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Naugatuck SportsBeat: Where Are They Now (II)?

Second installment of former great athletes from area and what they're doing now.

 [Note: Want your photos and/or write-ups from Naugatuck youth or recreational sports featured on ] 

CHRIS TRACZ (North Branford) Tracz was an All-State selection in both basketball and baseball at His 1,872 points still ranks as the most in school history in basketball. The 2000 graduate had a career record of 24-5 as a pitcher and also tossed a no-hitter. Tracz was inducted in the school's Hall of Fame in 2011. He just finished his third season as the head coach of Marist College in Poughkeepsie.In 2011, Tracz guided Marist to a 35-17 record, with the 35 wins being the second-most in school history. The baseball media guide says Tracz is "arguably the greatest pitcher to wear a Marist uniform." During his career at Marist, Tracz had a record of 38-9 with a 3.13 ERA.

RICO BROGNA (Watertown) Brogna is regarded as one of the best athletes to come out of Connecticut. As a quarterback for Watertown High School, Brogna was good enough to sign a letter-of-intent to play for Clemson University. However, he chose to play baseball after the Detroit Tigers took him 26th overall in the 1988 draft. The smooth-fielding first baseman played 9 years in the Major Leagues and finished with a .269 average. Brogna bounced around between coaching baseball and football after his playing days were over and in 2011,  he was named the head football coach at where he is preparing for his second season with the Lancers.

MIKE PRESSLER (Wilton) Pressler was an All-American lacrosse player and All-State football player at in 1978. He went on to become a four-year starter in both sports at Washington & Lee University. Was the head coach for Duke Lacrosse for 16 years before being fired in 2006 amid allegations that three of his players sexually assaulted a Durham woman, those allegations turned out to be false. Pressler sued the school and reached a financial settlement out of court with the university. Has been the head coach of Bryant University in Rhode Island for the last six years. Pressler is a member of the Wilton High School and Connecticut Sports Hall of Fames.

JASON ESPOSITO (Bethany) One of the most decorated baseball players in history of baseball program. In 2008, the slugging third baseman was named All-State and All-American and was drafted in the seventh round by the Kansas City Royals. He turned down a $1.5 million offer from the Royals to attend Vanderbilt. Esposito enjoyed a brilliant career in Nashville before being selected in the second round on the 2011 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Currently, Esposito is playing for Baltimore's entry in the South Atlantic League where he's hitting .267 with one home run and 18 RBI's.

JEN RIZZOTTI (New Fairfield) Rizzotti, who graduated from New Fairfield in 1992, is one of the best players in the history of UConn women's basketball. A two-time All-American and National Player of the Year, the talented point guard led the Huskies to a perfect 35-0 season in 1995. She's been the head coach at Hartford for the last 12 years, leading the school to national prominence in women's basketball. Under Rizzotti, Hartford has won the regular season conference championship four of the last six seasons and has earned a berth in the NCAA tournament six times. Rizzotti is a three-time American East Coach of the Year and was named USA Basketball National Coach of the Year in 2011.

JOAN JOYCE (Stratford) One of the most gifted female athletes to come out of Connecticut. She was a pitcher on the Connecticut Brakettes softball team from 1954-63 and 1967-75. Joyce tossed 150 no-hitters and 50 perfect games. She struck out Ted Williams during an exhibition game in 1961. After her softball career ended, Joyce joined the LPGA Tour, playing from 1977-1994. Joyce started the softball program at Florida Atlantic University from scratch in 1994 and has been the head coach for the last 18 years. Joyce is also the head golf coach at the school, as well.

BERNIE D'AMATO (Weston) A three-time All-State golfer for D'Amato is currently a junior year at Princeton University. Last Fall in Rhode Island, he won the Classic at Shelton Island. Also qualified for the U.S. Amateur in Wisconsin.

GARRY COBB (Stamford) Brilliant three-sport athlete at Played football at USC and was on two Rose Bowl and one national championship team. The hard-hitting linebacker player 11 years in the NFL with Detroit, Dallas, and Philadelphia. Currently, Cobb resides in Cherry HIll, New Jersey. After his playing career, Cobb worked in television as a sportscaster. He's been working on the radio for more the last 15 years in Philadelphia. In addition to hosting a radio show, Cobb writes columns and operates his own web site, GCobb.com.

BRAD AUSMUS (Cheshire) A two-time All-State baseball player at, Ausmus played in the Major Leagues for 18 seasons. He won three Gold Glove awards while hitting .251 during his career. Ausmus was named as a special assistant tothe general manager of the San Diego Padres in 2010. He also works with catchers throughout the Padres organization.

GEORGE RADACHOWSKY (Danbury) A three-sport star at , Radachowsky earned a football scholarship to Boston College and became a starter as freshman. Radachowsky played defensive back for the Eagles and earned a job in the NFL with the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts. Owns and operates "Prepare 2 Win" an apparel company and web site that educates athletes on the value of preparing to win in sports and life.

Fran Lawlor May 21, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Just for the record, Joan Joyce is from Waterbury, not Stratford.
Rocky Vitale May 21, 2012 at 07:21 PM
She worked in Stratford at Raybestos when I was there. Go Brakettes!

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