Photo courtesy of David Mucker
Longtime Louisville City FC midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo has decided to hang up his boots ahead of the 2024 season in favor of his next career step. DelPiccolo accepted a full-time role coaching in the club’s youth academy and assisting with the first team, it was announced Monday.
The 32-year-old, who played eight seasons in purple, captained LouCity for seven of those years, including both of City’s back-to-back USL Championship title runs in 2017 and 2018. The 2018 campaign brought about DelPiccolo’s first coaching gig as part of the “triumvirate” of player that successfully managed through a head coaching change.
DelPiccolo retires from professional soccer as the club’s all-time appearances leader
“As I begin to reflect on my playing career, there are so many things I want to say and so many people I need to thank for supporting me,” DelPiccolo said. “I will miss playing every day but cannot wait to embrace the challenge of starting my coaching career and learning from our first team coaches, Danny Cruz and Simon Bird. As inevitable as this day was, it was always going to be difficult, and I am grateful to Louisville City for their support and for providing me a pathway into coaching.”
“Today is a bittersweet day for us at the club,” said Cruz, LouCity’s head coach. “It has been an absolute privilege to manage Paolo over the years. He has been an incredible representative of this club both on and off the field. When I look at his transition to coaching, there is not a doubt in my mind that he will succeed because he is the type of person that puts everything he can into his craft. We are excited to continue watching his growth as a coach both with the academy and the first team, and I am confident that he is going to continue to be such a valuable asset to all of our players here at Louisville City. He has so much to be proud of, and while I know he will miss being on that field as a player every day, I am confident that he will thrive as a coach.”
LouCity lifted six trophies – four Eastern Conference titles were won in addition to the league championships – during DelPiccolo’s tenure. He played in 230 games and ranks second in club history in minutes logged at 15,397.
From Wheat Ridge, Colorado, DelPiccolo also has roots in the Derby City. He played collegiately at the University of Louisville, helping the Cardinals to their first-ever NCAA College Cup trip in 2010. His wife, Katie, is former UofL volleyball star continuing to shine as an ESPN reporter.
DelPiccolo, who was already coaching on a part-time basis in the LouCity Academy, is taking up a permanent post in one of the country’s most successful youth programs. The academy has produced six professional players since launching in 2020.
“I’m exceptionally proud of all Paolo has achieved with our club over the years,” said team president James O’Connor. “He has been a proven leader who helped set our standards, and we are thrilled that the next generation of players coming through our academy will get to work with him.”
DelPiccolo holds a USSF C license and is working toward his B license.