Florida hires Samantha Bohon from Embry-Riddle as third soccer coach in program history

By OnlyGators.com Staff
May 16, 2022
Florida hires Samantha Bohon from Embry-Riddle as third soccer coach in program history
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Image Credit: Leslie White / UAA

Looking to move past a short, disastrous era following the retirement of the legendary Becky Burleigh, the Florida Gators on Monday announced the hiring of Samantha Bohon as the third head soccer coach in the program’s 28-year history. She will be the team’s second new coach in as many years.

Bohon, 45, has spent the last 15 seasons leading Embry-Riddle where she won multiple conference championships at the NAIA and NCAA Division II levels. This is a major step up in competition for Bohon, whose previous stops were as an assistant at Tennessee (2001-05) and volunteer coach at her alma mater, Duke (1998-99). She played for the Blue Devils from 1994-97 and was captain of the U.S. U-21 National Team (1998-99).

“I want to humbly thank Scott Stricklin, the search committee and the rest of the athletic department for this incredible opportunity to lead Florida’s storied soccer program,” Bohon said in a statement. “It was clear early on of our shared values and goals for the program that will ultimately lead to an unforgettable student-athlete experience. The university and athletic department prioritize developing the student, person and player which will ultimately set our student-athletes up for future success.”

She continued: “The University of Florida offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for student-athletes to receive a top-five academic education, utilize state of the art facilities, and compete in one of the best conferences in the nation all while having unmatched support. I am chomping at the bit to get started! Go Gators!”

Bohon’s hiring comes less than three weeks after athletic director Scott Stricklin fired her predecessor, Tony Amato, 11 months after he took over the program. Amato was canned on April 27 amid allegations of widespread player mistreatment during his lone season. He also led Florida to, by far, its worst regular-season record in program history (4-12-4).

Given 17 players (four direct departures, 13 transfers) exited the program under Amato, there’s no question that Bohon faces a major rebuild of a once-great program that has suddenly fallen on hard times. While there is no questioning her credentials, those aforementioned circumstances may be why the Gators did not swing for a bigger name when looking for a new leader for this national championship-winning program.

“Samantha Bohon’s unique history has blended playing and coaching experience at all levels of women’s soccer,” said Stricklin. “… The one constant has been success. As a native Floridian, and from having coached in the SEC, she understands the history of the Gators’ soccer program. But she also know how to navigate teams through changing environments, as the successful transition Embry-Riddle made from NAIA to NCAA Division II demonstrates. That background, along with her character and ability to lead, make her an ideal choice.”

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