Arizona hires Stephen F. Austin soccer coach

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tony Amato, Southland Conference Coach of the Year the past two seasons at Stephen F. Austin, has been hired to become the University of Arizona women’s soccer coach, athletics director Greg Byrne announced.

“Tony’s a superbly successful coach who’s built an outstanding collegiate record in 10 seasons, and can help us move forward with our soccer program,” Byrne said.

Amato coached the SFA Ladyjacks to Southland titles in 2011 and 2012 with a combined 17-0 league record. The team’s record in his three years at SFA were 13-5-2 in 2010, 15-3-1 in 2011 and 17-4 this past year. The Jacks lost to Texas A&M, 1-0, in NCAA Championships first-round action in 2012.

Amato played four years at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and earned Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year honors.

“I am extremely excited to join the University of Arizona staff,” Amato said. “I thank Greg Byrne, (Deputy AD) Rocky LaRose, and (Senior Associate AD) Erika Barnes for providing me the opportunity to lead the soccer program.  It’s clear from the hiring process that they are passionate about the university and believe Arizona soccer can be successful.  I look forward to getting to Tucson, and am ready to build on the great tradition of Wildcat athletics.”

Amato coached for seven years at Division II Rollins before advancing to Stephen F. Austin and has a career record of 127-48-14 in 10 seasons.

Amato earned a master’s degree from Central Florida in 2002 and also worked with local club soccer and Olympic Development Programs with the Florida Youth Soccer Association.

He takes over for departed UA coach Lisa Oyen, who compiled a record of 12-40-7 in three seasons. Oyen resigned Nov. 15.