PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers men's soccer program announced it will take on BIG EAST rival Connecticut at the Second Annual Doug Hamilton Memorial Soccer Classic to be played Saturday, April 12 at Raritan High School in Hazlet, New Jersey.
The Doug Hamilton Memorial Classic is a tribute to Hazlet native, who starred on the Raritan High School soccer team (Raritan class of 1981) and went on to a distinguished career including President and General Manager of both the Miami Fusion (2000-2002) and the Los Angeles Galaxy (2002-2006) of Major League Soccer. Hamilton was awarded the MLS Executive of the Year award three times and in his honor the league has since renamed the award the Doug Hamilton MLS Executive of the Year award. Hamilton passed away suddenly in March of 2006 from heart complications at the age of 43. He is survived by his wife Paige and their son Aedan. The proceeds from the Classic will go to benefit Hamilton's son.
"We are delighted that UConn has agreed to come down and play us in the 2nd Annual Doug Hamilton Memorial Classic," said head coach Bob Reasso. "[Connecticut head coach] Ray Reid is a good friend and he was very close to Doug. Ray has built one of the finest programs in the country. They are the kind of team we want to play to honor the life's work in the game of our dear friend Doug Hamilton. We have a great rivalry with UConn and we are all looking forward to the game."
The Scarlet Knights played St. John's in last year's inaugural game, defeating the Red Storm, 4-1.
The Doug Hamilton Memorial Soccer Classic will include a full day's worth of activities starting with a youth soccer clinic for children ages 14 and under. The soccer clinic will be held on the athletic fields at Raritan High School starting at 4:00 p.m. and will feature instruction from the coaches and players from Rutgers, UConn and Raritan High School. Mini youth matches featuring teams from the Hazlet Youth Soccer Association will start at 5:30 p.m. prior to the Rutgers-Connecticut tilt at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets to the Doug Hamilton Memorial Classic are $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for youth (13 years and under) and will be available at the Raritan High School box office the day of the event.
About Doug Hamilton:
Raised in Hazlet N.J., Hamilton starred on the Raritan varsity soccer team ('79-'81) as well as on the Wall Atoms club team, which annually competed for the State Cup championship.
Hamilton's playing career continued at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) where the team won two Division III NCAA National Championships (1982 and 1985).
Hamilton went into coaching and guided Greensboro College from 1987-1990. In 1989, Hamilton led Greensboro College to a record of 17-3 and to an appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championship Game. Hamilton went on to be an assistant coach at Duke University for 2 seasons, including 1992 when Duke made it to the NCAA Division I College Cup.
Hamilton worked for adidas America for six years, where he held the post of Director of Sports Marketing Latin America after successfully serving as Business Unit Manager of soccer as well as basketball. In 1997, he earned recognition from adidas International and adidas America by winning the Global Business Unit of the Year and the Soccer Business Unit of the Year awards, respectively.
After leaving adidas America, Hamilton went on to serve as the Miami Fusion's Executive VP and General Manager from February 2000 to January 2002. In Miami, he made significant improvements on and off the field, resulting in a 49% increase in attendance. During his tenure the Fusion captured the 2001 MLS Supporters Shield with the league's top record (20-5-5).
From February 2002, till his death in March of 2006, Hamilton helped guide the LA Galaxy to reach unprecedented heights both on and off the field, highlighted by the club capturing its first "Domestic Double" in club history winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup championships. In each of Hamilton's five seasons, the club qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs – the crown jewel among those appearances was winning the MLS Cup twice (2002, 2005).