University of Connecticut men’s soccer great and successful businessman Tony Rizza is turning 50 years old and a benefit golf tournament to celebrate that milestone will be held on Monday, September 21, with all proceeds benefitting the construction of the Rizza Family Soccer Complex in Storrs.
The tournament will be held at the Tunxis Plantation Country Club in Farmington, with an 11 a.m. shotgun start followed by a cocktail hour and dinner.
Rizza, who played for coaching legend Joe Morrone from 1983-86, recently pledged $8 million toward the project, the largest donation in the history of UConn Athletics. Morrone will serve as the honorary chair of the event.
The new facility will be built on the site of the current Joseph J. Morrone Stadium and will bear the same name. The overall complex—which will include the new stadium as well as the existing training grounds and practice field adjacent to the stadium—will be named the Rizza Family Soccer Complex.
“UConn and Coach Morrone had an incredibly positive impact on my life, and helping the university and the soccer program maintain a commitment to excellence is a no-brainer for me,” said Rizza. “I am proud to be a Husky and invite everyone who can to join me for a relaxing day of golf in support of UConn soccer.”
Originally from Newington, Rizza previously started a science scholarship in the name of his uncle Victor Rizza, a fellow UConn graduate with a Ph.D. in biochemistry.
As of July 31, 2015, sponsors include AT&T, Foxwoods, Herbalife, Hoffman Auto Group, ICR, Mohegan Sun, and Toscano Family. For information on playing or making a tax deductible donation, visit the tournament’s registration page or call April Kreyssig from the UConn Foundation at (860) 486-7169.
UConn’s men’s soccer team won the NCAA Championship under Morrone in 1981 and in 2000 under current Head Coach Ray Reid. The Huskies were also declared national champions in 1948.
“Loyal Huskies such as Tony Rizza help us keep alive the high standard and tradition of UConn soccer established by Coach Morrone many decades ago,” said Reid, now in his 18th year in charge of the program. “This is a very exciting time for our student athletes and fans of Husky soccer, and I’m proud to be part of it.”