Rich Costanzo, a Pittsburgh native who attended Thomas Jefferson High School and played for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, and most recently has been Jay Vidovich’s chief lieutenant as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, has accepted a position to become the new head coach of the George Mason University men’s soccer program, as announced by university officials Friday, April 29.
“Congratulations to Rich, he’s prepared diligently for this opportunity,” Jay Vidovich, Pitt’s Head Coach said through a team release on Friday.
“We will greatly miss Rich at Pitt as he has been such a key factor in the growth and success of our Soccer program. Winning is a part of Rich’s DNA and he has a great football IQ. He understands the culture of a winning team, and will do a tremendous job mentoring, teaching, and motivating his players. I look forward to seeing George Mason soccer return to successful ways.”
Costanzo was announced as the newest head coach for a storied program.
“I want to thank Brad Edwards and the search committee at George Mason for believing in me and granting me this opportunity to lead the men’s soccer program,” Costanzo said. “I am excited to implement a style of play and culture that develops student-athletes on the field and in their academic pursuits. I am thrilled to be back in the DMV and look forward to having our program engage with our community. I am eager to work collaboratively with our athletic department to enhance the overall student-athlete experience.”
Costanzo, who joined the Panthers staff in July of 2017, finished his fifth season as assistant coach in December in a year that saw the team earn its second consecutive Elite Eight appearance and second straight ACC Coastal Division Championship. Since Costanzo’s arrival, he has helped Pitt compile a 55-37-5 ledger including a school record 16 wins in 2020-21.
In his five years as assistant, he has aided the Panthers in earning three NCAA Tournament appearances, an ACC Championship Tournament appearance, and a ranking of No. 1 in the country in October of 2020.
Costanzo helped coach the back line of defense that quickly became one of the best in the ACC, considered college soccer’s toughest conference. The Panther back line during the NCAA College Cup run in 2021 included Jasper Loeffelsend, Bryce Washington, Arturo Ordonez and Raphael Crivello. Under the guidance of Costanzo, Washington signed a homegrown contract with Atlanta United, Ordonez was selected 39th overall to Houston and Loeffelsend 81st overall to Real Salt Lake in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft.
A Pittsburgh native and Thomas Jefferson High School alum, Costanzo graduated from the University of Maryland in 2008 while also winning a national championship in that same season. He was tabbed on the All-College Cup team and received the Coaches Award from head coach Sasho Cirovski for his commitment and dedication to the team.