Tony Economopoulos is in his third season as the head coach of the women’s soccer team at Mercer University. Upon his hire, he was classified as an “exceptional candidate” by Athletic Director Jim Cole. During his time at Mercer, Economopoulos has proved just that.
In his inaugural season as head coach in 2012, he lead the team to a 13-win season, the most that the team has ever had. The team was also Atlantic Sun runner up that fall; that first season is one of Economopoulos’ favorite memories at Mercer thus far.
Before taking the job at Mercer, Economopoulos was the head coach at Georgia Southwestern State University. “I felt like it was a hidden gem in Division 1 women’s soccer,” said Economopoulos. “The school was adding new facilities and sports, had a great academic reputation and is located in a great recruiting region.”
Economopoulos has been coaching at the college level for over ten years, on both the women’s and men’s side of the game. He thoroughly enjoys coaching at the college level. “I get to watch the players develop and grow and see them become responsible and mature adults by the time they graduate,” he said.
His players appreciate and recognize his passion for the game and his drive to push them. “Coming in as a freshman last year was absolutely terrifying, but coach made us feel like we fit right in when we got here,” said sophomore Haleigh Svede. “He always has what is best for us in mind and is always making sure we push ourselves to our full potential. He knows we can do it, and knowing that our coach has confidence in us is an amazing feeling.”
Economopoulos is known to push his players to the point of greatness. “Coach will always push you to and past your limits, physically, mentally and emotional. Whenever you think you can’t run any faster or play any longer, he makes sure to tell you that you can, and you will,” said senior Bri Stampler. “He is definitely the toughest coach I have ever played for, and I think it brings out the fight and toughness in all of us.”
Economopoulos makes his passion for the game evident and always inspires his athletes to have that same level of competitiveness.
“Overall, he is a great coach. He really cares about the team and strives to win every game,” said Senior Tess Patton. “He is very energetic on the sideline during games, which definitely helps motivate us to keep playing harder.”
Economopoulos is proud of the group of girls that he has coached at Mercer for their efforts both on and off the field. Between beating SEC powerhouse Alabama at their home field and having a consistently high GPA as a team, the team continues to follow him to success.
As conference play approaches this season, Economopoulos is confident that the team will continue to compete at high standard in the Southern Conference.
“If we can stay healthy, I think we can make a strong run at a top four finish,” he said. “It is tough to predict as we have only played one Southern Conference team in the past and this conference is much tougher than the Atlantic Sun.”
His goals for the season are to push to win the Southern Conference and to successfully graduate all the seniors on the team.