Former Oklahoma State assistant to lead Lady 'Canes

Georgia Southwestern State University announced today that Tony Economopoulos has been selected as the new head women's soccer coach. He becomes the second head coach in school history, succeeding Barry Kaplan who had been with the program since its inception in 2004.

"We are extremely fortunate to have Tony Economopoulos accept our head women's soccer position at Georgia Southwestern," Athletic Director Jaclyn Kaylor said. "Tony's many years of experience, coupled with his knowledge and passion for soccer, will benefit our student-athletes and our program greatly.  His excitement and energy are readily apparent, so we look forward to the contributions he will make to GSW Athletics."

Economopoulos comes to GSW from Oklahoma State University where he served as an assistant coach the last two years.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to be the next women's soccer coach at Georgia Southwestern State University," Economopoulos said. "I'm very thankful to Ms. Kaylor and the GSW search committee for giving me this opportunity.

"I am excited to see this program develop, grow and strengthen in the next few years. GSW women's soccer has a lot of potential and I am looking forward to being a part of their future success."

This past fall, Oklahoma State finished the season with a school record 18 wins and an 18-1-4 record. The Cowgirls compiled a 7-1-2 record in Big 12 Conference play to claim their first-ever regular season conference championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship for the third straight season. OSU led the nation in scoring offense at 3.22 goals per game and the defense posted 10 shutouts. The Cowgirls improved their goals against average from 2007 by 12 percent to 0.75.

In Economopoulos' first season in Stillwater, OSU tied for the Big 12 Conference lead with 10 shutouts, and the Cowgirls ranked second in the league with a 0.84 goals against average. Goalkeeper Erin Stigler also tied for the Big 12 lead in shutouts with seven and became the school's all-time shutouts leader.

"I want to thank the Oklahoma State University athletic department for allowing me the opportunity to work within a great department the past two years," Economopoulos added. "A special thanks goes to all those supporting me in my decision to come to GSW."

Economopoulos came to Stillwater after serving as top assistant men's soccer coach at Bowling Green State University for four years.

A native of Oklahoma City, Economopoulos was a two-sport star in soccer and football at Putnam City North High School. He played his collegiate soccer at Oklahoma City University and helped lead the Stars to a Sooner Athletic Conference championship. Economopoulos also played semi-professionally in the USISL with the Oklahoma City Slickers and the Oklahoma City Warriors.

Upon his graduation from OCU in 1997, Economopoulos was hired as a head coach for the ESC Royals, where he also trained the goalkeepers. He coached three different teams to the State Cup title and led one squad to the Region III finals.

In 1999, Economopoulos was hired at Edmond Santa Fe High School. The Wolves compiled a record of 35-9-1 from 1999-2001 and were ranked as high as third nationally by USA Today in '99. During his time at Santa Fe, he also served as the state goalkeeper coach for the Olympic Development Program, where he selected and trained all the goalkeepers in the program.

Economopoulos made his collegiate coaching debut in 2001 where he assisted the men's team at Western Illinois University. He served as the goalkeeper coach and the recruiting coordinator, and in 2002 his efforts were rewarded as he was nominated for the AFLAC Insurance National Assistant Coach of the Year Award.

In 2003, Economopoulos left for Bowling Green, where he assumed additional responsibilities aside from his coaching duties. He was the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional Chair, the site coordinator for the United States Soccer Federation's National Coaching School and was the site coordinator for the U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Symposium.

Economopoulos also briefly served as the interim head coach at Bowling Green in the spring of 2004, and the following season, the Falcons were recognized as one of the most improved Division I soccer teams in the country.

Economopoulos currently 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. He is also on the USYSA Region III coaching staff.

Economopoulos and his wife, Holly, are expecting their second child early this month. The couple's first child, Dominic, was born in September 2007.

Special thanks to Oklahoma State University Sports Information for their contributions to this piece

PHOTO BY: Oklahoma State University Athletics