Mediacom Park, NY – October 21, 2016 – Mediacom Communications is proud to announce that the company’s founder and CEO, Rocco B. Commisso, was honored by Columbia University for his lifetime of commitment to Columbia Athletics and specifically to the institution’s soccer program.
In a black-tie affair held last night at the historic Low Library on the University’s Morningside Campus, Commisso was inducted into the 2016 Class of the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was founded to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of intercollegiate athletics and who have helped bring recognition, distinction and excellence to Columbia University. With his induction, Commisso joins a legendary group of Columbia alumni including Lou Gehrig, Sid Luckman, Roone Arledge, Robert Kraft, Len Renery and Amr Aly.
On Saturday, October 22, 2016, Commisso will again be recognized by the University during the official dedication of the newly renovated soccer field at the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium named in his honor. Scheduled in conjunction with Columbia’s 2016 Homecoming festivities, the ceremony will take place at 6:30pm between the women’s and men’s soccer matches against Dartmouth College. During the program, Commisso will be joined by Columbia Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Peter Pilling, as well as a large contingent of current soccer players, coaches, alumni, family and friends.
Despite not playing soccer in high school, Commisso earned a full four-year undergraduate scholarship to attend Columbia and was awarded three soccer letters. He started every game during his four-year career from 1967-70 (except for one due to injury) and earned a reputation as the “toughest” player in the Ivy League. A three-year All-Ivy League honoree both as a defensive and offensive player, Commisso guided the Lions to a four-year winning record. He served as Co-Captain of the 1970 team, the first-ever Columbia squad to advance to the NCAA Tournament, scoring 9 goals in 8 games as a center-forward, including Columbia’s first two NCAA Tournament goals in school history. He was also a member of a freshman squad that finished with an undefeated record and was invited to try-out for the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team.
Throughout his 49-year association with Columbia soccer, Commisso’s support has helped the program achieve unprecedented accomplishments. During this period, the men’s soccer program has been the most successful in the Ivy League and among all major sports at the university. In the mid-1970’s, he co- founded Friends of Columbia Soccer and served as its chairman from 1978-86, during which time Columbia won 8 straight Ivy Championships and became the only Ivy League school ever to compete in the NCAA Championship Final Game. In 2013, Columbia recognized his long-standing contributions to the university by naming its soccer venue at the school’s Baker Athletics Complex as the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium.
He earned both a BS degree in Industrial Engineering in 1971 and a MBA degree from the Graduate Business School in 1975. At the Business School, he was elected president of the student body and was the recipient of the prestigious Business School Service Award.