USF's Schilte-Brown to Lead New Tampa Bay USL Super League Team

TAMPA (www.sportsdayjax.com  Longtime University of South Florida women’s soccer head coach Denise Schilte-Brown, a winner of six American Athletic Conference titles, has been selected as the first head coach of the new Super League Tampa Bay team that will begin play in August of 2024.

Brown will complete her 17th season leading the highly successful USF women’s soccer program this fall before assuming her new position following the completion of the Bulls’ 2023 campaign, which gets underway with an Aug. 5 exhibition match vs. Jacksonville. Super League Tampa Bay will be the Bay Area’s highest-level women’s professional sports franchise and be part of a 10 to 12 team league in the first season of the USL Super League. The USL is headquartered in Tampa and also oversees the men’s professional league, which includes the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

 

“We are saddened by Denise’s departure from the USF program, but also excited for her tremendous opportunity to coach the first women’s professional soccer team in the Bay Area,” USF Vice President for Athletics Michael Kelly said. “Denise has guided USF women’s soccer to outstanding conference success, national prominence and a long string of outstanding student-athletes that thrived as Bulls and garnered All-American recognition and numerous conference awards.

 

“Her selection as the first head coach of Super League Tampa Bay speaks volumes not only of her coaching acumen but the strength of our program and the heights to which she has led it, including winning a conference title in five consecutive seasons, All-Americans, conference players of the year and an Olympic gold medalist,” Kelly said. “We thank Denise for her tremendous service to the University of South Florida and look forward with great optimism to her final season at the helm. She will be greatly missed, but we are also excited to see her flourish in the professional ranks right here in Tampa Bay.”

 

Schilte-Brown was named USF head coach in December of 2006 and has compiled a 174-91-41 record in her first 16 seasons while leading the Bulls to three AAC regular season titles, three AAC Tournament titles and eight NCAA Tournament appearances. Her Bulls team won a conference title every year from 2017-21 and made five straight NCAA appearances from 2017-21. She led the Bulls to their first NCAA Tournament in 2010, a program-record 16 wins in 2019 while winning the AAC Tournament and reaching the third round of the NCAA Tournament, and both conference regular season and tournament titles in 2020.

 

“I am incredibly honored to lead the first Super League Tampa Bay team and commend this ownership group for committing and investing in women’s professional soccer,” Schilte-Brown said. “This team will be part of sports history.

 

“My family and I love USF and are incredibly proud of the women’s soccer program we have built here and the outstanding young women who have played for the Bulls, excelled on the field, graduated and gone on to positively impact their communities and the world,” Schilte-Brown said. “It is hard to leave, but I feel good knowing we have built a very strong program and, as I will be remaining in the Bay Area, look forward to a front-row seat to watch USF women’s soccer continue to excel on and off the field.”

 

Schilte-Brown mentored the program's first All-American and recent USF Athletic Hall of Fame selection Evelyne Viens who went on to earn three total All-America honors and an Olympic gold medal with the Canadian National Team at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. Goalie Sydney Martinez (2020) and forward Sydny Nasello (2020 and 2021) also earned All-America honors and were among Bulls that have earned a total of eight AAC Offensive Player of the Year, AAC Midfielder of the Year, AAC Defensive Player of the Year or AAC Goalkeeper of the Year honors under Schilte-Brown at USF.

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