Published: February 24, 2012
Mercer Athletic Director Jim Cole announced Wednesday that former Georgia Southwestern head coach, Tony Economopoulos will take over as the sixth women’s soccer head coach in program history, effective immediately.
Economopoulos, 37, just completed his third year at Georgia Southwestern, where he helped build the Hurricanes up-and-coming soccer program. In his tenure at GSW, he was responsible for all facets of the program. His 2010 team set the program record for most conference wins in school history. His final season saw GSW also set a program record for most wins over a three-year span.
"Coach Economopoulos was an exceptional candidate for the position,” Cole said. “He has a dynamic background and a passion for the game that will serve our student-athletes well. His coaching style, leadership and regional and national coaching accomplishments are a perfect fit for our university.”
His 2011 team at GSW was a recipient of both a Team Academic Award and an Ethics Sportsmanship Silver Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Each were firsts in the program’s history.
The new Mercer appointment is the fifth coaching position Economopoulos has held over an 11-year career in college soccer. Before taking over at Georgia Southwestern, Economopoulos was at Big-12 power, Oklahoma State where he served as a women’s assistant for two seasons (2007-08).
During his time in Stillwater, he was a part of two NCAA Tournament teams and helped earn a program-high No. 7 national ranking in 2008.The Cowgirls picked up their first-ever conference regular season championship in 2008 as he helped mentor and train four All-Big 12 Conference players, including three first teamers. The 2008 team also led the nation in goals per game and was third overall in goals scored (74).
“I am thrilled to be the new head coach at Mercer University,” Economopoulos said. “I would like to thank Jim Cole and Sybil Blalock for granting me this wonderful opportunity. It is evident to me that Mercer is committed to competing and winning on the field as well as in the classroom.”
“I’d also like to thank Dr. Kendall Blanchard and Jaclyn Donovan for the opportunity to represent GSW the past three years,” Economopoulos said. “My time there was extremely rewarding and I am honored to have been a part of a terrific soccer program with outstanding student-athletes.”
Economopoulos takes over for Grant Serafy, who established the Mercer program as one of the best in the Atlantic Sun. The Bears have appeared in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship game in three of the last four seasons and went to the NCAA Women’s College Cup in 2010. This season, the Bears went 10-8-2, marking the third time in four years that the team has compiled double-digit wins.
Before his time at Oklahoma State, Economopoulos was the men’s top assistant coach at Bowling Green State University for four seasons. With the Falcons, he served as recruiting coordinator and was the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Great Lakes Regional Chair. In 2004, he briefly served as the interim head coach at Bowling Green and helped the Falcons earn recognition as one of the most improved Division I soccer teams in the country.
Economopoulos made his collegiate coaching debut in 2001, as an assistant with the men's team at Western Illinois University. He served as the goalkeeper coach and the recruiting coordinator, and in 2002 his efforts were rewarded as he was nominated for the AFLAC Insurance National Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
Economopoulos also currently serves on the Region III Olympic Development Program as a staff coach. He possesses a National "B" Coaching License from the United States Soccer Federation and has been a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America since 2001.
A native of Oklahoma City, Economopoulos was a two-sport star in soccer and football at Putnam City North High School. He played his collegiate soccer at Oklahoma City University and helped lead the Stars to a Sooner Athletic Conference championship. Economopoulos also played semi-professionally in the USISL with the Oklahoma City Slickers and the Oklahoma City Warriors.
Economopoulos and his wife, Holly, have two children Dominic (4) and Alexa (2).