June 8, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - Joe Mallia has accepted the Women's Assistant Head Soccer Coach position at UCLA, resigning as Loyola's head coach after seven highly successful seasons. Mallia, who leaves behind arguably the best soccer team in Loyola history, joins a program that played in the national championship game last season.
"I'm leaving one great place and going to another," says Mallia. "Loyola has been great to me. The most difficult part of this decision was leaving the players I recruited and people I worked with."
Mallia has led the Greyhounds to five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, dominated Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) opponents along the way. This past season, his `Hounds outscored conference opponents by a 26-1 margin, breaking school records for most wins (16), highest winning percentage (.800), most points (160) and goals (59) in a single year.
"Joe Mallia is one of the finest young soccer coaches in America," says Loyola Athletic Director Joe Boylan. "He has done a tremendous job in a challenging situation and had Loyola women's soccer ranked 38th in the nation in 2004. He personifies what Loyola athletics strives to be, mentoring his student-athletes as students, athletes and world-class citizens."
"This was a tough decision, but a great opportunity to step into one of the top five programs in the country," says Mallia. "UCLA has been to the last two Final Fours and lost in penalty kicks in the national championship game last year."
The Bruins are coming off an 18-7 season and did not allow a goal in the NCAA Tournament until the national championship game, where they allowed one goal to Notre Dame. Young talent in goal, such as sophomore Valerie Henderson, who had 12 shutouts as a freshman last season, attracted Mallia, a former goalkeeper, to the program.
"I've worked with several of their players, including Val Henderson," says Mallia, who has served as goalkeeper coach for the Under-21 Women's National Soccer Team the past two years. "I definitely look forward to working with them on a daily basis."
Mallia will most likely focus on Bruin goalkeepers and will work closely with Head Coach Jillian Ellis.
"I've gotten to know Jill over the past six months and am really excited about working with her," says Mallia. She's very knowledgeable about the game and has been successful at the highest level. Her assistant Mark Carr, as well as all the administrators I met in the athletic department have been very helpful in the decision process. Everyone at UCLA impressed me and my wife."
Mallia, a native of Syosset, N.Y., has lived on the East Coast his entire life. He played collegiate soccer at Old Dominion, where he earned team MVP honors while graduating as the school's career leader in saves (206) and shutouts (20). He posted a 0.68 goals against average in 1992 and still ranks among the top NCAA goalies for career goals against average.
At Loyola, Mallia compiled an overall record of 89-45-9 and has mentored 29 All-MAAC selections, eight MAAC players of the year and nine regional All-Americas. Last year, Mallia brought in Ali Andrzejewski, who broke school records for most goals (18) and points (43) in a season. Carolyn Kenninton, who also returns for Loyola in 2005, holds tied the school mark for most assist in a season with eight last year.
"Loyola College and Loyola Athletics are in a much better place thanks to Joe Mallia," says Boylan. "UCLA is a terrific opportunity for Joe, his wife and two children. We wish him Godspeed and good luck in the future."
"It will be hard leaving Baltimore after 11 years, but Los Angeles is a great city from a soccer perspective., says Mallia. "The climate lets you play all year long and my four-year old daughter Kaitlyn is excited to be close to the beach and close to Disneyland. My wife Amy has been extremely supportive and I look forward for us and our two daughters to settle in and make California our home."