Tony Amato, a Rollins College alumnus and former Rollins women’s soccer coach, was named the newest head coach of the University of Florida soccer program, according to a recent announcement. Amato is only the second head coach to be hired to the University of Florida soccer program which has been led by Becky Burleigh since its establishment in 1995.
In his collegiate soccer career at Rollins, Amato was the college’s first Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year as a senior in 1999 and earned several other accolades as an athlete on the men’s team from 1996 to 1999.
After graduating in 2000, Amato went on to become the women’s assistant coach at his alma mater from 2001 to 2002 and was Stetson University’s men’s assistant coach in spring 2003 before taking on the role of Rollins’ head women’s coach in 2003, a role he maintained through 2009. He was named Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year twice in his time at Rollins, in 2008 and 2009.
The Rollins women’s soccer program saw many accomplishments during Amato’s time as head coach:
- Sunshine State Conference champions (2008, 2009)
- SSC Tournament champions (2009)
- Advanced to NCAA Division II Tournament (2008, 2009)
- Lindsay Giblin was first Tar named SSC Player of Year in 2006 (repeated in 2007) and became Rollins’ first NSCAA All-American in 2008
- Dana Merrill was program’s first to claim SSC Defensive Player of the Year and was All-America honorable mention in 2008
- 14 players claimed 27 All-SSC honors
- Rollins earned its first three United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award recognitions (2007, 2008, 2009) in Amato’s final three seasons
Following his time at Rollins, Amato accepted head coaching positions at both Stephen F. Austin State University in Austin, Texas from 2010 to 2012 and the University of Arizona from 2013 until now. In his time at the University of Arizona, Amato drew national attention for his success, turning around a program that was traditionally low ranking in its conference, becoming the program’s winningest coach along the way. His tenure there included five NCAA tournament appearances.
Over his 18-season career, Amato has coached his players through 215 wins out of a total of 348 games.