Tony Minatta, who led the Iowa State soccer team during its first Big 12 Tournament appearance since 2007 as the interim head coach, was named Iowa State’s head soccer coach, announced today by Iowa State senior associate athletics director Calli Sanders.
“Tony’s strong leadership style and passion for Iowa State soccer came through in an extraordinary way during the interview process,” Sanders said. “He possesses a tireless work ethic and demonstrated a commitment to the personal development and success of our student-athletes. Iowa State University will benefit from his commitment to making our soccer program a bigger part of the local community and to elevating its profile on the national stage.”
Minatta, who served as an assistant coach at Iowa State the past two seasons, helped return Cyclone soccer to the Big 12 Tournament with a fourth-place conference finish, the highest for ISU since 2007. Iowa State finished the 2013 season in the top five in the Big 12 in shots (289), assists (25), assists per game (1.25), saves (93) and shutouts (7). In his first year on staff, Minatta guided the Cyclones to their first 10-win season since 2005 and the second-most goals scored (37) in a season in program history.
“During my time on the Iowa State soccer staff I’ve come to really appreciate Iowa State University and the Ames community for their commitment to Cyclone soccer,” Minatta said. “I’m very honored to be offered this opportunity to continue to build on the success of the program in recent years. I couldn’t be more excited to remain a Cyclone and be a member of the Ames community. I look forward to elevating the program and accomplishing things we have not done before.”
Minatta came to Iowa State after serving as the assistant director of coaching at the Fort Collins (Colo.) Soccer Club since 2005. During his time with the Fort Collins Soccer Club, Minatta oversaw 16 girls’ teams that ranged from the under-11 to under-19 age groups. The Fort Collins, Colo., native also coordinated his players' efforts to be recruited by college soccer programs and helped nearly 40 players earn spots on NCAA rosters. Seven of the current players on the Iowa State soccer team played club soccer under Minatta’s tutelage, including five starters on the 2013 team.
Minatta continued his coaching education in the spring of 2013 when he travelled to Italy as a part of the U.S. Soccer international workshop. While in Italy, Minatta learned from coaches from AC Milan, Inter Milan, AS Roma, Lazio and the Italian national team.
Minatta coached three Colorado State Cup championship squads and eight finalists. He led his Under-19 team to the 2011 regional title and a berth in the finals at the national championship that year.
In addition to his vast knowledge at the club level, Minatta has a wealth of experience coaching for the Colorado Olympic Development Program (ODP). Minatta was the head coach for seven Colorado state girls' teams during his five years as a part of ODP and was a member of the Region 4 coaching staff from 2010-11.
Minatta earned his United States Soccer Federation (USSF) A License in 2009 and also boasts a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) International Premier Diploma and a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
Minatta served in the United States Marine Corps from 1993-1996 where he was a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal and attained the rank of sergeant. He earned the Navy Achievement Medal for his outstanding leadership during a 1996 overseas deployment.
Minatta is not the only member of his family with soccer expertise. His father, Al, is a member of the Colorado Youth Soccer Hall of Fame. The soccer complex at the Fort Collins Soccer Club is named after the Minatta family.