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NCAA Jan 21, 2022

UCLA’s Jane Alukonis hired as head coach for USC women’s soccer

LOS ANGELES – Jane Alukonis, a UCLA assistant coach who was a standout player at Duke, has been named head coach of the USC women’s soccer program, Athletic Director Mike Bohn announced.

The 33-year-old Alukonis (pronounced ah-loo-KO-nis) spent the last four years (2018-21) as an assistant at UCLA, where she helped guide the Bruins to two Pac-12 Championships and an NCAA College Cup appearance. She becomes the fifth head coach in the 29-year history of USC women’s soccer, succeeding Keidane McAlpine, now at Georgia.

“We are excited to welcome Jane Alukonis to the Trojan Family as our new women’s soccer head coach,” Bohn said. “As a talented athlete and coach, Jane brings a winning pedigree and the highest level of competitiveness to our program. Her familiarity with both the Pac-12 Conference and the California recruiting landscape is a tremendous asset as we aim to return to the podium as national champions. Her unique educational and teaching backgrounds align with our vision to be the most student-athlete centered program in the country. She arrives at USC highly recommended by her industry peers and by our current players who participated in the search process.

“Los Angeles is a premier destination for soccer, and I believe USC can be the nation’s most elite women’s soccer program. We are thrilled that Jane will be leading us in that pursuit, and we will provide the support and resources that are needed to accomplish our goals.”

The USC women’s soccer program has won two NCAA Championships (2007 and 2016), made 20 NCAA tourney appearances (including the past eight seasons) and produced seven All-American first team selections, 40 All-Conference first teamers, three World Cup participants, an Olympic double gold medalist and an Academic All-American first team honoree.

The search process was led by Lindsay Jaffe, Associate Athletic Director for Sport Administration, and the search committee included Faculty Athletic Representative Dr. Alan Green, Assistant Director of Clinical Operations for Sport Psychology Niki Sims, and Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Quincy Watts.

“I am deeply grateful to USC Athletics for bringing me into the Trojan Family. I am ecstatic to join such a top-notch athletic and academic institution,” Alukonis said. “I have had the pleasure of watching USC soccer over the years and love how the players play the game — fearlessly, aggressively, and with never-ending fight. I can’t wait to be a part of this! Thank you so much to all of the players and mentors I have worked with along the way; you are the reason I love coaching.”

With Alukonis on staff, UCLA made four straight NCAA postseason appearances and recorded eight NCAA tournament wins, including a run to the 2019 College Cup after an NCAA quarterfinal finish in 2018. The Bruins won back-to-back Pac-12 Championships (2020 and 2021) and never finished lower than second in the conference standings during Alukonis’ tenure in Westwood. The UCLA staff was named the Pacific Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2020.

In addition to producing six All-Americans, 16 All-Region selections and 26 All-Conference honors over the last four years, Alukonis and the Bruins also had three players earn Pac-12 Positional Player of the Year honors during her tenure and saw nine players selected in the NWSL Draft.

Alukonis holds a UEFA B Coaching license and served as head coach of the Space Coast United U-10, U-11 and U-16 girls club team and as an assistant coach of the U-15 boys team from 2014 to 2018. She most recently coached the 2010 Pre – ECNL LA Breakers and 2012 White LA Breakers teams. Prior to coaching, Alukonis taught for three years (2011-14) in Baltimore City as part of the program Teach for America.

A four-year starter at Duke from 2006 to 2009, Alukonis started 76 of her 84 career matches and tallied five goals, including one game-winner, and 11 assists for 21 points. Duke qualified for the NCAA tournament each year, twice advancing to the quarterfinals.  She was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III and All-ACC Academic Team selection as a senior team captain with the Blue Devils and finished her standout career as a four-time ACC Honor Roll selection. Alukonis received the ACC Top Six for Service Award as a senior for her volunteer efforts at Duke. Competing as both a defender and midfielder during her playing career, Alukonis also played in the U.S. Youth National Team system, seeing time with both the U-16 and U-17 squads.

She returned to her alma mater in 2015 and 2016 as the director of operations for the Blue Devils.

Alukonis graduated from Duke in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology, along with a minor in psychology. In 2011, she earned a master’s degree of philosophy in social and developmental psychology with honors at the University of Cambridge.

She was a two-time All-American at Melbourne (Fla.) Central Catholic High, helping her team to a pair of state championships.

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