University of Connecticut men's soccer coach Ray Reid shows his commitment to his team and the entire University each and every day. He is a tireless worker throughout the entire year. There is game preparation, early-morning training sessions during the winter, monitoring the academic progress of student-athletes and of course, the lifeblood of any program - recruiting.
There is always work that needs to be done to make sure one of the country's most storied men's soccer programs remains among the national elite.
Reid's commitment to the program has gone beyond hard work and moves into financial support. In October 2014, Reid made a $100,000 commitment that will help build The Rizza Family Soccer Complex on the UConn campus.
The veteran UConn coach has backed up that gift with a recent legacy gift of an additional $250,000 that will benefit the men's soccer program.
"UConn has changed me both personally and professionally and I wanted to do my part to help," said Reid, who is entering his 20th year at the school in 2017. "Both of my daughters (Cate and Dannielle) graduated from UConn and I am a firm believer in people giving back to special places that are important to them."
Reid led UConn to the 2000 NCAA national championship and under his guidance, the Huskies have made two trips to the NCAA semifinals and seven to the quarterfinals. UConn has earned an NCAA tournament spot in 17 of his 19 seasons at UConn.
"All of us at UConn know how special Ray Reid is and how much he gives of himself and sacrifices for the benefit of UConn men's soccer," said UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict. "Ray's generosity has reached a new level with his latest gift. On behalf of the entire University, I am very thankful to Coach Reid and his entire family for this incredible gesture."
"This is fantastic news and speaks to the belief and connection that Coach Reid has to his players and all of UConn," said former men's soccer standout Tony Rizza '87, who made an $8 million commitment to the building of the Rizza Family Soccer Complex, the largest single-gift in the history of UConn athletics. "I can't think of another coach in the country in any sport who has made more of an effort and commitment to a school than Coach Reid."
Reid's student-athletes have achieved at a high level on and off the field, having won numerous postseason awards, including two M.A.C. Hermann National Player of the Year winners and 26 All-American selections.
"I've always encouraged my former student-athletes to give back to the program," said Reid. "I hope that this gift can serve an example for giving back to the school you love."
The UConn men's soccer program has a rich and long tradition that features three national championships and 35 NCAA tournament appearances.
"There is a great legacy here at UConn in men's soccer from Coach Joe Morrone and many others," said Reid. "Soccer is a very important sport in our state. I want to do my part to make sure UConn is always among the best."