Tony Amato, head coach for the Arizona Soccer team, has had a lifelong love for the game. Amato has enjoyed coaching for UofA for four years.
Amato grew up playing soccer and began coaching as a way to stay connected to the game he loves and as a way to make extra money in college. He coached summer camps, and that’s when he started to realize his love for coaching. After he stopped playing soccer, he coached a JV high school and a U10 boys team. He became obsessed with wanting to make the players and teams better. He coached several different teams, and he volunteered for a college team. Eventually he was offered a position as coach for the UofA.
I asked Amato if he had mentors growing up. He said he had a childhood coach named Mark, who took him under his wing.
“I had a coach growing up who really filled in the gaps that, at the time, my parents couldn’t provide,” he explains, emphasizing the game and to be the best player he could be. Coach Mark is still in his life and came to Amato’s wedding. Coach Mark still coaches and was the first person to instill a love of the game upon Amato. Another mentor was his college coach, Keith. He made sure he had a good college experience, pushed him to be the best he could be, and helped to show Amato that coaching could be a lifelong career.
UofA finished last season with nine wins, nine losses, and one tie. Amato’s goals this season are to win every match, and constantly improve both physically and mentally. He especially wants to make it to the NCAA tournament. He is looking forward to having six new players to help him get there. With every new season comes change, such as graduating seniors, as well as possible injuries, but Amato looks at these as a way to grow not only as a team, but as players.
Amato says he frequently gets asked advice on how to get a scholarship or the job of your dreams. He says, “Focus in on being the best that you can be.”