Women’s Soccer: Tsantiris retires after 37 years


Len Tsantiris will not return to the bench next season for the UConn women’s soccer team. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Following 37 years in charge of the UConn women’s soccer team, Len Tsantiris will not return to the bench next season.

Tsantiris amassed 570 wins with the Huskies, ranking second all-time in women’s soccer history, and is only the second coach to have more than 500-wins.

Tsantiris turned the Huskies into a powerhouse during his time in charge of the team. The Huskies reached 31 NCAA Tournaments, including 26 straight from 1982-2007. UConn also had success in the NCAAs with four NCAA Championship game appearances, seven NCAA semifinals trips and 18  qualifications to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

The most successful stretch during Tsantiris’ time was from 1993-2000, as the Huskies made eight straight Elite Eight appearances.

Outside of the NCAA tournament, the Huskies claimed 10 conference regular season titles and four conference tournament titles during his tenure.

Tsantiris has also been known for his ability to develop players, evidenced in the 22 Conference Players of the Years and 45 NSCAA All-Americans that he has helped produce.

In addition to his team’s accomplishments, Tsantiris is also a highly decorated individual. In 1997, he was named NSCAA Division I National Coach of the Year, and in 2003 he was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame.

Tsantiris is also a four-time Division I Northeast Coach of the Year (1983, ‘87, ’95 and ‘96) as well as conference Coach of the Year, twice in the Big East and twice in the American Athletic Conference.

A former Husky himself, Tsantiris played for UConn under the well known men’s soccer coach Joe Morrone. He graduated in 1977 with a B.S. degree in physical education.

Prior to his time at the helm of women’s soccer at UConn, Tsantiris was the head coach at nearby E.O. Smith High School for four seasons, capturing three straight championships, that included a 56-game winning streak.

Current associate head coach Margaret Rodriguez will serve as interim head coach. Rodriguez has been with the team nine seasons and made her first inroads in coaching with UConn in 1999 as a graduate assistant. She is also a former player who played for the Huskies from 1995-98, during which time she was an All-American.

Antonio Salazar is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at antonio.salazar@uconn.edu.

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