TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona head soccer coach Tony Amato has signed a three-year contract to lead the program through 2021. Amato, who became the program's all-time winningest coach last season, has posted a 67-40-15 record in six seasons in Tucson with four NCAA Tournament appearances in the last five seasons.
"We are excited to have Tony continue leading our outstanding soccer program at the University of Arizona," said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. "Tony has built and guided a program of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in our community. Arizona Soccer has established itself as a premier program in college soccer with sustained success that has elevated it to national prominence. Most importantly, this program has continually educated and developed student-athletes into future leaders in our community. Our soccer program has accomplished many great things under Tony's leadership, and we look forward to Arizona Soccer continuing to be a point of pride for the University of Arizona."
During the Amato era of Arizona Soccer, the program has ascended to new heights as the Wildcats have posted four seasons of ten or more wins. Arizona had achieved the feat just twice in the 20 seasons prior to Amato's arrival. Wildcat student-athletes have earned All-Pac-12 honors on 12 different occasions while members of the program have also received Academic All-Pac-12 accolades 44 times since 2013. Sheaffer Skadsen became Arizona Soccer's first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2015.
"I am thankful for the support Dave Heeke and President Robbins have shown me since coming to Tucson," said head coach Tony Amato. "I believe in their leadership and am excited about the future of Arizona Athletics and the University. I also want to thank Erika Barnes, Tom Theodorakis, Paul Nagy, all of our support staff and our players for their tireless work to help us constantly improve Arizona Soccer. I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished since 2013 and look forward to our growth in the years ahead."
With four NCAA Tournament berths, including a Sweet 16 appearance, Arizona has established itself as a postseason regular under Amato's leadership. Arizona has won at least one match in each of its last four NCAA appearances.
Arizona Soccer's connection to the Southern Arizona community has grown as Mulcahy Stadium has become an exceptional home environment with outstanding fan support. Seven of Arizona's eight biggest home crowds in program history have come during Amato's tenure, including the all-time attendance record versus Arizona State on Nov. 6, 2015.
The Pennsylvania native arrived at Arizona in December of 2012 following three seasons as the head women's soccer coach at Stephen F. Austin where he led the program to a 45-12-3 record with a pair of conference championships.
Amato's impact on the program was immediate with a 9-7-4 record in 2013 as the nine victories were the most by a first-year head coach in program history. Arizona improved to 11-8-2 in 2014 and notched its first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade. The ascension continued in 2015 with a banner season of 14-5-2 as the Wildcats downed Northern Colorado and Santa Clara in postseason play, by a combined score of 4-1, to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005.
The program has tallied 33 wins in its last three seasons, which includes a program record seven conference wins during the 2017 season. Arizona appeared in the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Tournaments while advancing to the second round each season.