TUCSON—Tony Amato, Southland Conference Coach of the Year the past two seasons at Stephen F. Austin, has been hired to become the University of Arizona women's soccer coach, Athletics Director Greg Byrne announced today.
"Tony's a superbly successful coach who's built an outstanding collegiate record in 10 seasons, and can help us move forward with our soccer program," Byrne said.
Amato coached the SFA Ladyjacks to titles in 2011 and 2012 with a combined 17-0 league record. His marks in three years at SFA were 13-5-2 in 2010, 15-3-1 in 2011 and 17-4 this past year. The Jacks lost to Texas A&M, 1-0, in NCAA Championships first-round action in 2012.
A former collegiate player, he was a four-year star at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and earned Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year honors, among several.
"I am extremely excited to join the University of Arizona staff," Amato said. "I thank Greg Byrne, (Deputy AD) Rocky LaRose, and (Senior Associate AD) Erika Barnes for providing me the opportunity to lead the soccer program. It's clear from the hiring process that they are passionate about the university and believe Arizona soccer can be successful. I look forward to getting to Tucson, and am ready to build on the great tradition of Wildcat athletics," he said.
He has a career record of 127-48-14 in his 10 seasons as a head coach, with the first seven coming at Division II Rollins, where he compiled an 82-37-11 mark. The program won its first league title and went undefeated in the 2008 regular season. His 2009 squad repeated and posted a 16-2-2 mark to set records for victories, shutouts and goals-against averages.
He won SSC Coach of the year honors twice and won the last two Southland Conference COY honors at SFA.
A 2000 Rollins graduate, Amato worked as an assistant with the school from 2001-02, and then was an assistant in the spring of 2003 for the men's team at Stetson University before accepting the women's head job at Rollins in that fall.
SFA midfielder Kylie Louw earned three SLC Player of the Year honors under Amato and was named a 2012 NSCAA All-American plus an Academic All-American. She was joined on the 2012 Academic All-District team by defender Megan Dunningan. His 2012 team also won an NSCAA Team Academic Award for overall scholastic performance.
At Rollins as a player, he was the school's Student-Athlete of the Year his senior season and earned Academic All-America and SSC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors during his career.
Amato earned a master's degree from Central Florida in 2002 and also worked with local club soccer and Olympic Development Programs with the Florida Youth Soccer Association.
Amato takes over for departed UA coach Lisa Oyen, who compiled a record of 12-40-7 in three seasons after taking over as interim coach during the end of the 2009 campaign. Oyen resigned Nov. 15.
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