States. For me, Tony DiCicco is at the top of that list.
A native of Wethersfield, Conn., DiCicco’s list of coaching achievements is incredible and outstrips any other American. His career has seen him win the Olympic gold medal and the FIFA World Cup.
It’s about more than achievements, though: Tony was everything that was good in coaching. He was infectious and dynamic. He would light up every room he walked into at the NSCAA conventions year after year. He was a teacher, a communicator and a leader. He was one of those rare people who knew how to connect with every individual in his presence and would take the necessary and added time to do so. He enjoyed supporting his players and his fellow coaches, and in turn, these players and coaches enjoyed his guidance and insight immensely.
I also saw him as recently as May contributing to the New England Soccer Journal. Sharing the pages of this publication with a legend like Tony was an absolute honor for me.
After learning of his passing in June, I wanted to reach out to some of the very best coaches that I know personally to get their thoughts on the lasting impact and legacy that Tony has had on them. Below are the comments of some of my peers. I am lucky to have been impacted by Tony DiCicco and I know wholeheartedly that I am not alone in that sentiment: