It’s a risk that every sagging college sports program takes when it hires a new coach to revive it. If that coach does what he or she is hired to do, other colleges take notice. And before long, a job offer from another program comes along that is too good to resist.
A prime example of that is the University of Arizona women’s soccer program.
Tony Amato was hired away from Stephen F. Austin eight years ago to rebuild an Arizona program that had become the doormat of the Pac-12 conference. In the four seasons before Amato took the reins, the Wildcats had never won more than two conference games in a season.
Enter Amato. When they finally made it to the NCAA Tournament in 2014, it was the first time in eight years that the Cats were able to make it into the postseason. Under Amato’s guidance, they have made five NCAA tourney appearances over the last seven years.
Amato became the winningest coach in program history.
And then he was gone, hired away last May by the University of Florida to become just the second head coach for one of the top programs in the SEC.
It took three weeks for the UA administration to find a replacement. They found their next head coach 2,400 miles away in Harrison, NJ.
Becca Moros was serving as an assistant coach for Gotham FC, the New Jersey entrant in the women’s professional soccer league. She was hired as an assistant in 2020 and helped the team win the east division in the 2021 Challenge Cup, eventually finishing runner-up for the Cup.
But that’s the limit to Moros’ coaching experience. She retired from professional soccer in 2019 after playing 11 years in the U.S. and Japan and jumped right into coaching.
During her college playing career at Duke, she was an All-American and a three-time All-ACC selection. She was also a member of the 2006 U-21 U.S. Women’s National Team.
Now she will try to transform that playing experience into coaching success.