Redlands Scholar-Athlete Colin Zaccagnio ’17 is looking forward to what comes next
by Catherine Garcia ’06
Colin Zaccagnio is grateful for everything he has learned from his Bulldog teammates and coaches over four years on the University of Redlands soccer team. “We are all extremely different in our backgrounds, where we’re from, our personalities and playing styles,” says the Phoenix native. “But put us on a field, in a classroom or [around]a dinner table, and we all come together out of mutual respect for each other. That leads to some awesome results on and off the field.”
In November, after knocking off the top-ranked University of Chicago in the Round of 16, the No. 25 Bulldogs made it to the quarterfinals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Championships, ultimately suffering a 2-3 overtime loss to eighth-ranked University of St. Thomas. It was the third time the Bulldogs made it to the NCAA quarterfinals, and the first since 2007.
Zaccagnio, a defender, has been playing soccer since he was 7. During his teenage years, he was on a club team and his high school’s team, which won a state championship. While at a tournament in San Diego, he met an assistant men’s soccer coach from Redlands and set up a visit to meet the team and talk with the coaches.
“I just fell in love with the program and campus,” he says. “I made my decision then and there.”
While at Redlands, Zaccagnio ’17, a double major in global business and economics and Wiens Family Endowed Scholarship recipient, has been active in multiple organizations. He’s president of the Pi Chi fraternity, a Maroon and Gray student ambassador, a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and a sports information assistant. Previously, he was a residence hall community assistant, orientation leader and mentor for high schoolers. Zaccagnio studied abroad in Barcelona, represented Redlands at the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis and made the Dean’s List during five semesters. He has also been selected as a Redlands Scholar-Athlete and Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) All-Academic Team member for multiple consecutive years.
“The people on campus are extraordinary, and the drive to be with these people is what allowed me to get through it all,” he says. “I have a lot on my plate, but I love everything I do.”
Zaccagnio is interested in a career in sports-industry marketing or finance and completed two prestigious internships—one at Target and the other at Boeing—that offered major leadership roles.
“Having those corporate internship experiences prepared me for post-graduate life and what it takes to succeed,” he says. “I just love to learn and do new things and meet new people. So if an opportunity arises in the fashion industry doing accounting, I might try it because it’s so different.”
His parents own their own aviation business, and Zaccagnio says watching them set him on his current path.
“They’ve supported me and my sisters with that company throughout the last 16 years,” he says. “Their hard work has inspired me to go into business and has shown me I can do anything I set my mind to.”