Mat Santoro, who became the ninth head coach of the USI men's soccer program in 2009, moves into his 12th season at the helm of the Screaming Eagles. The Eagles are 97-81-21 during his tenure, including five consecutive post-season berths that have included trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament.
The 2019 campaign saw the Eagles battle through numerous pre-season injuries by rallying to earn a trip into the post-season. USI saw its season come to a conclusion with a 9-7-3 overall mark, 8-5-2 conference finish, after reaching the GLVC Tournament semifinals.
In 2018, Santoro's Eagles were nothing short of dominating in the regular season and the GLVC campaign. He directed the Eagles to a 13-4-1 overall record, reaching 13 wins for the second time in three season, and a impressive 11-1-1 mark in conference action, capturing the GLVC regular season championship for the first time since 1990.
USI also reached the NCAA II Tournament for the second time in three seasons and was the number two seed in the Midwest Region for the first time program history. The Eagles also hosted an NCAA II regional for the first time since 1982 and finished the season ranked 15th nationally.
Santoro, the 2018 GLVC Coach of the Year, and the Eagles were ranked as high as 11th nationally during the 2018 regular season, the highest level since 1982.
The 2017 Eagles, who were nationally ranked early in the season, used an 8-1-1 dash in their final 10 games to earn a berth in the GLVC Tournament championship game and finish the year with an 11-7-1 overall mark.
Santoro's Eagles had a historic 2016 campaign, reaching the NCAA II Tournament for the second time and advancing for the first time in the history of the program. The Eagles, who also spent four weeks in the NSCAA Top 25 poll, were 13-4-4 overall, reaching 13 wins for the first time since 2002.
In addition to the energy sparked by the last two seasons, USI has had seven GLVC Players of the Week; 10 All-GLVC awards; seven All-Region picks; the 2016 GLVC Freshman-of-the-Year; and the program’s second-ever Academic All-American.
USI men’s soccer also has excelled in the classroom under Santoro’s direction. The program earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award eight times and the Team Academic All-GLVC Award the past two years. Seven of the program’s 2016 and 2017 graduates have won the GLVC Council of Presidents’ Academic Excellence Award, and the program has earned 109 Academic All-GLVC awards since 2009.
Prior to coming to USI, Santoro was an assistant coach at The University of Memphis of NCAA Division I Conference-USA, assisting in all facets of the program.
Santoro began his college coaching career as an assistant at Rowan University (NJ). During his time coaching at Rowan, Santoro was the primary recruiter for a program, which won two conference championships; qualified for three NCAA tournaments; and hosted the 2000 NCAA III Final Four in which the Profs were the national runner-up.
As a student-athlete, Santoro started for University of Maryland before transferring to Rowan where he was a three-time All-Conference and two-time All-Region performer. His 1990 national championship team was inducted into the Rowan Athletics Hall-of-Fame in 2017.
Santoro has a bachelor’s of arts degree in philosophy and religion with a minor in physical education. He also is a member of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport and the United Soccer Coaches.
Santoro and his wife, Andrea, reside in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, with their four children – Timothy, Maria, Andrew, and Giuliana. Santoro’s brother, Tim, is the head women’s coach at North Carolina State University.