Tony DiCicco died Monday at the age of 68. The Wethersfield native coached the United States Women’s Soccer Team in the 1999 World Cup.
The women won it all in penalties when Brandi Chastain buried the final kick and ripped off her jersey—exposing her black sports bra in celebration.
He was an all-American goalkeeper at Springfield College. About 10 years after graduating, he started SoccerPlus camps in 1982, teaching “The DiCicco Method” of challenging and guiding players to success.
Shawn Mecchi worked for DiCicco at SoccerPlus.
“He built enormous personal relationships with everyone he met,” Mecchi said, “and that’s a huge part of what made him such a successful coach. He was just the kind of person who made you feel like you could do anything if you worked for it.”
DiCicco’s son Anthony announced his passing on Twitter Tuesday, but did not reveal the cause of death.
A statement from the DiCicco Family. pic.twitter.com/kBLKhdrWdH
— Anthony DiCicco (@DiCiccoMethod) June 20, 2017
“Last night, at his home,” Anthony DiCicco said, “surrounded by family Tony DiCicco bestowed love broadly as he peacefully transformed from a mortal body to an eternal ideal. While the health challenges Tony faced were confronted head on and with eyes open, we never could have foreseen the beautiful journey that truly defined the magnificence of this man’s life.”
The U.S. Women lost just eight games in five years under DiCicco.