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Ray Leone Promoted to Co-Head Coach of Women’s Soccer

May 5, 1999

CLEMSON, S.C. — Ray Leone has been elevated from Associate Head Coach to Co-Head Coach of the Clemson Women’s Soccer Program as announced by Senior Associate Athletic Director, Dwight Rainey Wednesday afternoon.

His wife, Tracey Leone has been the Head Coach of the women’s soccer team since the sport went to varsity status at Clemson in 1994.

Combined Ray and Tracey Leone have 174 victories putting them in the top ten all-time in women’s soccer coaching victories.

“They share in every aspect of the Clemson Women’s Soccer Program and we are pleased to announce this new arrangement,” said Rainey. “With Tracey and Ray on our staff, they have led us to two ACC Tournament Finals and five NCAA Tournament Appearances including the NCAA Final Eight in 1997 and Final 16 in 1998.

“We believe this puts Clemson in the forefront of women’s soccer with two proven head coaches on our staff, and we look forward to even greater success in the near future,” said Rainey.

“The stability of our women’s soccer program is important to us and we believe that Ray and Tracey’s commitment to Clemson and Clemson’s commitment to women’ soccer sends a strong message to the present team members and potential recruits,” continued Rainey.

“We are a team in every area of our lives, professionally and personally and this just solidifies Clemson’s belief and commitment to what we are trying to achieve here at Clemson University,” said Co-Head Coach Tracey Leone.

“We try to create and maintain a family atmosphere with our student-athletes so they can feel comfortable coming to either one of us. People joked about this six years ago when Clemson hired us that this would make us or break us as a married couple. I guess we proved to Clemson, Bobby Robinson, and Dwight Rainey that it didn’t break us. In fact, it has made us stronger. Since Ray and I have both been assistants to each other (Tracey Leone was Ray’s assistant at Creighton in the early 90s), it has made us much better coaches.”

“This is truly a dream come true for us,” said Ray Leone. “We are so appreciative of Clemson University and our Athletic Department. Their support, commitment and foresight are the reasons we went to the NCAA Tournament our first year as a varsity program in 1994.

I know this new arrangement will be good for our team because they know they are always being coached by the head coach whether they are a reserve or a starter.

Tracey and I like to switch back and forth so our players get different perspectives and considerations.

I also know this new arrangement will make us more productive in recruiting because this will put two head coaches in contact with recruits instead of one.”

Ray Leone started two collegiate programs, Berry College and Creighton University from their inception.

Ray Leone led Berry College to three NAIA Final Fours and a National Title in 1987.

Today, Berry College is considered the most successful program in NAIA history making 12 National Tournaments in a row.

While at Berry College, Ray was named Eastern Regional Coach of the Year twice and National Coach of the Year in 1987. Ray also started Creighton’s Division I program and developed it into a regional and national power within five years. In his final year at Creighton, in 1993, they were 14-3-2 and one of the final teams not selected in the 16 team NCAA Tournament despite winning 10 of their last 11 games.

Tracey Leone was Ray’s assistant his last two years at Creighton University while also serving as Nebraska’s Olympic Development Program Director and on the North Region ODP Staff.

Tracey recently was the U-21 Assistant U.S. National Team Coach during their World Championship in 1997.

Tracey was also a member of the 1991 World Cup Champion U.S. National Team and three NCAA Championships squads at the University of North Carolina.

She was also a finalist for National Coach of the Year in 1994 while being the first head coach in NCAA history to lead her team to the NCAA Tournament in their first varsity season in NCAA Division I women’s soccer.