The University of Bridgeport Department of Athletics mourns the passing of former head women’s volleyball coach Leo Uzcategui who lost his life over the weekend, along with his wife Joyce, in a tragic accident on a beach in Ecuador. The couple had relocated to South America several years ago.
Uzcategui served as UB’s head coach from 2009-2013 and took the women’s volleyball program to unprecedented heights amassing a record of 128-27 in his five seasons at the helm of 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 for the only time in school history in 2011 to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight in San Bernardino, California. His teams also took home East Coast Conference titles in 2009, 2012 and 2013. The 2009 team set a single-season school record for wins with 33.
During his tenure on the Purple Knights’ bench, Uzcategui also earned several Conference and Regional Coach of the Year Awards.
“All of us at the University of Bridgeport are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Coach Leo, stated UB Director of Athletics Anthony Vitti. He took our women’s volleyball program to new heights during his time on campus. Along with being an outstanding coach, he was simply a great person who always put his student-athletes welfare above anything else. He loved the University of Bridgeport, as he often sent me notes congratulating me on the continued success of the team, and I will also miss his great sense of humor which could always put a smile on your face. My deepest condolences to both his and Joyce’s families.”
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.
Coach Leo 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 began his United States collegiate coaching career as the assistant women’s volleyball coach at Florida Atlantic in 1988 and was elevated to head coach at FAU in 1989 where he piloted the Owls until moving to Central Connecticut State in 1995. Uzcategui was the Blue Devils’ head coach from 1995-1999.
News courtesy of Bridgeport Athletics.