Tony DiCicco, who led the U.S. women’s national soccer team to its 1999 World Cup victory, died Monday night at home.
DiCicco’s family mentioned unspecified health challenges as a reason for his death.
“Last night, at his home surrounded by his family, Tony DiCicco bestowed love broadly as he peaceful[ly] transformed from a mortal body to an eternal idea,” the family said in a statement, ESPN reported.
“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.”
DiCicco had a nearly 90 percent win rate over his career. He also coached the team to the 2008 Under-20 Women’s World Cup title, ESPN reported.
U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said that DiCicco was “one of the most influential coaches in U.S. Soccer history,” adding that his passion for the game and relationships with the soccer community “distinguished him as a compassionate and much-loved man,” ESPN reported.
DiCicco was known for his relational coaching style and for making sure that female players with children got plenty of family time while training and playing, The Washington Post reported.
“There is so much more to them than just being players,” DiCicco said in 1999 in The Washington Post. “Guys love identifying themselves as just a player. Don’t ask me to explain that. Maybe [women] are just higher Homo sapiens.”
Twitter was full of condolences and accolades from DiCicco’s former players and fans.
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