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NCAA May 24, 2021

University of Florida hires Tony Amato as women’s soccer head coach

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida hired Tony Amato to lead the Gators soccer program, director of athletics Scott Stricklin announced Monday.

Amato gained a winning blend of maximizing talent, preparation and putting players in a position for success during his 18-year head coaching stops at Rollins, Stephen F. Austin and most recently, the University of Arizona.

With a knack for renovating programs, Amato has returned two Division I programs to NCAA Tournament action. He’s also help guide student-athletes to all-conference, all-region and academic success.

“The University of Florida is a special place and I am extremely excited for this opportunity,” Amato said. “I have admired Florida Soccer and the program Becky Burleigh built since I started coaching at Rollins College. I am honored to follow in her footsteps and will work tirelessly to make our administration, alumni and fans proud of our Gator team.”

In each of his three head coaching stops, Amato led programs to NCAA Tournament action. Rollins made its first NCAA Division II appearances in 2008 and 2009, Stephen F. Austin returned to NCAA play in 2012 after a four-year absence and Arizona’s 2014 appearance came after missing eight years of postseason play.

Amato is the second head coach for the Gators program, which begins its 27th season in fall 2021. Becky Burleigh, who coached the Gators since their first season in 1995, retired from coaching at the conclusion of the 2020-21 campaign.

“Tony Amato’s been a proven and consistent winner at each of the three programs he’s led,” said Stricklin. “Each of those programs enjoyed a significant rise in success under Tony’s watch, including consistent NCAA bids. As someone who grew up in Florida and has coached in the state, he understands that the University of Florida is a special place, and his plan for Gators soccer completely aligns with our vision to succeed at the highest SEC and national levels.

Tony Amato File
Birthdate:
August 14, 1978 in Levittown, Pa.
Collegiate (Rollins: 1996-99)
● 1999 Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year
● Still top 10 on Rollins’ career charts for points (41), assists (26) and points (108)
● 2000 CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large second-team selection
Coaching Career
● Florida Head Coach (2021-present)
● Arizona Head Coach (2013-21)
● Stephen F. Austin Head Coach (March 2010- December 12)
● Rollins Head Women’s Coach (2003-09)
● Stetson Men’s Assistant Coach (spring 2003)
● Rollins Women’s Assistant Coach (2001-02)
Coaching Honors
● 2011 & 2012 Southland Conference Coach of the Year
● 2008 & 2009 Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year

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