Tracey Leone joins the Arizona State University coaching staff in 2005 and, for the third time in her career, will work side-by-side with her husband, Ray Leone, the current head coach of the Sun Devils. It has been five seasons since Leone has walked the sidelines as a collegiate coach, last doing so in 1999 when she and Ray guided Clemson to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament.
With over 14 years of coaching experience at both international and collegiate levels, Leone's impressive credentials on the bench make her one of the top mentors in the business. A three-time national champion as a student-athlete at North Carolina, Leone also has been a part of three World Championship teams. In 2003, she became the first American to win a World Championship as both a player and as a head coach, bringing home the first in 1991 as a member of the US Women's National Team and the later as the head coach of the US Under-19 National Team.
Leone, who is a USSF `A' Licensed Coach, has spent the past four years as a member of the US Women's National Team coaching staff, serving as the head coach of the Under-19 squad from 2000-03 before serving as an assistant coach of the US Olympic Team at the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.
Prior to her stint with the US National Team Program, Leone spent six seasons on the sidelines at Clemson, serving as the program's head coach from 1994-97 and then as the co-head coach with her husband in 1998 and 1999. Leone brought the Tigers to the Division I level in 1994 and then guided them on a historic run that included an appearance in the NCAA tournament, marking the first time a program advanced to the national tournament in its first varsity season of NCAA Division I competition. For her efforts, Leone was selected as the 1994 South Region Coach of the Year.
During her tenure with the Tigers, her squads strung together a streak of 57 consecutive weeks in the national rankings while making six NCAA appearances in as many seasons. In the post-season, Clemson would reach the Sweet 16 in 1998 and twice advanced to the Elite 8 (1997 and 1999). Upon her departure from the Tiger program following the 1999 campaign, Leone had compiled a record of 89-39-4 and an impressive .690 winning percentage.
Prior to assuming the coaching duties at Clemson, Leone spent seven years as a member of the Olympic Development Program (1993-00) where she was named the Nebraska Director of Coaching and was a member of the Midwest and South Region Olympic Development Staff. Her duties also included a stint as an assistant coach with the Under-21 National Team and as the head coach of the Under-17 South Region Team.
Her first collegiate coaching stint came in 1991 as she was named an assistant coach for the women's program at Creighton with husband Ray serving as the program's head coach. On the coaching staff for three seasons (1991-92) and the recruiting staff in 1993, Leone was a major contributor to the success the Bluejays found in 1993 when they earned a place in the national rankings on the strength of a 14-3-2 (.789) season. The team's win total was a school record at the time and was equaled one year later.
In her playing days, Leone spent four years as a member of the US Women's National Team (1987-91) which culminated with the Americans winning gold at the 1991 World Championships. Prior to her time with the national team, Leone was a stand-out at North Carolina where she earned All-America honors while helping her team to three NCAA titles. Her play also earned her a place among the Atlantic Coast Conference's (ACC) All-Time Top 50 players in women's soccer history.
Leone graduated from UNC in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a North Carolina Teaching certificate for grades K-6.
Tracey Leone Career Highlights:
- Three-time NCAA National Champion
- Three-time NCAA All-America Second-Team Selection
- 1991 Gold Medalist in the World Championships
- Top-50 Players of All-time in ACC History
- 2003 Gold Medalist in the U-19 World Championships - Head Coach
- 2004 Gold Medalist in Greece Olympic Games - Assistant Coach
- First American to win World Championship as a Player and a Coach