Jan. 14, 2009
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University women's soccer head coach Shannon Stiles announced Wednesday her retirement from head coaching.
Stiles, who just completed her 10th season as the head coach of the Bulldogs, plans to focus her time on her husband and three children.
"Shannon Stiles is a tremendous person who brought an unbelievable wealth of soccer knowledge to Gonzaga," said Mike Roth, Bulldog Director of Athletics. "We thank Shannon for all she has done and wish her the best."
The first female head women's soccer coach in the history of the West Coast Conference, Stiles led the Zags to a 7-10-3 overall record this past fall, 2-4-1 in the West Coast Conference. Her record at Gonzaga is 79-103-11 over the past 10 seasons.
"I have been able to pursue my passion for 10 years," stated Stiles. "It is bittersweet to say goodbye and I will miss coaching and Gonzaga. I have seen our program go from no resources, to become a fully funded and fully staffed program with a brand new state-of-the-art stadium. But I also have three little girls at home. When I started here my youngest was just 10 months. Now she is 10 and has two sisters who are eight and five. As tough as it is to be leaving my Gonzaga family, I am excited to be able to spend more time with my family."
Stiles has strung together six straight winning seasons, including winning 10-plus games in five of the last six years. In her 10 years at the helm, Stiles has coached 38 All-WCC selections, 12 All-Academic selections, seven All-West Region selections and one All-American.
Maybe her most memorable moment of her career was guiding Gonzaga to its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2005 as the Zags posted a 12-4-4 record to earn their spot in the postseason. En route to the NCAA's, the Bulldogs also earned the program's first national ranking, climbing as high as No. 19 in the Soccer Buzz poll. That season also marked the first All-American selection in the program's history as goalkeeper Ashley Haugen earned honorable mention accolades.
A native of Spokane, Stiles played collegiately for Santa Clara University. At SCU, she helped her teams advance to three College Cups in 1989, 1990 and 1992. Her sophomore season of 1990 the Broncos advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals, with Stiles scoring the only goal in Santa Clara's loss to the University of Connecticut."It has been a privilege to be a member of the Gonzaga family. I have coached some amazing student-athletes and have met a ton more great families along the way. I thank the administration for this opportunity; they have always been so supportive. I'd also like to thank Steve DeLong, our athletic trainer, who has been by my side for the past 10 years."
Roth said that Shannon Strahl, associate athletic director, will conduct an immediate search for Stiles' successor.