The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Hitting a Mile-STONE

Ian Stone marks his 200th win as women’s soccer head coach

As the final whistle was blown on Sunday afternoon after St. John’s 3-0 win over Richmond, women’s soccer head coach Ian Stone thought this was just  another victory in his win/loss column. Unbeknownst to him until just a few moments later, this marked the 200th time that he had done so.

“To be honest I wasn’t even thinking about the 200th win,” Stone said. “I was just concerned about winning the game. It was actually Rachel Daly that mentioned and congratulated me after the game in the team huddle on my 200th win. I was like that’s fantastic, but I’m just glad we won this one.”

Stone’s journey to St. John’s started when he was a child growing up in Bristol in the county of Avon, England. From day one, his life was enriched with soccer (or “football” as they call it across the pond) as he grew up in a household where soccer was a prominent fixture in his everyday life. Stone’s love for the game was something that he got from his father who both played and coached.

“From the first time I can remember there was soccer on TV and [my father] was always playing so I would get dragged along to watch him play,” Stone said. “Normally what would happen was that I’d be playing pickup on the sidelines with kids there my age. When he finished playing and got more into coaching it was pretty commonplace for me to be involved in all of it from putting the corner flags out in the beginning of the day, to being in the locker room with the team and seeing the way he worked with them and they way they prepared, to being on the bench during the games.  He probably didn’t even think about the influence he was having on me. I’d like to think that there’s a lot of his characteristics in the way I coach today.”

Constantly being surrounded by soccer in his youth, Stone was bound to play the sport competitively and follow in his father’s footsteps. In college he had a very successful career playing for the West London Institute of Education. Stone was instrumental in bringing three straight British Collegiate Championships to West London from 1986 to 1988. Stone also was a captain on the British National Collegiate team and played on the reserve team for Chelsea.

“I think, if I ever thought about when I was playing, a lot of those lessons that you learn, whether it be preparing for a game or the tactical side of things during a game,” Stone said. “I was really lucky that I played for a lot of great coaches. I have been in some fantastic environments where you can’t help but learn from that.”

After his collegiate playing days, Stone came over to the United States to begin his coaching career. Stone began at the Noga Soccer Camps in Long Island in 1991 and was a coach for Herricks High School in Long Island for two seasons as well.

The rest, as they say, is history. The always humble and player first coach has led the women’s soccer team for the last 22 seasons, since 1994.

“It’s amazing how far the program has come and how things have changed,” Stone said. “I tell the girls all the time that during my first year here I had to go to a soccer store to buy the girls cleats and now we got a great Under Armour sponsorship, a great stadium, and I’m fortunate enough to have two full-time assistants and graduate assistants. The whole thing is a different world than when I first started.”

Stone’s 200th career victory just improves upon his legacy as the best women’s soccer coach in school history. This year’s team may be his best ever and that could mean more record-breaking accomplishments for the already legendary coach.

“This is a very special group and may be the most talented group we’ve ever had and we’ve had teams that have found ways to win and won Big East Championships and made NCAA tournaments,” Stone said. “But, it’s beginning to get to the point, I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot, where that I’m pretty confident that this team is going to find a way to get it done. It’s fitting for me to get this milestone win with this group and I’m looking forward to what we can do the rest of the season.”

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About the Contributor
Stephen Zitolo, Sports Editor
Sports Editor:
Stephen is a senior Journalism major who intends for the sports section to continue to be the number one source for Red Storm sports in the St. John's community. He intends to increase readership of the section and the newspaper as a whole by including more human interest stories in the section.

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