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Theresa Romagnolo (pronounced tuh-RAY-suh roh-muh-KNOW-loh) is in her first season as head coach at Notre Dame, taking the reins of the tradition-rich Fighting Irish women's soccer program on March 19, 2014.
Romagnolo is just the fourth head coach in the 27-year history of Notre Dame women's soccer, and she takes over for Randy Waldrum, who stepped down in January 2014 following 15 seasons to become head coach of the Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).
"We are thrilled to have Theresa join the Notre Dame family," said Jack Swarbrick, University vice president and director of athletics. "She brings with her a demonstrated commitment to educational and competitive excellence - the values that have been at the core of our women's soccer program's two decades of success. Because she does, I have no doubt that Theresa will help our program to achieve even greater success in the years to come."
"I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to lead the University of Notre Dame women's soccer program," Romagnolo said. "I'd like to thank (University President) Father (John) Jenkins, Jack Swarbrick and (senior associate athletic director/women's soccer administrator) Mike Harrity for their confidence in me as I embark on this incredible opportunity.
"Notre Dame is one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world with a rich tradition of soccer excellence," she continued. "I look forward to building upon the legacy that (former head coaches) Chris (Petrucelli) and Randy (Waldrum) have created and continuing to compete for national championships."
Romagnolo came to Notre Dame following a superb three-year run at Dartmouth that saw her guide the Hanover, N.H., school to 25 wins, including a 13-4 record in 2012, barely missing the program's first NCAA Championship berth since 2005, while posting the most victories by a Big Green squad since 2000, as well as the second-best winning percentage (.765) and third-most wins in one season in program history. In addition, she led Dartmouth to a pair of upper-division Ivy League finishes in her three seasons, including a 6-1 record and second-place showing in 2012, with the team's six league wins matching the best by any Big Green squad in the previous two decades.
Romagnolo also cultivated a strong reputation for player development while at Dartmouth, coaching 16 All-Ivy selections, as well as four National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) all-region choices, the first for the program since 2009. What's more, she tutored the Big Green's first outright Ivy League Freshman of the Year in 20 years (Corey Delaney), worked with two-time Capital One first-team academic all-district pick and three-time Academic All-Ivy honoree Emma Brush, and coached Aurelia Solomon, Dartmouth's first NSCAA Scholar All-American since 2008. In addition, the Big Green earned the program's ninth NSCAA Team Academic Award during her first season in Hanover.
Prior to her arrival at Dartmouth, Romagnolo was widely recognized as one of the nation's premier assistant coaches during her three-year tenure (2008-10) at Stanford under head coach Paul Ratcliffe. While in Palo Alto, Romagnolo (who also served as the program's volunteer assistant in 2002) helped the Cardinal to a 70-4-3 record, including three trips to the NCAA Women's College Cup and two berths in the NCAA national championship game (2009 and 2010). Stanford also won two Pac-10 Conference (now Pac-12) championships (plus a third with a 22-1-1 record during her 2002 volunteer assistant season) and produced a team grade-point average of 3.45 in 2010.
In addition, Romagnolo worked closely with Stanford's national recruiting efforts during her tenure, helping to bring numerous award-winning standouts to The Farm, including Camille Levin, Mariah Nogueira, Emily Oliver, Rachel Quon, Lindsay Taylor and Courtney Verloo, and coaching several other notable All-Americans, including three consecutive Hermann Trophy recipients in current U.S. Women's National Team players Kelley O'Hara (2009) and Christen Press (2010), and current Mexico National Team member Teresa Noyola (2011 - won Hermann Trophy season after Romagnolo departed), many of whom formed the foundation for Stanford's 2011 NCAA national championship team and are now competing in the NWSL.
Romagnolo came to Stanford after thriving in a five-year stint (2003-07) as the top assistant coach at San Diego, where she helped the Toreros to three NCAA Championship appearances, including a 15-3-3 record and No. 9 national ranking during her final season (2007). She also helped develop some of USD's top young talent including All-American and current U.S. Women's National Team player Leigh Ann Robinson and West Coast Conference Defender of the Year Brittany Cameron, and was instrumental in the recruitment of future Toreros' All-American and U.S. Under-23 National Team player Stephanie Ochs (Robinson, Cameron and Ochs all are now playing in the NWSL).
In addition to her work at the college level, Romagnolo spent time as head coach for the 1994-95 age group of the Cal North Olympic Development Program (ODP) in 2010. While in San Diego, she also was the head coach for both the San Diego Surf and Rancho Santa Fe soccer clubs, working closely with the U17 and U13 squads.
Before embarking on her coaching career, Romagnolo was a standout midfielder at the University of Washington from 1997-2000. Under her maiden name of Theresa Wagner, she was a four-time all-Pac-10 selection and was instrumental in the Huskies' first Pac-10 title and first-ever No. 1 ranking in 2000. UW also made three NCAA Championship appearances in her four seasons during Romagnolo's career, a tenure that also saw her earn NSCAA Scholar All-America and SoccerBuzz All-America honors, as well as a trio of Pac-10 All-Academic Team citations.
What's more, Romagnolo remains among the top five on numerous UW career statistical charts, including points (80 - 2nd), goals (27 - tied-3rd) and assists 26 - 3rd), while her four-goal/nine-point match at Oregon and four-assist outing against Eastern Washington (both in her senior season in 2000) remain tops in Husky women's soccer history.
Romagnolo graduated from the University of Washington in 2001 with her bachelor's degree in business.
She went on to enjoy a three-year career with the San Jose CyberRays of the Women's United Soccer Association (the first of two leagues that preceded the NWSL), helping the Bay Area franchise to the WUSA title in 2001. Among her teammates in San Jose were former Notre Dame All-American and 2001 WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year LaKeysia Beene ('00) and former Fighting Irish all-region defender Kelly Lindsey ('01).
A native of Edmonds, Wash., Romagnolo and her husband, Alex, are proud parents of two young daughters - Sierra and Giovanna. The Romagnolo family now makes its home in the South Bend area.
THERESA ROMAGNOLO YEAR-BY-YEAR