FAYETTEVILLE (UofA) – Colby Hale has been named head women's soccer coach at the University of Arkansas, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long announced Wednesday.
One of the nation's fastest rising assistant
coaches, Hale has helped guide multiple programs to success on the field and in
the classroom. He most recently spent nine seasons at the University of Central
Florida (UCF) helping the Knights to 130 wins (130-50-22) with six conference
championships (4 Conference USA, 2 Atlantic Sun), seven NCAA Tournament bids and
eight wins in the postseason. In seven years in Conference USA, UCF was 56-11-9
with four league titles.
In three years at Oral Roberts University, Hale
helped lead the Golden Eagles to 38 wins and a pair of conference titles.
Academically, all 12 teams he's worked with as a coach have recorded team grade
point averages of 3.0 or better.
"We are excited to welcome Colby Hale
as the new head soccer coach at the University of Arkansas," Long said.
"Throughout his career, Colby has helped guide teams to conference championships
and NCAA postseason success. He is dedicated to teaching and coaching both the
fundamentals and finer points of the game. He has also done an outstanding job
of recruiting student-athletes and helping them achieve athletic and academic
success. I believe he will move our program forward competitively and help us
meet our goal of comprehensive student-athlete development."
nine seasons, including the last five as associate head coach, the Knights had
19 wins or ties against teams ranked in the top 25, ended the year ranked among
the top 25 in the RPI ratings six times and ranked in the top 25 in scoring six
times with 398 totals goals scored for an average of 44 per season. As the
recruiting coordinator, he brought in six classes ranked among the nation's
best, including the No. 24 class in 2006 and the No. 39 class in 2008.
"I am extremely excited to be the new head soccer coach at the
University of Arkansas," Hale said. "I am honored to have this tremendous
opportunity to work with our student-athletes to build a successful Razorback
soccer program. As I visited with Jeff Long about this position, it was clear
that the University of Arkansas is committed to competing and winning on the
field as well as achieving in the classroom. I am confident that with that
support we can succeed both athletically and academically in the SEC and
"I'd also like to thank Amanda Cromwell and UCF for the
opportunity to represent that institution. My time there was extremely rewarding
and I am honored to have been able to be a part of the considerable success over
the past nine years."
The highlight of Hale's time in Orlando was in
2011 when the Knights reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament with wins
over Florida International, No. 20 Florida and No. 19 North Carolina before
falling to No. 6 Wake Forest. UCF finished 13-5-6, and ranked No. 12 in the
nation in the National Soccer Coaches Association Continental Tire poll and No.
20 in the RPI rankings against the 11th-toughest schedule in the nation.
The Knights tied for third in Conference USA at 6-2-3, but they were
second in the league in wins and goal differential (plus-13, 36-23). UCF was
third in shots (349), points (109), goals (36), assists (37) and shutouts
While 2011 was a banner season, it wasn't the first big year for
Hale and the Knights. In his nine years on the staff, UCF earned seven NCAA
Tournament bids and advanced to the second round in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and
2010 before the 2011 tournament run.
In 2010, UCF was 15-5-3, won the
C-USA regular-season title, beat Fresno State in the first round of the NCAA
Tournament, was ranked No. 16 while playing the 12th-toughest schedule in the
country and was 17th in the nation in scoring. In 2009, UCF won C-USA at 10-1,
finished 17-5-1 with a ranking of No. 8 after reaching as high as No. 3, and
had wins over No. 4 Florida State and No. 10 Duke.
The 2008 club was
14-6-3 and beat Miami in the first round of NCAA play. In 2007, the Knights were
15-4-4, won a share of the C-USA championship, beat Auburn in the first round of
the NCAA Tournament and ended the year No. 20 in the final RPI poll.
first year on the staff in 2003, UCF was 16-5-1 and earned an NCAA bid after
winning the Atlantic Sun title. The 2004 squad was 17-4-2, won the Atlantic Sun,
had wins over No. 10 Florida and No. 14 Florida State, and reached the second
round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Knights moved to Conference USA in
2005 and went 12-10 the first year, tying for the league title at 8-1. The 2006
team was 11-6-2 with wins over No. 9 Rice and No. 15 SMU.
to UCF, Hale was an assistant for three years at Oral Roberts. He helped the
Golden Eagles win two Mid-Continent Conference regular-season titles and set a
school record for wins in 2000 with 14. In his three years, ORU was 38-19-3,
including the nation's longest unbeaten streak of 11 games in 2001.
has also worked as the director of coaching at the Central Tulsa Thunder Soccer
Club and as a boy's assistant at Union High School in Tulsa when Union won the
1997 Oklahoma Class 5A state title.
Hale, a 1997 graduate of ORU with a
bachelor's in theology, played two years in England before lettering three times
at ORU, where he was a two-time team captain.
He has his USSF "A"
license, NSCAA Premier License, NSCAA Distinguished License and NSCAA Advanced