The search for coach Len Tsantiris’ replacement is over as Margaret (Tietjen) Rodriguez has been named UConn women’s soccer’s new head coach, according to a press release from the school.
Rodriguez was the top candidate for the job as she was named interim head coach after Tsantiris’ retirement while also serving on the Huskies’ staff for the past ten seasons, including the last three as associate head coach.
By promoting Rodriguez, who has a clear knowledge of the roster and likely the incoming recruits, this UConn team will have a great chance at fulfilling the potential that Tsantiris mentioned all season.
Rodriguez also preserves the culture that Tsantiris built over his 37 years leading the program. She played for the Huskies from 1995-1998, where she totaled the fourth-most points in program history with 128. Additionally, she is one of four UConn players to reach the elite “40-40” Club with 43 goals and 42 assists.
During her career, the Huskies reached the NCAA quarterfinals three times and made a national championship game appearance in 1997. As a senior, she earned All-Big East second-team honors.
After graduating from UConn, Rodriguez joined the Huskies’ staff as a graduate assistant. Her first coaching position came at the University of Hartford, where she helped lead the Hawks to an America East title and NCAA Tournament bid in 2006. The next season, Rodriguez joined her alma mater’s staff.
Rodriguez’s coaching staff is yet to be announced. It is unlikely that fellow associate head coach and goalkeeper coach Zac Shaw will return to UConn, according to a source. Rodriguez’s sister, Jen Prozzo, is an assistant at CCSU, but may not be able to join the staff thanks to the state’s nepotism laws, highlighted by the Corey Edsall saga.
Overall, this is a solid hire for UConn. With Rodriguez at the helm, it will only be a matter of time before the Huskies return to the NCAA Tournament.