Ray Leone Takes Helm Of Women's Soccer Program

Dec. 30, 2000

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Former Clemson University women's soccer head coach Ray Leone has been named in that same capacity at Arizona State University, Athletics Director Gene Smith announced Saturday.

Leone, who becomes only the school's second head coach, takes over the five-year old program from original head coach Terri Patraw, who resigned in early December.

This past season, Leone was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Tigers to the school's first ACC regular-season title, finishing with a 5-1-1 record. The 2000 Clemson squad compiled a record of 16-1-1 in the regular season and earned a No. 1 seed in the ACC Championship. After reaching the 'Elite 8' for the third time in four years, Leone's team finished with a school record 19-3-1 overall record and a No. 5 national ranking.

'First I would like to thank Clemson for the opportunity to coach such a fine program,' said Leone. 'I'm sad about leaving, but I'm also proud that I'm leaving the program in a very strong condition. However, I look forward to a new challenge that Arizona State is ready to make. My goals are to challenge for a Pac-10 championship and a national title. I don't know how long it's going to take, but I would not have taken the ASU job if I did not think that was a possibility. I know that's possible at Arizona State.'

Since Leone and his wife, Tracey -- the team's head coach since its inception in 1994, who is on leave to coach the U-16 U.S. National Team -- arrived at Clemson in 1994, the Tigers have been to the NCAA Tournament each season, advancing three times to the quarterfinals in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Additionally, Leon's 1994 Clemson squad was the first team in NCAA women's soccer history to make the NCAA Tournament in its first varsity season.

Prior to his current position of head coach at Clemson, Leone was co-head coach in 1999 along with Tracey. Leone was also an assistant coach in the program's first four years and served as associate head coach in 1998. He has been a major factor why Clemson has been a prominent fixture in the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament, as well as finishing in the top 15 every year of the program.

'Terri Patraw built this program to such a level that we could attract such a quality coach as Ray Leone,' said Smith. 'We are extremely excited to have Ray as our next coach at Arizona State and feel that he can take this program to the next level.'

At every stop Leone has had a successful career, having coached at NAIA power Berry College in Mt. Berry, Georgia and at Creighton University in Nebraska. In this three-year span at Berry, Leone took his teams to three straight 'Final Four' appearances and won the NAIA National Championship in 1987, in just his second year at the school. Leone coached 12 All-Americans and compiled a 49-13-5 record during his stay at Berry. In 1987, he was honored as the NAIA National Coach of the Year.

In his first year at Creighton, Leone led five scholarship players and a group of walk-ons to a 10-7 mark. In 1990, the Lady Jays upgraded their schedule and still managed a 10-7-2 record. In 1991, Leone led the Lady Jays to their third straight 10-victory season (10-6-1) despite having their final two games of the season cancelled due to snow. He compiled a 50-35-5 overall record at Creighton.

ACC ACC NCAA Nat.Year Record Finish Tourney Rank Overall Pct.

1994 3-3 4th 1st Rd. 13th 15-4-1 .775

1995 2-5 6th 1st Rd. 15th 14-7-0 .667

1996 3-3-1 T2nd 1st Rd. 11th 15-7-1 .674

1997 4-3-0 T3rd Elite 8 10th 15-7-0 .682

1998 5-2-0 T2nd Final 16 11th 16-7-0 .696

1999 4-3-0 T3rd Elite 8 6th 14-7-2 .652

2000 5-1-1 1st Elite 8 5th 19-3-1 .848

Career 26-20-2 7 NCAA Appearances 108-42-5 .710

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