A winner of both the NCAA College Cup and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as a head coach during his career, Steve Negoesco passed away this past Februrary aged 93. | Photo courtesy West Coast Conference
SAN FRANCISCO – USL League Two’s San Francisco City FC has announced it will honor former University of San Francisco Head Coach Steve Negoesco throughout the upcoming season with a commemorative jersey patch. A four-time NCAA Men’s College Cup champion on the sidelines for the Dons, Negoesco passed away this past February at the age of 93.
“We reached out to Coach Negoesco’s family with the proposal to honor him in this way and we were humbled by their gracious and enthusiastic support,” said SF City Director of Operations Mike Gonos, “I told them, ‘without him blazing the trail, we might not even be here today.’”
The commemorative patch that will be worn by San Francisco City FC to honor former University of San Francisco Head Coach Steve Negoesco this season.
Negoesco won 544 games as a head coach – a number commemorated in the patch – and in addition to national championships with the Dons in 1966, ’75, ’75 and ’80 also led the program to 22 conference championships. Inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003, Negoesco also coached the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club to victory in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 1976.
One of his former players, Joe Dugan of the San Francisco Elite Academy, praised Negoesco’s willingness to offer opportunity to everyone following his death.
“Whether you were an Olympian, a World Cup player or someone just trying to make the team, he gave everyone an opportunity,” Dugan told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The players had to take the opportunity and do the most with it, but he gave everyone a chance.”
City and the Dons’ soccer program have had strong ties from SFCFC’s foundation as a supporter- owned club in 2015. Many of its most famous players, such as Danny Kirkland, played for the Dons during their college careers, and the club has also included many USF alumni among its staff.
This year, interns from USF’s Sports Management program will be working alongside the club’s volunteers, gaining first-hand experience that will aid them in their future careers.
In doing so, they will carry forward Negoesco’s spirit, whose main goal in everything he did for the San Francisco soccer community was to move the sport forward.
“I’ve never worried about, never cared about what I’ve been able to do,” Negoesco told the Chronicle in 2000. “I did whatever I had to do not because I expected anything. ... I did what I did because I like this game.”