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Andre Luciano enters his 14th year as Northern Arizona University head women’s soccer coach and will look to build off an exceptional display of coaching in 2013 as he led the Lumberjacks to a second place finish in the Big Sky and back to the Big Sky Championships for the first time since 2010. Luciano possesses a wealth of coaching experience from the intercollegiate level to club soccer coupled with a successful collegiate career at Indiana University that resulted in two conference championships and a NCAA Final Four appearance. Throughout his term, Luciano has shown an ability to master the coaching landscape.
Luciano epitomizes the commitment to the student-athlete relationship, and his philosophy has produced success on the field and in the classroom. In 2013, the women's soccer team had 11 Big Sky All-Academic honorees, which tied for the most of all fall-Lumberjack teams, while nine players were named to the All-Big Sky conference teams.
Over his past 13 years leading the program, Luciano has developed 98 All-Big Sky performers while 128 players have been named to the Big Sky All-Academic Team, and 229 have earned Golden Eagle Scholar-Athlete Awards for academic and athletic success. Thirty-three of the 39 players on the roster received the Golden Eagle Award last season. Also in 2013, the Lumberjacks received the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 11th year in a row.
The Lumberjacks began last season picked to finish sixth in the Big Sky Conference in the coaches’ poll after a 5-9-5 2012 season. Northern Arizona ignored the preseason rankings and showed the conference they belong with the best in the Big Sky finishing with an 11-5-3 record, finishing second in the Big Sky. Northern Arizona came out of the gates firing on all cylinders starting the season with three straight wins for the first time in NAU history. Luciano’s squad did not lose a match until its eighth match of the season, which is the longest unbeaten streak in the program’s history. Coach also earned his 100th win in their last regular season match against Eastern Washington with a 2-0 win in Cheney, Wash. over the Eagles. The postseason accolades piled in for Luciano and the Lumberjacks as sophomore Cierra Gamble and senior Alana D’Onofrio earned NSCAA All-Pacific Region Honors as Gamble was named second team and D’Onofrio was third team. D’Onofrio, senior Lauren Weaver and junior Diane Buzzard were named to the 2013 NSCAA Scholar All-West Region team for their achievements on the field and in the classroom. For his coaching on the field in 2013, Luciano was named the College Sports Madness Big Sky Coach of the Year.
In 2010, Luciano guided his squad to their first-ever regular season Big Sky title, but ultimately fell short of their third straight NCAA Women's College Cup appearance when they were defeated by Sacramento State 1-0 in the Big Sky Conference final. NAU finished the 2010 season with a 12-4-3 overall record and 6-0-1 during the conference regular season, their first unbeaten conference record in program history. The 12 wins matched the school record for wins in a season set in 2008 and their .711 winning percentage set a new school record. The Lumberjacks also posted a school record 12 game unbeaten streak, one shy of the Big Sky mark, and a school and conference record six game shutout streak that covered a span of 569 minutes and 2 seconds.
Off the field in 2010, Luciano's reputation of producing quality student-athletes was at its highest. Kristi Andreassen, the 2010 Big Sky Defensive Most Valuable Player and three-time All-Big Sky first team selection, was selected as the ESPN Academic All-American of the Year in the women's soccer University divison. She was also named to the CoSIDA/ESPN All-District Academic Team along with senior Brandy Carr, as well as NSCAA Women's College Scholar All-Americans with senior Tori Howe and junior Tori Rocke. To cap off Andreassen's illustrious career at NAU, she was selected as the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year at the annual Golden Eagle Awards and the Female Athlete of the Year at the all-sports banquet.
In 2009, Luciano led the Lumberjacks to the Big Sky Championship final, where they would defeat Idaho State, 4-0, to advance to their second-consecutive NCAA Tournament and face No. 1 Stanford. NAU finished with a 10-9-2 overall record, including a 4-3 regular season Big Sky record and two wins in the Big Sky Championship to claim the conference title. The Lumberjacks went 6-2-1 at home, and shattered the Lumberjack Stadium attendance record when 2,187 fans witnessed NAU draw with Arizona, 2-2, on August 28. Juniors Andreassen and Rebekah Schmidt were CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine All-District Academic selections with Andreassen going on the earn All-American Academic Honors.
In 2008, Luciano led the women’s soccer team to its first Big Sky Conference Championship in the program’s 12th year of Division I competition. As the conference champion, NAU was an automatic qualifier for the 2008 NCAA Women’s College Cup, its first appearance in school history. The women were defeated by No. 2 Portland in the opening round, but went 12-7-3 overall setting a school record for wins in a season (12) and best winning percentage (.614). The Lumberjacks set or tied 16 school and stadium records and broke two Big Sky Conference records for assists in a game (14) and points (32).
In addition, Luciano mentored future Hall of Fame selection Cee Cee Odorfer to Big Sky Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors and her third straight All-Big Sky first team selection. Odorfer broke school records for points in a season (28), career assist (18), and game-winning goals (13). Also in 2008, Luciano tutored freshman Jenna Samora to Big Sky Newcomer of the Year honors.
During the 2007 season, goalkeeper Elizabeth Winkelblech received the NSCAA/adidas Scholar Athlete Award for excellence as a student-athlete. Under Luciano's guidance, Winkelblech set six combined school records and finished in the top five in seven other statistical categories in her first year as a full-time starter. The Lumberjacks earned the best record in school history to date with a 7-7-5 overall mark, a winning percentage of .500. All five ties were 0-0 finishes which set an NCAA Division I Women's Soccer record for most 0-0 ties in a single season. NAU opened the year with a 5-2-3 record, the best start to a season through 10 matches in school history.
During the 2006 season, Luciano led NAU to a 7-10-1 record finishing sixth in the Big Sky Conference. The Lumberjacks placed nine players on the All-Big Sky All-Conference team, with three student-athletes earning first team honors. Six other Lumberjacks were recognized as All-Big Sky honorable mention. In addition to the brilliant performances on the field by Lumberjacks, Luciano mentored 10 players to All-Big Sky All-Academic recognition.
Along with the acknowledgments received from the Big Sky Conference, Luciano placed two players on the NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-West Region Team. Lindsey Carey and Odorfer both posted breakout seasons under Luciano's wing. Carey totaled a career-high four goals and ranked second on the team in goals scored. Odorfer led NAU in scoring for the second straight year with 15 points on six goals and three assists. The 15 points tied her for sixth in the Big Sky in 2007 for total points. Odorfer ranked in the top ten in shots, goals, and game-winnings goals.
In 2005, Luciano directed the Lumberjacks to a 10-11-0 record, their best finish in his first five years with the program and the most wins in program history. NAU went 4-2-0 in conference play, tying Luciano's best finish in the Big Sky while at NAU prior to the 2008 season in which the Lumberjacks were 4-1-2 in the Big Sky. The women played to a second-place finish at the Big Sky Conference Championships and posted a number of offensive records including most goals, assists and points in a season. The postseason berth marked Luciano's second appearance in the Big Sky tournament and his first showing in the finals.
Also in 2005, Luciano placed 10 athletes on the All-Big Sky All-Conference teams, which was the most in school history at the time and has since been equaled in 2008 and 2010. He added seven more selections to the All-Academic All-Big Sky team.
During the 2004 campaign, Luciano earned two impressive non-conference wins against Illinois State (1-0) and Western Illinois (1-0, OT) out of the Missouri Valley Conference and Summit League, respectively. The Lumberjacks finished 5-11-2, but could easily have gained several more victories as three matches went to double overtime.
In the 2003 season, the Lumberjacks posted a school-record four consecutive league wins en route to the best conference start in school history. NAU advanced to the Big Sky Championships for the first time since 2000. Under Luciano's direction, eight players earned All-Big Sky honors in 2003 including the league's first-ever two time offensive MVP, Sierra Cristiano.
In his first two seasons, Luciano led the Lumberjacks to a pair of historic wins. In his inaugural season in 2001, the Lumberjacks upset in-state rival Arizona State 1-0. In 2002, NAU upended Big Sky foe Montana, a feat equaled again in 2003 and 2005.
A native of Las Vegas, Nev., Luciano has built the NAU program with a Southwest influence with the majority of the roster from Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and California. Luciano has since expanded his recruiting net to include prep players from Canada, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington. His 2007 recruiting class received critical acclaim from notable soccer publications. The class became the first in NAU history to be nationally-ranked in the Soccer Buzz Top 100. The 2008 class was equally as strong ranking 33rd in the West Region.
Luciano came to Flagstaff from Tucson, Ariz., where he spent two seasons as an assistant for the Arizona program. Luciano joined the Wildcats' staff in 1999. In 2000, he served as recruiting coordinator for a rebuilding Arizona team. Luciano has also worked with the Washington, Arizona and Nevada Olympic Development Programs (ODP), and was an assistant coach for the Utah State women's program in 1998. Prior to Utah State, Luciano was an assistant coach with the Washington State women for the 1995 and 1996 seasons and also coached in the Washington East ODP during that time.
Before heading back west, Luciano served as a co-head coach for the girls program at McCauley High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was the coach of Team Acceleration, an under-17 girl's club program.
As a player, Luciano began his career at Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Ariz. He was named the ISAA/adidas Goalkeeper of the Year and the NJCAA Tournament Most Valuable Goalkeeper after leading Yavapai to the NJCAA championship in 1990. In 2011, he was inducted into the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame as recognition for his stellar play at Yavapai.
Luciano transferred to Indiana for his final two seasons and became one of the top goalkeepers in the country at the Division I level. He helped the Hoosiers to Big Ten championships in 1991 and 1992, as well as a berth in the NCAA tournament both years. The squad advanced to the Final Four in 1991 and the Elite Eight in 1992. Luciano was selected Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year in 1991 and finished in the top-10 in the nation both seasons in goals against average.
Luciano stayed on with the Hoosiers during the 1993 season, serving as an undergraduate assistant coach while completing his degree. He graduated from Indiana in 1993 with a degree in American history.
Luciano and Lori Kutch were married May 23, 2009 in Pittsburgh.
- 3 Big Sky Offensive MVP awards (Cee Cee Odorfer 2008; Sierra Cristiano 2002, 2003)
- Big Sky Defensive MVP award (Kristi Andreassen 2010)
- 4 Newcomer of the Year (Chelsea Bednarz, Jenna Samora, Cee Cee Odorfer, Jesvca Rosholt)
- 98 All-Big Sky selections
- 128 players named to All-Big Sky All-Academic Team
- 229 Golden Eagle Award Recipients
- 11 NSCAA Team Academic Award
- 7 NSCAA All-Region selections (Lindsey Carey, 2005, 2006; Cee Cee Odorfer, 2006, 2008; Kristi Andreassen 2010; Alana D'Onofrio 2013; Cierra Gamble 2013)
- 3 Golden Eagle Top Scholar Athletes (Lindsey Carey 2006; Elizabeth Winkelblech 2007; Kristi Andreassen 2010)
- 11 CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 (Cee Cee Odorfer: 1st Team 2005, 2006; Lindsey Carey: 1st Team 2006, 2nd Team 2005; Kristi Andreassen: 1st Team 2009, 2010; Rebekah Schmidt: 3rd Team 2009; Brandy Carr: 3rd Team 2010; Diane Buzzard: 1st Team 2012; Elinor Priest: 1st Team 2012, 2nd Team 2013)
- ESPN Academic All-American of the Year (Kristi Andreassen 2010)
- 2 CoSIDA Academic All-American (Kristi Andreassen: 1st Team 2010, 2nd Team 2009)
- NSCAA All-Far West (Sierra Cristiano 2003)
- 4 NSCAA All-West (Kristi Andreassen 2010; Tori Howe 2010; Tori Rocke 2010; Cierra Gamble 2013)
- 4 NSCAA All-Scholar Team (Sierra Cristiano: 3rd Team, 2003; Kristi Andreassen: 1st Team, 2010; Tori Howe: 3rd Team, 2010; Tori Rocke: 3rd Team, 2010)
- 2 NAU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Lindsey Carey 2006; Kristi Andreassen 2010)
- 6 Golden Axe Award (Lindsey Carey 2006; Kristi Andreassen 2010; Anna Clark 2011; Tori Howe 2011; Ally Cwiekowski 2012; Elinor Priest 2013)
- Big Sky Conference Scholar-Athlete (Elizabeth Winkelblech 2007)