One of the marks of a great coach is the ability the
continually grow, expand and adapt to team dynamics and the ever-changing
atmosphere of college soccer. Head coach Ray Reid has continued to do that year
after year, proving his status as one of the greatest coaches in the game.
Despite falling a step short of the College Cup in 2007, Reid’s 11th season at
the helm of the UConn men’s soccer team will go down as one of the most
successful in program history. With record-breaking achievements and
unprecedented levels of success for his players, Reid further established
himself as one of the most dominant coaches in the BIG EAST, as well as in the
The Huskies tallied a 20-3-1 record in 2007 en route to the
BIG EAST Regular Season and Tournament Championships and the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Reid earned his 150th win at UConn when the Huskies defeated FIU, 1-0, Sept. 8
in the UConn/adidas Classic before going on to reach an even greater milestone –
career win number 300 on Sept. 28 with a 3-0 win over rival St. John’s. With the
sixth 20-plus win season of his career, Reid moved into 11th place among active
coaches in total victories, despite being on the job eight years less than his
next colleague. This year’s successes also solidify Reid’s position as the
winningest active coach based on percentage (.780), an honor he has held for
each of the last four years.
On the conference stage, no coach has been as dominant in the
last decade as Reid. Through his first 11 years at the helm of the Huskies, he
has amassed more wins than any other coach or program in the conference during
the same period. He also holds the top spot among BIG EAST coaches in the number
of conference regular season and tournament championships, as well as the number
of players to earn All-American status, major conference awards and be drafted
by Major League Soccer. In addition, he is the only BIG EAST head coach to
capture a national championship since 1997.
In 19 years as a collegiate head coach, this intensely
earnest and devoted leader and his teams have continually made history on the
conference and national levels. In his 11 years at UConn and the previous eight
seasons at his alma mater, Division II Southern Connecticut State University,
Reid has built a record of 312-76-33 with a total of four national championships
(1990, 1992, 1995 and 2000).
These stunning accomplishments over the years have not gone
unnoticed. In addition to the numerous accolades collected by his players, Reid,
too, has been consistently recognized by his peers for his efforts and continued
successes at UConn. He was named the National Coach of the Year in 2000, the
Northeast Division Coach of the Year in 1999, 2000 and 2007 and was named the
BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 1998.
Ray Reid in the 21st Century
2007: The 2007 season will go down as one of the best both on and off the
field. UConn went 20-3-1, tallying the second most wins of any team in program
history and spending a record 12 weeks ranked in the Top 5 (including the last
nine in either the No. 1 or No. 2 spot). In addition, the Huskies earned the
third BIG EAST Tournament Championship of the last four years after being named
co-regular season champs with Notre Dame.
For all their success on the field, Reid’s players earned an
unprecedented, though well-deserved, level of postseason recognition. O’Brian
White, who led the NCAA in goals and points for much of the year, was named the
M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner, as well as a First Team All-America and the Soccer
America Player of the Year, while Julius James joined White as an All-America
honoree for the third straight year. White and James were also named the BIG
EAST Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, bringing Reid’s
number of major conference award winners to 18 – more than any other coach
during his tenure.
In addition, James and Ryan Cordeiro were both selected in
the MLS SuperDraft, increasing Reid’s number of Major League Soccer draftees to
17. James was drafted by Toronto FC with the ninth overall pick, while Cordeiro
went to DC United with the 33rd overall selection.
2006: The Huskies wrapped up Reid’s 10th season at UConn
with a 10-7-2 record and their ninth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. They
also made their 12th consecutive trip to the BIG EAST Tournament after
completing the regular season in second place in the Blue Division with an 8-2-1
conference record, including an undefeated 5-0-1 mark away from Morrone Stadium.
The BIG EAST coaches recognized the Huskies’ stellar in-conference play by
voting Julius James the 2006 Defender of the Year and Toni Stahl this season’s
Rookie of the Year, in addition to placing four others on All-BIG EAST Teams.
2005: Reid guided the Huskies to their second consecutive
and sixth all-time BIG EAST Tournament Championship as well as the BIG EAST
regular season championship in the Blue Division. This was just the second time
that UConn has won both the BIG EAST regular season and the conference
championships. The 1-0 victory over conference newcomer South Florida in the
championship game earned UConn the conference bid into the NCAA tournament for
the team’s eighth consecutive appearance. The Huskies earned a bye in the first
round of play and defeated Stony Brook in the second round to advance to the
third round. The team played Akron to a 3-3 tie in the game before falling in
penalty kicks after two overtimes. UConn finished the season with a 16-3-2
Following the 2005 run, Mpho Moloi and Willis Forko were
taken in the MLS draft, raising Reid’s total draft selections to 15 in eight
years and the sixth consecutive year that the head coach has sent players to the
United States’ premier soccer league.
2004: Reid led the Huskies to their fifth BIG EAST
Tournament Championship with a stunning 5-3 penalty kick decision over Seton
Hall after playing to a 0-0 tie through double overtime. Additionally, the team
made its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, where UConn posted a
2-1 overtime victory over Marist in NCAA first round action before coming up
just short against Boston College in the second round, falling 1-0. After
beginning the season 1-3-0, the team posted a strong run to end with a 12-8-3
record and a 5-4-1 ledger against conference foes.
Reid’s exemplary coaching continued to succeed in the
off-season as Easton Wilson and Esteban Arias were both taken in the MLS draft,
bringing the number of Reid’s total draft selections to 12.
2003: The season raised several challenges for Reid and
the youthful Huskies with a hefty strength of schedule, UConn excelled earning
their sixth consecutive and 24th overall NCAA Tournament berth in the 2003
College Cup. Led by only two seniors and a sea of underclassmen, the Huskies
took wins over several ranked teams including No. 5 Indiana, No. 5 Notre Dame,
No. 23 Virginia Tech and No. 25 Boston College through the season. In the
quarterfinals of the 2003 BIG EAST Tournament, Notre Dame knocked the Huskies
out of contention, but a bid to the NCAA Tournament kept the Huskies chances
alive. After a convincing 3-0 shutout over Rhode Island, UConn battled No. 6 St.
John’s to a 0-0 tie sending the game in penalty kicks. St. John’s won 4-2 on
penalty kicks in the shootout, ending the Huskies season with an even 8-8-3
Reid also captured his 250th win as a head coach in 2003 and
100th victory at Connecticut. The Huskies shutout Virginia Tech, 2-0, on Oct. 8
allowing Reid to hit the 250-game milestone in only his 14th year as a head
coach. On Sept. 5 in UConn’s first home game of the season, Connecticut defeated
Boston University 1-0, giving Reid the century mark in wins at UConn.
2002: The Huskies earned their 18th appearance in the BIG
EAST Tournament after posting a 7-3 league record. Ranked in the top 10 for most
of the season, the Huskies fell to Boston College (3-2) in the finals of the BIG
EAST Championship, after defeating St. John’s on penalty kicks in the
semifinals. UConn notched its sixth-straight and 23rd overall bid into the NCAA
Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight before being knocked off by Maryland,
3-0. UConn completed the season with a 17-6 overall record.
2001: Reid and the Huskies captured their
fourth-consecutive BIG EAST regular season title, advanced to the NCAA
Tournament and ended the season with an overall 15-5-2 record and 9-1 in the BIG
EAST. The Huskies advanced to the BIG EAST Championship game falling to St.
John’s (1-0) and then dropped a three-overtime 2-1 decision to Rutgers in the
second round of the NCAA Tournament.
2000: Reid and the Huskies brought home the 2000 NCAA
Men’s College Cup Championship and posted 20 wins, the most since 1981 when the
Huskies went en route to a national championship with a 20-3-2 record. UConn
finished the season atop the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
and Soccer America Magazine polls. For his achievements, Reid was tabbed with
NSCAA Division I National Coach of the Year and Northeast Regional Division I
Coach of the Year honors.
From 1998 to the 2001 season, the Huskies captured
consecutive regular season BIG EAST titles. Reid was named the 1998 BIG EAST
Coach of the Year and the 1999 Northeast Division I Regional Coach of the Year.
Through eight seasons, he has compiled an impressive mark of 120-46-13 (.707),
including 92-35-11 mark in the past six years.
Named the eighth head coach of men’s soccer at the University
of Connecticut on December 18, 1996, Reid took over the coaching reigns after
directing the Southern Connecticut State University program to NCAA Division II
national titles in 1990, 1992 and 1995. He led SCSU to six trips to the NCAA
Division II ‘Final Four’, including a ‘Final Four’ berth each of his last five
seasons at the school.
At Southern Connecticut
As head coach of Southern Connecticut for eight years, Reid amassed a number
of accolades, including three National Coach of the Year awards. He led the Owls
to three national championships in five years and the team advanced to the NCAA
national semifinals six times under his direction. For his contributions to
Southern Connecticut athletics as both a coach and a player, Reid was inducted
into the Southern Connecticut State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
He received the head coaching nod in 1989, taking over for
Bob Dikranian and in only his second year at the helm, the team won the first of
his three national crowns, posting an unbeaten 22-0-1 record in 1990. Reid then
led Southern Connecticut to another national championship with a 21-2-1 record
in 1992 and the Owls would win the national title for the third time under
Reid’s direction in 1995, posting a 21-1-1 record.
During the decade of the 1990s (1990-1996), Reid’s teams at
Southern Connecticut lost only 10 games in seven years, posting an overall
record of 132-10-14 (.891) and going unbeaten in both 1990 and 1994. In 1996,
Southern Connecticut was ranked No. 1 in the nation in NCAA Division II circles
as Reid led SCSU to a 20-1-1 record, losing its only game of the year in the
national semifinal round.
Prior to being named head coach, Reid served as top assistant
to then head coach Dikranian for six seasons (1983-1988).Throughout his full 17
years of association with the Southern Connecticut men’s soccer program as a
player, assistant coach and head coach, he was part of an overall record of
288-50-32 (.821), four national championships, 12 trips to the NCAA Semifinals
and 16 NCAA postseason berths.