Sept. 13, 2010
This past weekend was a very special weekend for the Huskies. We brought back the 2000 National Championship Team for our ten year reunion. The players on the team and their families came in for a 3 day celebration.
The weekend started on Friday, with our Meet the Huskies Banquet. At the Banquet we honored Gayle Mulligan and Milan Keser for their contribution to soccer in the state. We also honored Donna & Eliott Zieky for all they have done for the UConn Men's Soccer Program. Also honored at the Banquet were the 2000 National Champions. On Saturday, we honored the team at our Football game vs. Texas Southern, as well as at half time of our soccer match against Harvard. We closed up the weekend with a celebration Brunch for the team and their families on Sunday.
It was extremely rewarding to be able to spend time with the "boys". They are such a big part of UConn soccer history, and are responsible for so much. To see them with their family and friends, and how happy and successful they are in their lives added to my happiness. We had been in the trenches together for 4 years and through many battles. When you coach them, you always have to keep your distance. You are there to be their Coach, Parent and Advisor. For me it is tough, when they play at UConn to not step over the line and be their friend. I always try to keep my distance during their 4 years of competing with the idea that if I do my job with them, the good relationship with them will be after college. In most cases that has been what happened.
What a great group of young men! When I spoke to them Friday I got very emotional. They did more for our program then they will ever know. They provide a great inspiration to every team that come after them. In some fashion, they are my sons. Over the years, we have laughed together, been disappointed together, celebrated together, worked through difficult times together and then won the pinnacle in our sport together. In the end "they got it done".
To the 2000 National Championship Team, Tina Turner said it best in her song "You Are Simply The Best" and I could not be any prouder of the men you have become. Thank you for making my life so special, and for blessing UConn with your talent. Put it on the calendar, the 20 year reunion will be in 10 years. Thanks again for everything.