|Title:||Head Coach of Women's Soccer|
The fifth head coach in Harvard women’s soccer history, Ray Leone completed his seventh season at the helm of the Crimson in 2013.
Leone, who owns a 71-37-14 (.639) overall record with the Crimson, guided Harvard to its 11th Ivy League title in 2013. The Crimson wrapped its conference slate with a perfect 7-0 record for the first time since 1999 and posted its seventh-straight winning season. It signaled the fourth title for Leone, who assumed his position on Feb. 22, 2007.
Leone also guided multiple players to individual accolades. Margaret “Midge” Purce was named the Ivy League Rookie and Player of the Year, as well as a unanimous selection to the Ancient Eight first team. Senior captain Peyton Johnson (unanimous) and sophomore Haley Washburn also earned first team accolades to give Harvard the most selections since 2011. Junior defender Erika Garcia, junior midfielder Meg Cascells-Hamby and junior goalkeeper Cheta Emba were named to the All-Ivy second team. Junior midfielder Marie Margolius earned an All-Ivy honorable mention.
Harvard posted a 9-5-3 (3-3-1 Ivy) in 2012. With a 1-0 overtime victory over Brown Oct. 24, 2012, Leone earned the 250th win of his career. Harvard saw five of its players garner All-Ivy League status during the 2012 campaign, including Casscells-Hamby who earned a spot on the first team, while Garcia, Bethany Kanten and Washburn received second team accolades.
He led the squad to the program’s 10th Ivy League title in 2011, the third crown for the Crimson in the first five seasons under Leone. Harvard posted a 10-1 record at home during 2011, tying the program record for a single season, and carried a 10-game unbeaten streak into the NCAA tournament. The Crimson went 6-0-1 in the Ivy League, going unbeaten in conference play for the first time since 1999. In addition, Harvard’s 12 wins overall were the most for the program since the 1999 campaign. Melanie Baskind was honored unanimously as the Ivy League Player of the Year and joined teammates Peyton Johnson and Lindsey Kowal on the All-Ancient Eight first team. Rebeccca Millock and Meg Casscells-Hamby earned spots on the all-conference second team.
During the 2010 campaign, Leone, in his fourth season with the
program, guided the Crimson to a 9-7-1 overall mark, as well as a
4-3 record in the Ancient Eight. In addition, Katherine
Sheeleigh '11 was honored as the Ivy League Player of the Year,
headlining four Crimson who garnered All-Ivy first-team accolades,
marking the most for the program since 1999.
In 2009, Leone helped the Crimson win its second straight Ivy League title and automatic berth to the NCAA tournament, finishing 6-1 in the Ancient Eight. Harvard won eight of nine games down the stretch, posting a 9-7-1 overall record for the season. Harvard earned six selections to the All-Ivy League team, including Katherine Sheeleigh '11 who received first-team status.
Leone, the 2008 Soccer Buzz Northeast Region Coach of the Year, guided the Crimson to a 10-3-5 record in just his second year at the helm, leading Harvard to its first Ivy League championship since 1999 and first berth in the NCAA tournament since 2004. The Crimson went 5-1-1 in the Ivy League and entered the NCAA tournament on an eight-game unbeaten streak. Leone also guided six Crimson to All-Ivy League honors, including Melanie Baskind, Harvard’s third Rookie of the Year in a row, and first-team selections Lizzy Nichols and Katherine Sheeleigh.
In his first season with the Crimson, the team finished 10-6-1, and had two NSCAA All-Northeast Region selections in Nichols and Sheeleigh. Sheeleigh was also named Ivy League Rookie of the Year after leading Harvard with 16 points on eight goals. Nichols and Sheeleigh were All-Ivy first-team honorees, while Gina Wideroff and Lauren Mann were second-team recipients. Nicole Rhodes earned all-conference honorable mention.
He came to Harvard after six successful seasons at Arizona State, where he posted a 60-45-4 record. One of the most successful coaches in women's soccer, Leone carries a wealth of coaching experience with 20 years as a collegiate head coach. In all, Leone has posted a career record of 251-136-39 (.638). He ranks 21st among active Division I head coaches with his 251 victories. Among active head coaches, Leone currently also ranks 40th in winning percentage.
Leone's successes at ASU were not limited to the playing field. His teams perennially achieved the school's highest grade point average among its 22 varsity programs. In 2005 the Sun Devils placed a school record 11 student-athletes on the Academic All-Pacific-10 Conference team. In all, Leone coached nine All-Pac-10 honorees while guiding the team to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances and a school-record No. 9 national ranking in 2004.
Prior to heading the Sun Devils Leone coached at Clemson from 1994-2000. He spent five years as an assistant and one as co-head coach before being named head coach for the 2000 season--a season that saw Leone named Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year as the Tigers won a school-record 19 games en route to the ACC regular season championship. In his seven years at Clemson, the Tigers finished among the nation's top 15 teams each year with 20 all-league selections. The Clemson squad compiled a record of 16-1-1 in the regular season and earned a No. 1 seed in the ACC Championship. After reaching the national quarterfinals for the third time in four years, Leone's team finished with a school record 19-3-1 overall record and a No. 5 national ranking.
Additionally, 2000 was an unprecedented year at Clemson. Leone began the season with a school-record 12 straight victories, while along the way breaking North Carolina's 37-game ACC winning streak. In doing so, Clemson became the first team in seven years to defeat UNC in the conference and peaked as high as No. 2 in the national rankings. In 2000 Leone's players were named the ACC Freshman of the Year, South Defender of the Year, ACC Goalkeeper of the Year and National Freshman of the Year.
Additionally, the 1994 Clemson squad was the first team in NCAA women's soccer history to make the NCAA tournament in its first varsity season. During Clemson's NCAA tournament runs from 1994-2000, only six other Division I programs advanced to the NCAA tournament the same number of years (7) as the Tigers.
Leone has not limited himself to coaching at established programs, having started two collegiate programs prior to working at Clemson. He started the program at Creighton in 1989, and within five years guided the Bluejays to a top-five regional ranking. In Leone's final year at Creighton, he led them to a 14-3-2 record, winning 11 of their last 12 games.
His coaching career started at Berry College (Ga.) in 1986 and he has the notoriety of being the only coach in collegiate soccer history to take a first-year program to a national championship game. The next season, 1987, Leone's team won the national championship as he earned national coach of the year honors. In a three-year span at Berry, Leone took his teams to three straight Final Four appearances. Today, Berry is considered the most successful program in NAIA history.
Leone is a 1985 graduate of Charlotte having earned his BA in sociology. As a player at Charlotte, Leone was a three-time all-conference selection at three different positions. He scored the winning goal in what still stands as the longest game in Sun Belt history, a seven-overtime affair in the 49ers' first conference championship title game. As a senior, Leone received the David Schlee Memorial Award given to the Charlotte player most demonstrating his desire to succeed. He earned a masters degree in sports sciences from the United States Sports Academy in 1990.
In October of 2003, Leone was proudly inducted into the first hall of fame class at Severna Park High School in Severna Park, Md.