STORRS, Conn. – Margaret (Tietjen) Rodriguez, a former UConn standout who has served as an assistant coach at UConn for the past 10 seasons, has been named the head women’s soccer coach at UConn.
Rodriguez becomes the third-ever head coach at UConn after 37-year head coach Len Tsantiris retired in November.
“I am pleased that Margaret Rodriguez has accepted our offer to become the next head women’s soccer coach at UConn,” director of athletics David Benedict said. “We engaged in a national search and it became clear that the best candidate was right here in Storrs. Over the past 10 years, Mags has demonstrated extraordinary passion for UConn women’s soccer and dedication to our student-athletes. I feel that she is the perfect person to lead our program into the future.”
Since Rodriguez joined the staff, the Huskies have won 114 games, made five NCAA tournament appearances and won a pair of American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships. Three players earned All-American status, including multiple All-American seasons from Rachel Hill and Stephanie Ribeiro (2015 & 16).
Off the field, 59 players earned All-Academic Conference honors while she was an assistant. The 2011 team secured the highest-team GPA (3.88) on campus during the 2011-2012 academic year.
I am incredibly honored and humbled about this opportunity to represent a program and University that I care so deeply about,” said Rodriguez. “I want to first and foremost thank David Benedict, Beth Goetz and the entire search committee for giving me this opportunity. I would be remiss if I also didn’t thank Len Tsantiris because without his role in my career, playing and coaching, I would not be where I am today.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and excited to build upon the incredible success this program has had. I cannot wait to engage with the alums, many of which I have coached and or played with to generate a newfound energy and buzz with in our program. This is a dream job for me. My staff and I will work tirelessly to foster an incredible student athlete experience on and off the field and bring home some championship titles. This is truly an honor and a blessing for me and my family.”
A 1999 Connecticut graduate, Rodriguez played for the Huskies from 1995-98. She is sixth on the all-time Husky scoring list with 128 points. Her 43 goals and 42 assists make her one of only four UConn alumni to be a part of the elite NCAA "40-40" Club. She played in 99 games, making 91 starts, and her teams had an overall record of 85-12-4. Rodriguez led her team to three NCAA quarterfinals and one NCAA final appearance in 1997.
“It is great that Mags will be our next head coach,” said former head coach Len Tsantiris. “I’m very happy that the new coach is one of our own. She has all the tools to be a great head coach. She is a great recruiter, a great person who connects well with the kids and she is respected by her colleagues. The only thing we are missing is a national championship and I believe that Mags is the one that can get the program back to the top.”
Rodriguez played professional soccer for three years in the WUSA. Rodriguez was drafted in the eighth round (64th pick overall) by the San Diego Spirit. She played two seasons (2001-02) with San Diego, and then finished out her professional career with the New York Power from 2003-04.
"Mags has an elite mind for college soccer and her presence at UConn makes our entire department stronger, said men’s soccer head coach Ray Reid. “She had a great mentor in Lenny Tsantiris, as both a player and coach, and there is nobody more deserving to follow in his footsteps. She is going to do a great job."
Prior to returning to Connecticut, Rodriguez spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Hartford, helping the team win the 2006 America East regular season and tournament tiles, as well as earn a berth in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
She currently resides in Glastonbury, Conn. with her husband Casey and their daughters Lucy and Maya.