The Arizona Wildcats have extended head soccer coach Tony Amato through the 2021 season, the school announced Tuesday.
“We are excited to have Tony continue leading our outstanding soccer program at the University of Arizona,” said UA athletic director Dave Heeke. “Tony has built and guided a program of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in our community. Arizona Soccer has established itself as a premier program in college soccer with sustained success that has elevated it to national prominence. Most importantly, this program has continually educated and developed student-athletes into future leaders in our community.”
The winningest coach in school history, Amato was hired away from Stephen F. Austin in 2013 and promptly turned around an Arizona program that perennially was one of the worst in the Pac-12.
Under his leadership, the Wildcats have compiled a 67-40-15 record, including four trips to the NCAA Tournament in six years and four seasons of 10 or more wins, despite having arguably the worst facilities in the conference.
To compare, the UA soccer program only had two 10-win seasons in its first 20 years of existence and went 12-40-7 in the three seasons prior to Amato’s arrival.
“I am thankful for the support Dave Heeke and President Robbins have shown me since coming to Tucson,” Amato said in a statement. “I believe in their leadership and am excited about the future of Arizona Athletics and the University. I also want to thank Erika Barnes, Tom Theodorakis, Paul Nagy, all of our support staff and our players for their tireless work to help us constantly improve Arizona Soccer. I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished since 2013 and look forward to our growth in the years ahead.”
Amato made $125,000 in fiscal year 2018, according to UA records.
The Wildcats went 13-6-2 in 2018, including an NCAA Tournament win. They return eight starters and are set to bring in a top-25 recruiting class for the second straight year.
Arizona begins its spring season Saturday against BYU in Glendale.