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The winningest coach in program history, Tom Stone enters his eighth season as the head soccer coach at Texas Tech after back-to-back appearances by the Red Raiders in the NCAA second round and a school record 18 victories in 2013.
Stone, the fourth head coach in program history, has transformed the Red Raiders into one of the top programs not only in the Big 12 Conference during his tenure but nationally as well as Texas Tech has been ranked in the top 25 at the conclusion of each of the last two seasons.
In his seven seasons with the Red Raiders, Stone has amassed a 78-50-14 record for a .599 winning percentage that is the highest for any coach in program history. Stone is the only Texas Tech coach to lead the Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament as well.
The Red Raiders have won 34 matches in the last two seasons, the most among Big 12 programs during that span. That success has pushed Texas Tech to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, a first for a program that had not previously advanced to the postseason in its existence until 2012.
Texas Tech was the host for each of its two NCAA first round matches as the Red Raiders downed North Texas, 2-0, in 2012 before routing Minnesota, 3-0, in 2013 at the John Walker Soccer Complex. The Red Raiders came close to advancing from the second round in both years as well as it took double overtime for eventual Final Four participant Florida State to top Texas Tech in 2012 and penalty kicks from Texas A&M in 2013.
The Red Raiders closed the 2012 campaign 16-6 overall, breaking the school single-season record for wins that was eventually snapped again a year later when Texas Tech finished 18-2-3 overall, including an impressive 6-0-2 mark in Big 12 play.
The undefeated conference campaign in 2013 nearly earned the Red Raiders their first Big 12 title but a pair of ties left Texas Tech just a point back of eventual regular season champion West Virginia. The Red Raiders closed the regular season in second place, the highest conference finish in program history, after delivering shutout victories over both No. 9 West Virginia and in-state rival Texas.
The 2-0 victory over West Virginia marked Texas Tech's first ever over a top-10 team, giving the Mountaineers at the same time their first conference loss since joining the Big 12 prior to the 2012 season.
It was one of a school-record 17 shutouts during the 2013 season alone for the Red Raiders, who closed the year ranked second nationally with a .739 shutout percentage. Texas Tech also ranked among the top 10 teams in the country for goals against average (third), save percentage (sixth) and won-lost-tied percentage).
Texas Tech's success on the field was well rewarded at the end of the season when a school-record five Red Raiders were selected by the league coaches to the All-Big 12 teams. The end-of-year awards followed a successful 2012 campaign where four Red Raiders were also honored on the All-Big 12 teams. Texas Tech has altogether picked up 25 all-conference selections during Stone's tenure.
Stone has coached a pair of All-Americans in junior Janine Beckie and senior Jaelene Hinkle. Beckie, the Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year coming out of high school, made quite the collegiate debut in 2012, earning NSCAA second team All-America honors after connecting on 14 goals, the most ever for a Texas Tech freshman and second-most in program history. Hinkle, meanwhile, was a unanimous All-Big 12 first team defender and third team All-American in 2013 after pacing the Red Raiders with a team-high six assists from the back line.
During his seven-year tenure, Stone has steadily built the program with a foundation of strong recruiting, annually bringing some of the top talent in the state and the country to Lubbock. With that talent pool, Stone has guided to Red Raiders to seven-consecutive Big 12 Championship appearances, sending Texas Tech back to the conference tournament in just his first season (2007) for the first time since 1999. The Red Raiders have advanced to the conference semifinals in each of the past two seasons.
Not only has Stone built Texas Tech into a power on the field, but he has created an identity for the entire program - one that the Lubbock community has embraced. On fall Friday nights, thousands of fans flock to the John Walker Soccer Complex - one of the premier soccer facilities in the country.
That embrace of the Texas Tech soccer program was never more evident than the 2011 season where a new standard for attendance was set. A total of 14,657 fans attended 11 home matches during the 2011 season to help Texas Tech rank No. 13 in the nation for average home attendance. Twice during the campaign the Red Raiders broke single-game attendance marks with an announced crowd of 2,176 attending the final showdown with Texas A&M on Oct. 7, while 2,228 fans watched the Red Raiders take on Kansas on Oct. 14.
Texas Tech hosted a total of 3,520 fans during the final weekend of the 2011 season, which included a thrilling double-overtime victory over Texas. The figure was a new stadium record for a weekend series.
In all, the average single-game attendance has ballooned by 194 percent during the Tom Stone era, increasing from an average of 349 per-game during the 2007 season to the 2012 mark of 1,027. The 2013 season marked the third consecutive season with an average attendance of over 950 fans per contest.
That inherent and unique home field advantage has been noticed on a national level as Texas Tech hosted the NSCAA/FOX Soccer Game of the Week on Oct. 26, 2012, where the Red Raiders shutout Oklahoma State 2-0. It was the first of several televised soccer matches at the complex in the near future.
The Red Raiders are an impressive 19-1-1 the past two seasons at home and 43-14-2 all-time at the John Walker Soccer Complex - a .746 winning percentage since the facility was built prior to the 2008 season.
The 2010 season marked the most-significant step forward under Stone as the Red Raiders posted an 11-8-1 record, their first winning season since 1996, and advanced to their fourth-straight Big 12 Championship appearance.
Texas Tech had many firsts during 2010 as it received votes in the top 25 poll for the first time, along with the best start in school history at 5-0 against Division I opponents. The Red Raiders held each of their opponents scoreless during that stretch, marking the first time in program history that a Texas Tech team has opened a season with five-consecutive shutouts.
With a full recruiting class on campus that regularly fielded around seven freshmen in the starting lineup, the Red Raiders finished the 2009 campaign 8-8-4, marking the first time since 1996 that a Tech team had a .500 or better overall record.
Besides the win-loss record, the 2009 squad was also one of Tech's most competitive squads as well, with seven of eight losses coming by only a goal. The Red Raiders picked up quality road wins at TCU, UTEP, and a neutral-site contest against Vanderbilt, while earning a conference point with a 0-0 tie at nationally-ranked Texas A&M. The point against the Aggies led the Red Raiders back to the Big 12 Championship for the third-consecutive season, where Tech's season eventually ended off penalty kicks against Kansas.
Tech's rise was recognized like never before, however, as four players were honored to an All-Big 12 postseason teams, led by Taylor Lytle, who became only the school's second player all-time to be named to the first team after a strong sophomore campaign where she broke the school's single-game and single-season assist records. Freshmen Dawn Ward, Tiffini Smith and Morgan Johnson were also named to the all-newcomer team, which gave Tech more freshmen honored than any other Big 12 program. With their success on the field, Lytle and Smith were selected to respective U.S. National Teams following the season as Lytle joined the Under-23 squad and Smith traveled to California and Spain with the U-18 program.
During his tenure, Stone has also been active on the national level as he was hired in 2008 as the assistant coach for the U.S. U-20 National Team. Serving under head coach Tony DiCicco, the 2008 team captured the FIFA World Championship. The 2010 squad, meanwhile, won the CONCACAF Championship before eventually heading to the FIFA U-20 World Cup held in Germany. On top of his national team duties, Stone has also served as the head coach of the southern region's U-19 Olympic Development team.
Prior to his arrival at Tech, Stone spent one season helping lead Clemson as an assistant coach to the NCAA Final Eight where the Tigers eventually ended their season 11-8-5 overall, which was the best season in Clemson school history.
Before beginning his career on the collegiate level, some of Stone's greatest accomplishments may have come from his time leading the Atlanta Beat of the Women's United Soccer Association during all three years of its existence. Being the first coach hired when the league formed in 2001, Stone proved his worth quickly, claiming the inaugural WUSA Presidents Cup Championship and advancing to the Founders Cup title match. The Beat also advanced to the title match in the league's final season.
In his three seasons with the Beat, Stone finished with the highest winning percentage among WUSA coaches, finishing 13 games over .500, while also being named an all-star coach twice. He was also the only league coach to advance his team to the playoffs in all three seasons.
When the WUSA ceased operations in 2003, Stone was named the technical director of the Top Hat Soccer Club in Atlanta, one of the top girls youth programs in the southern region. While with Top Hat, Stone was primarily involved in all areas of club and player development and the College Prep Program that prepares top players for college soccer opportunities. He was the head coach for the 2007 Gold Team that won the Georgia State Championship in 2004 and the Southern Regional Premier League in 2005, while also serving as the head coach of the Gwinnett Country Club team that won the regional championship and qualified for the national championship match in 2005.
Prior to beginning his professional career, Stone was the founding director of coaching at the Colorado Rush Soccer Club from 1991 to 2000. Under Stone's direction, the Rush would go on to win 35 state cups along with 12 regional championships and seven national championships, becoming arguably the most successful youth girls program in the U.S. from 1997 to 2000. Stone has also served as a volunteer assistant coach at Duke in 1997 and the University of Denver in 1996.
As a player, Stone may be most remembered for his game-winning goal in the 1986 National Championship match that helped Duke win its only NCAA title with a 1-0 victory. Stone, just a junior at the time, scored the match's lone goal, finding the open net in the 46th minute for his 16th goal of the season. He was later named the Offensive Most Valuable Player for the match.
In his four-year career at Duke, Stone was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection three times, while also setting the Duke record for most NCAA Tournament goals in a career and game-winners in a single season. Stone was also a team captain on the 1987 squad and still remains among the top 10 on the school's career points chart.
Following his career as a Blue Devil, Stone played professionally for Le Havre FC in France and the Washington Stars and Colorado Foxes of the APSL. A native of Irving, Texas, Stone was a three-year member of the U.S. Youth National Team and a two-time Parade All-American while attending MacArthur High School.
When not coaching, Stone has served as an analyst for various national television networks, covering everything from the NCAA College Cup to the FIFA World Cup. He has worked as the lead soccer analyst for both CSTV and Fox Sports, while also joining ESPN for its coverage of the 2003 Women's World Cup. Stone has also written guest columns for various soccer websites.
Stone holds a USSF "A" License. He and his wife, Lindsey, currently reside in Lubbock with their sons, Leyton and Landry, and daughter, Lily.
To contact Coach Stone, email him at email@example.com or call him at (806) 281-7684. Fans can also follow him on Twitter - @TomStone9.