Jan. 26, 2000

Mike Wadsworth — Director of Athletics, University of Notre Dame “Mike Berticelli will be missed greatly at Notre Dame. His record of achievement and long list of honors speaks to his expertise as a soccer coach. However, that is only one dimension of the man. He was a devout family man who was passionate about his role as a mentor and coach to his student-athletes. He was a vital member of our coaching fraternity whose extroverted manner and wonderful sense of humor kept in balance why we engage in intercollegiate athletics. His life was too short, but his contribution to Notre Dame was great.”

Matt Doherty – Head Men’s Basketball Coach, University of Notre Dame “I first met Mike when he brought a soccer ball by the office for my son soon after I took the job here. We prayed for him and his family at the pre-game Mass today (Tuesday prior to Notre Dame-Miami basketball game). I feel for his family…what a shock. Something like this definitely puts things in perspective.”

Paul Mainieri — Head Baseball Coach, University of Notre Dame “He helped me more than he ever knew when I first came here. His mark on Notre Dame athletics is permanent. We all go into coaching for the same reason, to have an impact on people. Mike did that more than most of us. I’m numb.”

Jerry Yeagley — Head Men’s Soccer Coach, Indiana University “I’m in shock. Mike was the picture of vigor and enthusiasm. He was truly one of the most popular and respected coaches in the country, a pillar among his peers.”

Chris Petrucelli, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, University of Texas and former Head Women’s Soccer Coach, University of Notre Dame “He wanted to see the game get better. I don’t know if there’s any real personal gain in that, but it impacted a lot of lives. Everything I know in the game, I learned from him. I’m being absolutely serious, he taught me everything I know. As a coach, he was extremely motivating and driven to succeed. Coaching with him was a great experience.”

Jim Sheldon, NSCAA Executive Director “He was extremely outgoing, friendly, and he had a great sense of humor. People always raved about him. Mike viewed coaching as education — teaching people how to teach the game — as one of the foundations for building the sport in this country.”

Gerick Short, Notre Dame Senior Soccer Player and 1999 Captain “No matter if I went into his office with tears in my eyes, just ready to rage, I would always leave laughing. He could make anybody smile at any time. If you were ever in a crowded room and you heard a big group laughing, you didn’t even have to look, you knew it was him. He loved to have a good time. He lived life to its fullest.”

Stephen Maio, Notre Dame Junior Soccer Player “The team is taking this very hard. We all saw him at practice yesterday when we were training. He was excited about next season and the future. Nobody expected this. We’re just trying to stick together and work through this.”

Bernadette Cafarelli, Notre Dame Associate Sports Information Director “Mike Berticelli was great to his players. He was a man who genuinely cared about people and cared about making a difference in peoples’ lives. He was a terrific individual who always had the best interest of the players in mind. The players were his first priority as a coach. He was driven to succeed but not at their expense — he was always there for his players.”

Ryan Cox, Notre Dame Senior Soccer Player “It’s very hard to lose a coach. When you’ve been with someone for four years you form a bond and a connection that’s hard to break. All the players can look back on Coach Berticelli and know two things: One, that he brought us to the best University to play soccer, and two, that he coaches us on a team that allowed us to establish so many bonds and friendships.”