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Two-time National Coach of the Year and 1995 NCAA Championship Coach Chris Petrucelli was named SMU's Head Women's Soccer Coach, Interim Director of Athletics Tim Leonard announced on May 31, 2012. A veteran of 20-plus years as a head coach, Petrucelli was named the NSCAA National Coach of the Year in both 1994 and 1995 and was lauded as the NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year in both 2002 and 2006. In 23 years as a head coach, Petrucelli has compiled a 349-118-40 (.728) record. His career win total and winning percentage both rank ninth among active Division I coaches.
"We are very excited to bring Chris on to lead our women's soccer program," said Leonard upon Petrucelli's hiring. "He is one of the top coaches in the nation and we know he can lead our program back to national prominence."In his first season at SMU, Petrucelli led the Mustangs to an undefeated record at home (5-0-2) and four Mustangs took all-conference honors.
The six-time conference coach of the year came to the Hilltop after spending the last 13 seasons as head coach of the Texas women's soccer program where he compiled a 165-88-26 mark and signed some of the nation's top recruiting classes. Under his tutelage, Texas captured back-to-back Big 12 postseason titles (2006-07) and the program's first Big 12 regular season title in 2001. He guided the Longhorns to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances (2001-08, 2010-11), including runs to the third round (round of 16) in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
"I'm excited to be a part of such a fine university," said Petrucelli. "SMU's Athletic Department has shown a great commitment to soccer over a long period of time and I know SMU will be a great place for me and my family."
Petrucelli joins Larry Brown, Steve Collins, Josh Gregory, June Jones and Jim Stillson as former national coaches of the year on the Hilltop.
Prior to heading to UT, Petrucelli constructed the Notre Dame women's soccer program into one of the nation's best. He guided the Fighting Irish for nine years (1990-98) and was honored by the NSCAA as the National Coach of the Year in both 1994 and 1995 en route to becoming the only collegiate coach to win the award in consecutive years. During his tenure with Notre Dame, he led the Irish to the 1995 NCAA National Championship, three National Championship title matches (1994-96) and six NCAA Tournament appearances. This included four consecutive national semifinal berths from 1994-97, and eight-straight conference championships. Prior to being honored as the 1996 Big East Coach of the Year and leading the Irish to Big East crowns during each of his four seasons in the conference, Petrucelli was named the Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) Coach of the Year in each of Notre Dame's four years within that league, as he guided the Irish to MCC titles every year and never lost a league match.
A standout teacher of the game, Petrucelli has not only produced championship-caliber teams, but has also developed some of the nation's top soccer talent as well. He has coached one NSCAA National Player of the Year as well as players who have earned 30 NSCAA All-America honors, 69 All-Region accolades, seven conference Player of the Year awards, eight Conference Rookies of the Year honors and over 100 All-Conference decorations.
Besides working with his programs, Petrucelli has served as chair of the NCAA Division I Soccer Rules Committee; been active in the NSCAA; served as a member of NSCAA Coaching Academy staff while sponsoring workshops for other coaches at the convention; and has been a member of the United States Soccer Federation Region I Olympic Development Program staff for boys as well as the Region II staff for girls. In addition, Petrucelli was also the head coach for the United States Olympic Festival in both 1994 and 1995, served as the head coach of the U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team during the summers of 2003 and 2004, and has worked as the Under-16 girls Region II ODP head coach. Of note, he led the Under-21 National Team to back-to-back Nordic Cup titles in 2003 and 2004.
During his playing career, Petrucelli helped UNC-Greensboro capture a pair of NCAA Division III titles in 1982 and 1983 and was named the team's captain as a senior. After earning his degree in business administration in 1984, he spent a year as a graduate assistant at Old Dominion where he then became one of ODU's full-time assistant coaches in 1986.
A native of Orange, N.J., Petrucelli and his wife, Eve, are the parents of daughter Gabrielle and sons Nicholas and Andrew.
· NSCAA National Coach of the Year - 1994, 1995