Tony 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. He was introduced as head coach on Dec. 5, 2012 and signed a new contract to lead Arizona through 2021 on March 19, 2019.
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.
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.
image 47Arizona Highlights
In his inaugural campaign in 2013, Amato coached Arizona to its first winning record the program has seen since 2005. The Wildcats started the season undefeated for six-straight games, including a notable 0-0 tie against No. 24 Ohio State and a 6-0 shutout of UC Riverside. The 3-0-3 start for the Wildcats was the best since 1994, the program’s inaugural year. Arizona’s 9-7-4 record in his first season was the best record by any first-year coach in school history.
In his second year at the helm in 2014 of the Arizona Wildcat program, he led the squad to an 11-8-2 record, the second-highest win total in history at the time. Arizona made it to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history and advanced to the second round after beating Oklahoma State in Stillwater in the first round.
In 2014, Arizona had a six game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) from Aug. 28 to Oct. 10, which was the longest unbeaten streak since 2004 when the Wildcats won nine straight games from Sep. 12 to Oct. 15. The six game unbeaten streak is also the second-longest streak in Arizona history, which also included a four game winning streak, which hadn’t happened since the 2007 campaign.
In 2015, Amato led the Wildcats to a 14-6-2 record, the second best record of all-time for Arizona Soccer. It allowed the team to make its fourth trip to the NCAA tournament, where the Cats advanced to the Round of 16 by topping Northern Colorado and Santa Clara in the first two rounds, respectively.
Arizona’s 2017 group had an eight game unbeaten streak, the second longest in program history and at the end of the season, the second-longest in the Pac-12. The seven Pac-12 wins were the most in program history and the two losses were the fewest. Amato led the Wildcats to an 11-5-4 record (7-2-2 Pac-12) for a fourth place finish in the conference. The team earned its third NCAA Tournament berth in four years, and the seniors became the first group in program history to make three NCAA Tournament appearances.
The 2018 team advanced to the second NCAA Tournament in as many years as well as the program’s fourth in the last five seasons. Arizona finished the season with a 13-6-2 record and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats broke a couple school records as they scored 39 goals and recorded five-consecutive clean sheets.