After 27 years of being involved with Clinton Youth Soccer, the last 12 years as president, Pat Healey is ready to pass the reins to a new group of people and open a new chapter in his life.
"I'm 60 years old, I've been doing this for 27 years," said Healey. "I'm going to be a grandfather for the first time in a couple of months. Everything kind of hit at once and my daughter is getting married. Without any (of my) children playing it's very difficult to stay focused on everything and get involved with the day-to-day and be enthusiastic about it."
One thing that made this decision easier for Healey is that he believes he is passing on the torch to the right person. Michael Mozzochi has taken on the role of president and Healey said, "he's the right guy to replace me."
Mozzochi respects and admires what Healey has done for the program.
"I've worked with him for 13 or 14 years now and he's just amazing at what he did," he said. "You don't replace Pat, you just do the best you can to emulate him. I'm hoping I can do half as good a job as he did."
Healey began coaching in Clinton when his children Dan, Kate and Elizabeth were involved in the various programs. He started in 1985 with soccer which he coached until 2010.
While his involvement with Clinton Youth Soccer would dominate his volunteering, he did find time to also coach Little League Baseball for seven seasons and basketball for 13 seasons.
Even after his children outgrew youth soccer he remained for 10 years.
"It's a lot of fun," said Healey. "The guys I've met through soccer...it's like being a member of a club. When you stop going, what are you going to do?"
Mozzochi is in the same situation as he takes over the presidency. While his three daughters went through the program they have since moved on. He said he is staying involved because "you have kind of a custodial role in the program. I've been at it for 14, 15 years now so you want to see it succeed and keep people interested."
"In some ways it's better when you don't have a horse in the race to be running it (the program)," said Mozzochi. "So that you don't get too focused on your own child."
Healey credits a lot of his success to his friend and mentor, the late Paul Duffy, past president of the West Haven program.
"Just make sure every child benefits," Duffy told Healey. "If every child doesn't benefit don't do it, don't do it. Make sure everybody has a chance at it."
"Obviously he's going to be sorely missed," said Director of Clinton Park & Recreation Robert Potter. "He's done a phenomenal job. He has brought this program to probably one of the best youth soccer programs in the State of Connecticut to his credit!"
"It's going to be hard to replace him, but we do have other people who have been under his tutelage for a number of years that will help us out, that will fit in and Pat will be around," said Potter "He assured me if we needed advice, if he could help out, if he had time he would be available for that, too. He won't be totally removed!"
Healey will stay involved with the tournament. He said he will be responsible for running an area at one of the venues where problems are handled and trophies are handed out.
"I like it. I like seeing people I haven't seen in a while," said Healey "That's the part I'll really miss are the friends that I've made. I've got to try to keep in contact with them."