DiCicco Family to Receive Inaugural President's Coaching Award From United States Olympic Committee
CHICAGO (Monday, September 13, 1999) - The United States Olympic Committee has awarded U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Tony DiCicco and his family with the inaugural USOC President's Coaching Award. The award will be given annually to a person, persons or program that provides "behind the scenes support" which enables a coach to achieve major success during the preceding year.
DiCicco has had little else but major success since taking over the Women's National Team in 1994. He is 99-8-8 all-time and a victory over Brazil on Sept. 26 at Mile High Stadium in Denver will make him the first coach in U.S. Soccer history to win 100 games. On April 22, 1999, in Hershey, Pa., he coached in his 100th international game. DiCicco's winning percentage of 89% is the best ever, and against Japan in Kobe on May 17, 1998, he surpassed Anson Dorrance as the all-time win leader in the history of U.S. Soccer. He is also the first coach to win an Olympic gold medal and a Women's World Cup title.
But none of his success could have been achieved without the support of his family, wife Diane and four sons, Anthony (17), Andrew (14), Alex (12) and Nicholas (8). All will be honored at the USOC Coaching Recognition Banquet in Washington, D.C., on Sat., Sept. 18th at 7 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.
"The demands that the national team inherently creates are large," said DiCicco. "There is a lot of time away from the home and a lot of travel, so unless you have the support of your family, which is not always easy, there is very little chance of being successful at your profession. I'm extremely proud that my family is being honored in this way because of their undying ability to adjust and provide a loving environment whenever I arrived back home. It helped me maintain the balance necessary to win at the highest international level."
DiCicco led the USA through a pressure-packed 1999 Women's World Cup, becoming the first host team to win the tournament while doing so in dramatic fashion. The USA defeated China in the Women's World Cup Final, making all five of its penalty kicks in the shootout in front of a record crowd for women's sports of 90,185 fans and 40 million more watching on television.
"Our relationship is about commitment and respect for each other, but it's so much bigger than that," said Diane DiCicco. "These women on the team are awesome. Of course, there have been huge adjustments. Tony joined the women's program as an assistant in '91 when Nick as just born. But when someone is following their heart, it's really not a question. Tony and I have been lucky enough to stay connected and allow him to follow his dreams."
Forty-five Olympic and Pan American sports selected a national and a developmental coach of the year and each will be honored at the festivities sponsored by the Washington/Baltimore Regional 2012 Coalition.
"There are many, many people who travel a lot or work lots of hours, but I also like to think we're pioneers of what's possible for families," added Diane DiCicco. "It is possible to have it all. I can see he has a God-given talent and that's what makes it easier for me. I can see coaching is such natural thing for him. I know it sounds corny, but this has been his destiny."