Legendary UW-Green Bay soccer coach Santaga dies at 87 | WLUK

(WLUK) — Legendary University of Wisconsin-Green Bay soccer coach Aldo Santaga has died.

His obituary says he died on Saturday at age 87.

Santaga coached the men’s team from 1978-1992 and also led the women’s team in 1991. His UWGB teams played in the NCAA Division II tournament in 1978 and in the Division I tournament in 1983.

Santaga was also credited with finding financial support for what was initially called Phoenix Field. In 2018, the facility was named Aldo Santaga Stadium.

“I grew up in a country where there is no grass. North Africa, the people of Libya, we play on sand beaches or on ground when it’s held down by cinders. Now to come here and see this kind of field, it’s phenomenal,” Santaga told FOX 11 at the stadium dedication ceremony.

Santaga was born in 1934 in Tripoli, Libya, to Italian parents. He played soccer professionally and for the Libyan national team, then came to the U.S. in 1922. He played for the Croatian Eagles Club in Milwaukee before arriving in Green Bay. Santaga was also credited with helping start the soccer programs at St. Norbert College and Premontre High School.

Santaga was a member of the Wisconsin Soccer Association Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame, Croatian Eagles Soccer Club of Milwaukee Hall of Fame and Green Bay Phoenix Hall of Fame.

A private funeral Mass was held on Thursday.

Source: Legendary UWGB soccer coach Santaga dies at 87 | WLUK

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