Tony DiCicco, who coached the United States to the 1999 World Cup title before an overflow Rose Bowl crowd in a landmark for women’s soccer, died June 19 at his home in Connecticut. He was 68.
His family announced the death on Twitter but gave no further information.
Mr. DiCicco became the U.S. coach in 1994 and led the team to the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the first games to feature women’s soccer.
He then guided a team filled with superstars — women’s sports pioneers such as Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Michelle Akers — to the ’99 World Cup crown. In the final, the United States beat China 5-4 on penalty kicks in Pasadena, Calif., before 90,185 fans, by far the largest attendance for a women’s soccer game.
Mr. DiCicco is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He is the winningest coach in U.S. soccer history by percentage as well as the only coach to win more than 100 games. He went 103-8-8 from 1994 to 1999. He then left coaching and did television work.
In 2008, Mr. DiCicco took over the U.S. under-20 women’s national team and led it to a world title.
Amanda Duffy, the National Women’s Soccer League managing director of operations, lauded Mr. DiCicco for “his role in the tremendous growth of women’s soccer in the U.S.”
Mr. DiCicco was the goalkeeper coach under Anson Dorrance on the first Women’s World Cup championship team in 1991. In 1994, he took over from Dorrance and led the Americans to a third-place finish at the 1995 World Cup in Sweden.
From there, his team swept the next two major events, sparking a level of interest in the women’s game never seen before in the country.
And he played a key leadership role in the start of women’s professional soccer leagues in the United States. In 2001, he was chief operating officer for the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), which played from 2001 to 2003. He was the league’s commissioner in 2002 and 2003.
He coached the Boston Breakers in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) from 2009 to 2011.
Anthony DiCicco was born in Wethersfield, Conn., on Aug. 5, 1948, and graduated in 1970 from Springfield College in Massachusetts, where, as a goalkeeper, he was an all-American, captain and most valuable player his senior year. He received a master’s degree from Central Connecticut State in 1978.
Mr. DiCicco played five years as a pro in the American Soccer League with the Connecticut Wildcats and Rhode Island Oceaneers. In 1973, he toured and played for the national team.
Survivors include his wife, Diane, and four sons.