On Feb. 22, Mercer Athletic Director Jim Cole announced that former Georgia Southwestern head coach, Tony Economopoulos, will take over as the sixth women’s soccer head coach in program history, effective immediately.
Since Dec. 8, the Athletic Department has been searching for a replacement for former head coach Grant Serafy, who has been one of the most successful coaches in Mercer women’s soccer history. Through an extensive searching process, that involved several private interviews, as well as team interviews, Economopoulos was finally chosen.
Economopoulos, 37, just completed his third year at Georgia Southwestern, where he helped build the Hurricanes new soccer program. In his tenure at GSW, he was responsible for all facets of the program which included recruiting, coaching, as well as travel planning. His 2010 team set the program record for most conference wins in school history. His final season saw GSW also set a program record for most wins over a three-year span.
“Coach Economopoulos was an exceptional candidate for the position,” Cole said. “He has a dynamic background and a passion for the game that will serve our student-athletes well. His coaching style, leadership and regional and national coaching accomplishments are a perfect fit for our university.”
The head coaching job here at Mercer is the fifth coaching position Economopoulos has held over an 11-year career in college soccer. Before taking over at Georgia Southwestern, Economopoulos was at Big-12 powerhouse, Oklahoma State where he served as a women’s assistant for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
During his time in Stillwater, Okla., he was a part of two NCAA Tournament teams and helped earn a program-high number seven national ranking in 2008.The Cowgirls picked up their first-ever conference regular season championship in 2008 as he helped mentor and train four All-Big 12 Conference players, including three first teamers. The 2008 team also led the nation in goals per game and was third overall in goals scored.
Before his time at Oklahoma State, Economopoulos was the men’s top assistant coach at Bowling Green State University for four seasons. With the Falcons, he served as recruiting coordinator and was the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Great Lakes Regional Chair. In 2004, he briefly served as the interim head coach at Bowling Green and helped the Falcons earn recognition as one of the most improved Division I soccer teams in the country.
“I am thrilled to be the new head coach at Mercer University,” Economopoulos said. “I would like to thank Jim Cole and Sybil Blalock for granting me this wonderful opportunity. It is evident to me that Mercer is committed to competing and winning on the field as well as in the classroom.”
Economopoulos also currently serves on the Region III Olympic Development Program as a staff coach. He possesses a National “B” Coaching License from the United States Soccer Federation and has been a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America since 2001.
Economopoulos looks forward to keeping the Bear’s program on the right track, and looks to continue the success that Serafy began.