From University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department…
Pitt men’s soccer head coach Jay Vidovich announced the addition of Pittsburgh native Rich Costanzo to the coaching staff Friday afternoon. Costanzo returns home after a successful three-year stint at Army West Point as an assistant.
“We are very fortunate to have added Rich to the Pitt soccer program as he is the right coach and person for this team,” Vidovich said. “A native of Pittsburgh, Rich shares the values of the University and our ‘City of Champions’. He has won championships at the professional, collegiate, and youth levels and will be a tremendous asset in developing a culture of excellence, as well as recruiting ambitious student-athletes to the Pitt men’s soccer program.”
Prior to joining the staff at West Point, Costanzo’s five-year professional playing career included stops with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rochester Rhinos and the Minnesota Thunder of the United States Soccer League (USL), while his collegiate playing career featured two years at the University of Maryland as well as Penn State.
“I am truly honored to be joining the coaching staff at Pitt,” Costanzo said. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with Coach Jay and Michael, and am eager to get started with the team. It is also nice to be coming back home to the Pittsburgh area.”
While with the Army Black Knights, Costanzo was under the guidance of head coach Russell Payne who also serves as the goalkeeper coach for the U.S. Men’s National team. Costanzo’s tenure included three consecutive trips to the Patriot League Tournament, with the team advancing to the semifinals in 2014. During those seasons, eight student-athletes garnered All-Patriot League honors.
Costanzo holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) “B” Coaching License and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Premier Diploma. He is also a U.S. Soccer Network Scout where he evaluates U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) teams and players.
Following a successful year on the sidelines in 2015, Costanzo was selected by the NSCAA for the “30 under 30” Coaching Development Program, a year-long education and mentorship program for a selected group of up-and-coming coaches who are making soccer their career.
Before transitioning to the coaching side of the game, Costanzo started his professional playing career with the Minnesota Thunder in 2009 where he appeared in 20 games. He then spent two years with the Rochester Rhinos, assisting the team to two regular season titles in 2010 and 2011. Costanzo capped off his professional career in his home city with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, spending the 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Hounds where he appeared in 43 games for the club while captaining the team in 2013.
In 2012, Costanzo founded the Pittsburgh Soccer Academy (PSA), a training organization for youth soccer players. The program, under Costanzo’s direction, offers players one-on-one training, group training, camps and clinics in the Pittsburgh area. Two years later, Costanzo was named a “13 under 30” Entrepreneur in the regional area by Pittsburgh’s Whirl Magazine for his accomplishments with PSA.
As a collegiate student-athlete, Costanzo got his start at Penn State where he was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2004, while garnering Freshman All-America honors by SoccerAmerica and TopDrawerSoccer.
He then transferred to the University of Maryland in 2006 and had a notable senior year in 2008 as a team captain. That year, Costanzo helped lead the Terrapins to an ACC Championship title as well as a NCAA Division I National Championship title. At the conclusion of the banner season, Costanzo was tabbed to the College Cup Team, and received the Coaches Award from head coach Sasho Cirovski for his commitment and dedication to the team.
A product of Thomas Jefferson High School, Costanzo collected numerous honors in his four years – so many that he was inducted into the Heinz History Hall of Fame in 2012.
Costanzo is a two-time NSCAA All-American, EA Sports All-American, two-time Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Boys Soccer Player of the Year, 2004 Post-Gazette Male Athlete of the Year and was named the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania by Adidas in 2003.
He also gained youth national team experience as a member of the U18 National Team in 2004 and was a part of the Olympic Development Program from 2002-2005.
Costanzo graduated from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business in December 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Business.