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Memories of Joe Morrone

Sept. 17, 2015


Share Your Memories Of Coach Morrone

UConn President Susan Herbst
"On behalf of the entire UConn family, I send my sympathy and condolences to Coach Joe Morrone's family. He was a UConn legend who touched the lives of so many. As a coach, he led UConn to national prominence in the sport of men's soccer and was a leader and role model for his student-athletes. After his coaching career, he came part of our faculty and touched the lives of so many more students. Coach Morrone was truly a UConn man and will be missed by all of us."

UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel
"On behalf of the UConn Division of Athletics, our thoughts and prayers go out to Coach Morrone's family and the former student-athletes that he coached. Coach Morrone spent his life teaching and coaching - those were his passions. He served in these capacities for over four decades at UConn. Coach Morrone was a man of integrity who gave all that he had to his family, friends, athletes and students. He will be missed greatly and will be remembered for his success on the pitch, but more importantly Coach Morrone should be remembered for the passion, love and life lessons he taught to all that had the opportunity to be in his presence. The University of Connecticut was honored to have had him as a coach and professor. His legacy will live on forever."

UConn Men's Soccer Coach Ray Reid
"The legacy of Coach Joe Morrone is more than the University of Connecticut. Coach Morrone was a forefather in all of college soccer nationally. He built Morrone Stadium practically with his bare hands. He was the first coach to do interregional travel. He was one of the first coaches to actively recruit and also have a fundraising organization (Friends of Soccer). Coach Morrone laid the blueprint not only for soccer at UConn but as importantly for college soccer in the entire country.

"Coach Morrone is the godfather of UConn men's soccer. We love him and we are respectful of all he accomplished. I know that what I have today in large part comes from 28 years of Coach Morrone's labor here and we've been able to build on his legacy and continue his outstanding tradition of excellence with student-athletes both in the classroom and on the field. Joe Morrone is UConn Soccer....and he will always be UConn Men's Soccer."

Frantz Innocent
Two-Time UConn All-American (1973, 1974)
17-Year Head Men's Soccer Coach, Eastern Connecticut State University (1990-2006)
"My first experience right from my recruiting time...I would call Coach Morrone a Gentle Giant. Coach was very demanding but over the last 35 years that I have been coaching I've come to understand that you can't always talk soft. Coach Morrone is an idol to me. He was the best don't ever find someone who is organized two years ahead of time. He had a pattern to be followed and when you followed his plan/pattern you became successful.

"In my coaching career, I have always thought of Coach Morrone as a role model when trying to determine how to do things both as a coach...and in life."

Neil Brickley
1975 UConn Men's Soccer Tri-Captain
"Coach Morrone was a disciplinarian. He had rules and he took a bunch of passionate kids who loved playing soccer and he turned them into a team that was very successful...they started building a total program in 1972 and by 1974 the program had hit its stride nationally.

"Coach Morrone brought so much to UConn soccer. From the start he made it clear to everyone that UConn could be nationally prominent. He just worked so hard on a daily basis building the program, building the fan base, building the youth development program in the state, and he drew from that youth development and created UConn Soccer as a nationally prominent program.

"With the greatest deal of respect for Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma, what both of those coaches have done is tremendous, Coach Morrone did the same thing for soccer when he started at UConn in 1969....he made it clear to everyone what he wanted...and the program ramped up starting from 1969 until 1981 when UConn finally earned our first NCAA National Championship...and we were very close on a number of occasions in other years before the 1981 championship...1974, 1976, 1980."

Erhardt Kapp
1980 UConn Men's Soccer Co-Captain
Two-Time UConn All-American (1979, 1980)
1984 U.S. Men's Soccer Olympic Team Starter

"UConn Soccer is Coach Morrone. Anyone that talks about UConn soccer starts by talking about Coach Morrone. It was his program, and it is his legacy. Coach Morrone had certain rules...and it was his way. The kids that came here to play not only became better soccer players they left as better people...and that a testament to him and to his program.

"He was truly ahead of his time. From an organizational standpoint, Coach Morrone was so ahead of everybody else. Scouting---before we played any game we knew what set plays our opponents used, what formations they used, who their best players were...this was the 1970s and other coaches didn't start following his techniques well into the 1980s and 1990s. His formations were unique and his in-game moves were pulling the goalie late in a game...that was unheard of but not for Coach Morrone.

"I still look back at some of the things Coach Morrone taught us as 17, 18, 19 year-olds and how I've used many of those lessons later in my life...growing up in New York and being a city boy and coming to Storrs, Connecticut was a big transition. Coach Morrone was so welcoming...everything he did for me on and off the field---soccer, school, everything...My dad was in New York but Coach Morrone was my dad away from home."