UW-Green Bay Mourns Death of Aldo Santaga – Hall of Fame Soccer Coach

Posted on 11-23-2022

Green Bay, Wis.— Family, friends, and former athletes from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay are mourning the passing of former men’s soccer coach Aldo Santaga, who died Saturday, November 12th, 2022. Santaga was a coach for the men’s soccer team for more than 14 years, and led the Phoenix to eight double-digit win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances (one in Division II, one in Division I).

“From the moment I met Aldo Santaga, I felt he symbolized the spirit of UW-Green Bay,” said Michael Alexander, UW-Green Bay chancellor. “His incredible life journey, energy, sense of humor, generosity, and character has had an indelible impact on who we are today.  We mourn the loss of someone who meant so much to so many people, and feel lucky that his career was associated with UW-Green Bay.”

Aldo Santaga was one of the most successful and beloved coaches in all of Phoenix athletics history. He was known for his tireless efforts in promoting soccer at all levels, and for his genuine love for the game. In addition to coaching the men’s team, he also coached the women’s team in 1991.

“All of Phoenix Country is deeply saddened with the passing of the legendary Aldo Santaga,” said Josh Moon, director of athletics for UW-Green Bay. “Aldo was a pillar of UW-Green Bay and put the UWGB men’s soccer program on the map. He positively impacted thousands of student-athletes and youth over the years, inspiring so many. Aldo was such a kind soul who welcomed me to this great University and the soccer community with open arms. Our deepest condolences to Janet and the Santaga family in this difficult time. Aldo will be greatly missed by all.” 

The former Libya National Team player had an immeasurable impact in the Green Bay area. Aldo was instrumental in starting the soccer program at St. Norbert College, Premontre High School (now Notre Dame Academy), and the Green Bay Kickers Club youth soccer program. Santaga saw the Green Bay men’s soccer program through the transition from Division II to Division I in 1981. During his career with UW-Green Bay, he amassed an incredible 148 wins; more than double the amount of wins of the second-winningest coach in Phoenix history.

“Aldo and his family were nothing short of spectacular to me upon my arrival in Green Bay in 2015,” said current men’s soccer head coach Jeremy Bonomo. “He was the epitome of Green Bay soccer and all that we strive to be on a daily basis. I will miss glancing up in the stands just before kickoff and seeing his familiar face. Always supporting, always caring.”

In August of 2018 the UW-Green Bay community dedicated the men’s and women’s soccer field to Coach Santaga, naming it “Aldo Santaga Stadium.” Hundreds of former athletes, family, and friends attended the ceremony honoring the former coach.

Full obituary can be found here.  Online condolences may be sent to Aldo’s family at prokowall.com.

UW Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a multi-campus comprehensive university offering exemplary undergraduate, master’s and select doctoral programs and operating with a commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and research, and service to the community. The University provides a problem focused educational experience that promotes critical thinking and student success.

The culture and vision of the University reflect a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, social justice, civic engagement, and educational opportunity at all levels. Our core values embrace community-based partnerships, collaborative faculty scholarship and innovation.

Our commitment to a university that promotes access, career success, cross-discipline collaboration, cultural enrichment, economic development, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability is demonstrated through a wide array of programs and certifications offered in four colleges: College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Science, Engineering and Technology (including the Richard Resch School of Engineering); College of Health, Education and Social Welfare; and the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, leading to a range of degrees, including AAS, BA, BAS, BBA, BM, BS, BSN, BSW, MS, MSW, MSN, and Ed.D.​