Former Central Connecticut women's volleyball coach Leo Uzcategui has passed away, along with his wife Joyce, in a tragic accident on a beach in Ecuador over the weekend. The couple had relocated to South America several years ago.
"This is a tragic event and our thoughts and prayers go out to Leo and Joyce's family and friends during this time of mourning," Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann said. "Leo was a valued member of the department during his time with the Blue Devils as the head women's volleyball coach. His former players speak very highly of him and his accomplishments speak for themselves. We are all deeply saddened to hear of their passing."
Uzcategui served as CCSU's volleyball coach from 1995 to 1999. He came to the United States in 1983 after a distinguished coaching career in both Brazil and Venezuela that saw him head the men's Venezuelan University National Team from 1978 to 1982.
He came to New Britain in August of 1995 after a coaching stint with the Mizuno Florida Gold Coast Volleyball Club - one of the state's strongest junior girls' programs, while also enjoying a successful tenure (1990-93) as the head coach at Florida Atlantic University, where he posted a 74-52 overall record. He had served as an assistant coach for one year at FAU prior to becoming the head coach.
Following his career with the Blue Devils he served as the head volleyball coach at the University of Bridgeport from 2009-13, experiencing tremendous success with the Purple Knights. During those five seasons, Bridgeport advanced to the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament each year and captured the NCAA East Regional Title in 2011, advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight.
A native of Venezuela, Uzcategui earned a Bachelor's Degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and held a degree in Sports Psychology from Florida International University.