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University of Tennessee at Martin

UTM Sports
554 University St Martin, TN 38238
Division 1 Tennessee Southeast
Public Medium National competitor

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Phil McNamara

The University of Tennessee at Martin soccer program has grown into one of the top programs in Ohio Valley Conference history behind the work of two-time OVC Coach of the Year Phil McNamara, who enters his 11th season at the helm in 2020.


McNamara has continued to build an impressive résumé at UT Martin, stringing together five combined OVC championships (including four consecutive titles from 2011-13). McNamara has guided players to 20 All-OVC first team honors, eight earning second team honors and 18 on the All-Newcomer teams. McNamara helped Skyhawks earn their first OVC Player of the Year in 2014 when Rianna Jarrett brought home the award. In his second season, McNamara helped Melissa Govea earn UT Martin’s second OVC Defensive Player of the Year award. In 2019, the Skyhawks won three of the OVC's four major postseason awards, as Amy McGivern (Player of the Year), Kaci Mitchell (Defensive Player of the Year) and McNamara (Coach of the Year) were all crowned.


Last fall, UT Martin clicked towards the end of the season, stringing together a five-matchup unbeaten streak to ultimately finish this in the league standings with a 6-2-2 mark. Overall, the Skyhawks posted an 8-6-5 record, equaling the most ties in a single season in school history. The Skyhawk trio of Maria Castaldo (first team defender), Bella Roberts (second team midfielder) and Elin Berggren (second team defender) each captured All-OVC postseason accolades. The freshman tandem of Castaldo and Berggren were also named to the OVC's All-Newcomer team. Goalkeeper Erica Myers led the OVC with five shutouts (four of which came in league play) and ranked 20th nationally with 104 saves.


McNamara oversaw one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2018. UT Martin shattered the program record with 15 victories on its way to the OVC regular season championship. The Skyhawks were ranked as high as 65th in the nation based off the NCAA RPI and ranked as high as eighth in the South Region of the United Soccer Coaches Poll.


Included in the historic 2018 campaign was a 13-match unbeaten streak from Sept. 7 through Nov. 2. The Skyhawks went 15-3-1 overall with a 9-0-1 OVC record as their only setbacks came at Arkansas State in the season opener, at No. 10 Tennessee and to Murray State in the OVC Championship finals match. UT Martin established new season-highs in points (128), goals (49) and shots (401) while also ranking in the top-15 in the nation in shots on goal per match (10.32, first), shots per match (21.11, fourth), scoring offense (2.58, fifth), winning percentage (.816, 10th), total goals (49, 15th) and points per match (6.74, 15th).


UT Martin's success in 2018 was recognized on a national level, as the NCAA designated the Skyhawks as the nation's Most Improved Team for 2018. A total of nine different UT Martin honorees combined for 13 All-OVC postseason honors while McGivern, Mitchell and Danae Kaldaridou were each named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women's All-South Region Team.


The 2017 season was an impressive year for the Skyhawk soccer program as McNamara led the squad back to the OVC tournament, producing All-OVC first team member Kaldaridou and All-Newcomer squad member Kamryn Chappell. Kaldaridou led the UT Martin offense as she netted seven goals and tallied a team-best 18 points on the season. Chappell was an integral piece of the UT Martin defense, leading the team in minutes played with 1,796 minutes logged on the year.


In 2016, McNamara oversaw the development of All-OVC first teamer McGivern and All-OVC newcomer Kaldaridou. McGivern ranked ninth in the OVC in points per game (0.72) and 10th in goals (five) as just a sophomore while Kaldaridou added four goals and two assists as a sophomore last season.


After a slow start to the season, McNamara’s squad rallied to claim a tie for third place in the league standings and ultimately a home contest in the first round of the OVC Soccer Championship in 2015. Three Skyhawks earned All-OVC honors with Maggie Burkett and Rebecca Starnes earning first team nods while Saphyra Coombs-James earned second team honors. The freshman duo of Starnes and Burkett were also joined on the All-Newcomer squad by Lisa Schmieder.


In 2014, McNamara saw the Skyhawks open the season with a school-record four victories on their way to a fourth-straight season with double-digit victories. Guiding the team to a 12-6-2 record including a 6-3-1 conference slate, the Skyhawks were offensively gifted by leading the OVC in shots taken. The season saw newcomer Jarrett set a school-record with 17 goals on her way to the program’s first OVC Player of the Year honor.


The 2013 season saw the Skyhawks own a piece of conference history. The Skyhawks picked up their fourth consecutive OVC title (including two regular season and tournament championships) after rattling off an 8-2 record in conference play to win their second consecutive season crown. The Skyhawks became the first team in conference history to pull off such a streak.


The Skyhawks saw five players take home six OVC awards, highlighted by three All-OVC first team selections for Mariah Klenke, Aoife Lennon and Hannah Fessenden while Alyssa Curtis earned second team honors. Lennon was joined by classmate Ellie Myrick as All-Newcomer selections. Three players took home All-Tournament honors as Lennon and Fessenden both joined Lucy Pater. As a whole, six Skyhawks took home either All-OVC or All-OVC Tournament accolades in 2013.


After McNamara took the Skyhawks to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, he posted arguably the best season in school history in 2012. UT Martin captured its first outright Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship and pushed Southeastern Conference power Kentucky to the limit before a narrow 1-0 loss in overtime of the NCAA Tournament.


For his efforts, McNamara garnered 2012 OVC Coach of the Year honors. He also presided over five players who were All-OVC performers, including Coombs-James - the program's first-ever OVC Freshman of the Year. All in all, eight of McNamara's players earned All-OVC or All-OVC Tournament accolades in 2012.


McNamara’s second season at UT Martin was a banner year, as the Skyhawks captured their first-ever OVC Tournament championship in 2011. UT Martin won six straight games from Oct. 21 through Nov. 6 on its way to 14 victories before falling to then-undefeated Memphis in its first NCAA Tournament match in school history. The Skyhawks boasted four players on the All-OVC team, including Govea (the league’s Defensive Player of the Year) and Brooke Robertson (the fourth player in program history to achieve All-OVC first team status in two different seasons).


In his debut season as Skyhawk skipper, McNamara guided UT Martin to an 8-8-2 record and 3-4-1 OVC slate. The Skyhawks began to click midway through the schedule, winning seven of nine games during one stretch. UT Martin also continued its home dominance under McNamara, putting together a five-match win streak and going unbeaten for a 58-day span, falling only in the home opener and finale in 2010. The stingy Skyhawk defense also excelled under McNamara, as the team tied an all-time single-season record with eight shutouts.


McNamara came to UT Martin from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn., where he led the Eagles to the NCAA Division II championship tournament in each of his last seven years. His teams advanced to the NCAA Final Four in back-to-back years in 2004-05 and won five regular season league titles and four South Atlantic Conference tournaments. During his eight-year tenure at Carson-Newman, he picked up the South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year honor four times.


At Carson-Newman, McNamara’s teams were consistently ranked, as his players garnered several top honors throughout his tenure. All in all, he coached 43 all-conference players, 22 all-region players, four All-SAC Tournament members, four All-SAC tournament MVP’s, four All-Americans (including the first in Carson Newman history), four All-NCAA Tournament team players, three SAC Players of the Year and two SAC Freshmen of the Year. In addition to coaching the program’s first-ever national All-American, he also guided the Eagles to the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and NCAA Tournament victories. Four players also earned national or regional academic All-American awards under his watch.


McNamara’s 2009 Carson-Newman team was the best in school history, as they set a single-season record for most wins (20). They finished ranked seventh in the nation after winning their third NCAA Southeast Regional title under his guidance.


McNamara won 11 games or more every year for the past eight years at Carson-Newman, a tremendous feat considering the Eagles had never won more than 11 games in any one season in its first 11 years of playing soccer prior to McNamara’s hiring.


Before Carson-Newman, McNamara served two seasons at Virginia Intermont in Bristol, Va.. He posted a 17-12 record and he led the team to both conference and regional championships. He was named conference and regional coach of the year. He spent the 2001 season as head coach of both the men’s and women’s programs. The men were ranked 18th in the nation.


McNamara also served as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s programs at his alma mater, King College in Bristol, Tenn.


McNamara has three European coaching licenses and has served as a youth coach for the Irish Football Association (IFA) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As a player, he was a YTS trainee with Ashton Villa FC in England for two years, and spent one season with the Carrickfergus Rangers FC in the Irish First Division. He was a member of the Cliftonville FC in the Irish Premier League for four years before ending his playing career in the United States, spending one season playing indoor soccer with the Huntsville Fire of the Premier League and two years with the Roanoke Wraft of the PDL D-2 League.


McNamara is married to the former Jacqueline Logue of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has two children, Halina and Anthony.

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Leslie Gillies

Leslie Gillies is in her seventh season as associate head coach in 2020 after serving as a full-time assistant coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin since 2010.


During her tenure at UT Martin, the Skyhawks have strung together five combined OVC championships (including four consecutive titles from 2011-13). Gillies has helped guide players to 20 All-OVC first team honors, eight honorees on the second team and 18 on the All-Newcomer team.


Last fall, UT Martin clicked towards the end of the season, stringing together a five-matchup unbeaten streak to ultimately finish this in the league standings with a 6-2-2 mark. Overall, the Skyhawks posted an 8-6-5 record, equaling the most ties in a single season in school history. The Skyhawk trio of Maria Castaldo (first team defender), Bella Roberts (second team midfielder) and Elin Berggren (second team defender) each captured All-OVC postseason accolades. The freshman tandem of Castaldo and Berggren were also named to the OVC's All-Newcomer team. Goalkeeper Erica Myers led the OVC with five shutouts (four of which came in league play) and ranked 20th nationally with 104 saves.


Gillies was a major factor in UT Martin's record-setting 2018 campaign, as the Skyhawks shattered the program record with 15 wins on its way to the OVC regular season championship. UT Martin was ranked as high as 65th nationally based off the NCAA RPI and ranked as high as eighth in the South Region of the United Soccer Coaches Poll. The Skyhawks received national recognition for their impressive season, as the NCAA crowned UT Martin as its Most Improved Program for the 2018 campaign.


The 2018 Skyhawks set new school records in points (128), goals (49) and shots (401) while also ranking in the top-15 in the country in shots on goal per match (10.32, first), shots per match (21.11, fourth), scoring offense (2.58, fifth), winning percentage (.816, 10th), total goals (49, 15th) and points per match (6.74, 15th). UT Martin reeled off a 13-match unbeaten streak from Sept. 7 through Nov. 2, going 15-3-1 overall to go along with a 9-0-1 OVC mark.


Nine different Skyhawks combined for 13 All-OVC postseason honors in 2018, including the senior duo of Amy McGivern (OVC Player of the Year) and Kaci Mitchell (OVC Defensive Player of the Year). Joining McGivern and Mitchell on the All-OVC first team was Danae Kaldaridou and Erica Myers while Skylor Keane (All-OVC second team, All-OVC Newcomer) and Sam Kelly (All-OVC Newcomer) also received accolades. Additionally, the trio of McGiven, Mitchell and Kaldaridou each claimed a spot on the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women's All-South Region team.


In 2017, Gillies was instrumental in producing an impressive season with one of the youngest teams in the nation as the Skyhawks made it back to the OVC tournament. She also saw Kaldaridou be named to the All-OVC first team while Kamryn Chappell picked up an All-Newcomer nod.


The 2016 season featured the development of sophomores McGivern and Kaldaridou. McGivern captured All-OVC first team accolades after ranking in the top-10 in the OVC in points per game (0.72, ninth) and goals (five, 10th). Kaldaridou accumulated four goals and two assists on her way to tallying All-OVC newcomer status.


After a slow start to the season, the Skyhawks rallied to claim a tie for third place in the league standings and ultimately a home contest in the first round of the OVC Soccer Championship in 2015. Three Skyhawks earned All-OVC honors with Maggie Burkett and Rebecca Starnes earning first team nods while Saphyra Coombs-James earned second team honors. The freshman duo of Starnes and Burkett were also joined on the All-Newcomer squad by Lisa Schmieder.


In 2014, the Skyhawks opened the season with a school-record four victories on their way to a fourth-straight season with double-digit victories. Guiding the team to a 12-6-2 record including a 6-3-1 conference slate, the Skyhawks were offensively gifted by leading the OVC in shots taken. The season saw newcomer Rianna Jarrett set a school-record with 17 goals on her way to the program’s first OVC Player of the Year honor. In the conference tournament, UT Martin fell in a shootout to Jacksonville State.


Gillies was instrumental in building UT Martin into a conference power as she helped lead the Skyhawks to a piece of conference history in 2013. UT Martin picked up its fourth consecutive OVC title - including two regular season and tournament championships - after rattling off an 8-2 record in conference play to win their second consecutive season crown. The Skyhawks became the first team in conference history to pull off such a streak.


The Skyhawks saw five players take home six OVC awards, highlighted by three All-OVC first team selections for Mariah Klenke, Aoife Lennon and Hannah Fessenden while Alyssa Curtis earned second team honors. Lennon was joined by classmate Ellie Myrick as All-Newcomer selections. Three players took home All-Tournament honors as Lennon and Fessenden both joined Lucy Pater. As a whole, six Skyhawks took home either All-OVC or All-OVC Tournament accolades in 2013.


In 2012, Gillies was part of arguably the best season in Skyhawk soccer history. UT Martin cruised through its first-ever Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship on its way to a 13-6-3 overall record. For the second straight season, UT Martin advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where it battled against Southeastern Conference power Kentucky before falling 1-0 in overtime.


Gillies guided eight Skyhawks to either All-OVC or All-OVC Tournament honors in 2012. That list includes Coombs-James (OVC Freshman of the Year, All-OVC first team, All-OVC Newcomer), Klenke (All-OVC first team, All-OVC Tournament team, OVC Tournament MVP), Ashley Reveiz (All-OVC first team, All-OVC Newcomer), Hannah McGowen (All-OVC first team), Alyssa Curtis (All-OVC second team), Lucy Pater (All-OVC Tournament team), Amy Maksimowicz (All-OVC Tournament team) and Mary Thompson (All-OVC Tournament team).


In 2011, Gillies helped guide the Skyhawks to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, as a result of winning the OVC Tournament championship. She presided over a squad that shattered the program record for matches played (23), victories (14), highest winning percentage (.652), longest winning streak (six), points (120), assists (34) and shots (383).


Gillies coached four All-OVC performers in 2011, led by OVC Defensive Player of the Year Melissa Govea. Both Govea and Brooke Robertson notched all-league first team accolades, while Maksimowicz and Midori Sera were named the All-OVC Newcomer squad.


In 2010, Gillies and the Skyhawks found their groove at the midpoint of the season, as UT Martin produced victories in seven of nine matches during one spurt in the schedule. She also oversaw a defense that grinded out eight shutouts, which tied a single-season UT Martin program record. Gillies additionally coached Rosaelia Loza and Sam Dunn, who earned All-OVC second team and All-Newcomer accolades under Gillies' tutelage in 2010.


Prior to UT Martin, Gillies spent three seasons as an assistant coach under McNamara at Carson-Newman, helping the Eagles to a 40-14-2 record (including a school-record 20 wins in 2009), three consecutive NCAA Division-II Tournament appearances and two South Atlantic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.


At Carson-Newman, Gillies was responsible for the organization of practices, ongoing recruitment, workouts, administrative duties such as travel and scheduling, player development and team preparation, among other things.


Not only did Gillies coach with McNamara at Carson-Newman, she also finished out her collegiate playing career for him from 2004 through 2006 before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology in 2007.


In those three seasons, Gillies led the team to a 53-10-3 record, including an 18-3 conference slate. A forward and outside midfielder, she led the team to back-to-back NCAA Division-II Tournament Final Fours, as well as two regular-season SAC titles and two SAC Tournament titles. Perhaps the most impressive feat is that as a player, she was part of the three most winningest seasons in Carson-Newman history at that point in time, including a then-school-record 19 wins in 2004.


Before playing at Carson-Newman, Gillies spent two seasons playing in Conference-USA for head coach Paul Harbin at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. As a true freshman, she logged 203 minutes and scored her first career point on an assist against Jackson State on Oct. 25, 2002. The next season, she saw limited action because of an injury. In her two years at UAB, the Blazers went 22-14-2 with a 13-7 league record.


A Marietta, Ga. native, Gillies was a four-year letterwinner at Sprayberry High School, where she was an all-star selection in the state of Georgia. She scored 56 goals - including a team-high 21 her junior season - in her career and led the Yellow Jackets to a state 5A quarterfinalist berth in 2001, as well as a 6AAAA Sub-Region championship and pair of 6AAAA Sub-Region runner-up appearances.


Leslie married Chris Gillies in November 2012. The couple resides in Martin.

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Alex Zaroyan

Alex Zaroyan is in his first season as a graduate assistant at UT Martin, working primarily with the goalkeepers along with other day-to-day activities in 2020.


Zaroyan joins the Skyhawks after spending the 2019-20 campaign at Angelia College where he was an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams. After a change in leadership during the season, Zaroyan and Fergus O’Connor co-led the program throughout the season and combined to go 18-18-2 between the two programs. While with the Roadrunners he helped lead both teams to the postseason while watching the men’s team notch its first playoff victory in one of the toughest conferences in the JUCO ranks along with knocking off a nationally ranked opponent. Academically, his players led all other sports at Angelina on the President’s and Dean’s academic lists.


Prior to his time at Angelina College, he spent the 2017-18 season as an assistant at Ursinus College. He also boasted coaching experience at the club level with Palumbo Soccer Club and Castro Valley Soccer Club. Outside of coaching, he has interned with the Philadelphia Flyers and Bethlehem Steel Football Club.


Along with his coaching abilities, Zaroyan has accumulated a diverse skill set while working all around the sport. He worked as a live charter and tracker with Match Analysis in the San Francisco Bay area, tracking more than 750 hours of soccer matches in leagues and teams ranging from Major League Soccer, Liga MX, U.S. Men’s and Women’s National teams and NCAA Division I programs across the nation.


Zaroyan’s own playing experiences ranged from playing recreational, club and high school soccer. He also had a trial with LIGA MX Academy Side, Tiburones Veracruz.


He has obtained his U.S. Soccer D and Cal South E licenses along with his U.S. Soccer National C license. He also boasts NCAA coaching certificates and Futsal with the NSCAA.


A native of Monrovia, Calif., Zaroyan began his collegiate studies at California State University-East Bay before finishing his bachelor’s degree in sports and recreational management with a concentration in governance and policy from Temple University in 2018.

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