PAWTUCKET, R.I. - Eastern Connecticut State has had its share of quality coaches that have helped build and transform several of its athletic programs in its celebrated history with the likes of baseball coach Bill Holowaty and great volleyball coach Floretta Crabtree. Current Warriors women's soccer head coach Chris D'Ambrosio just another great head coach in the long history of Warriors athletics to find success in Willimantic, Connecticut. Coach D'Ambrosio has been a top influencer on the success of the Little East Conference as he enters his 17th season at the helm at Eastern Connecticut State.
Chris D'Ambrosio has been on the sidelines for all 27 of Eastern Connecticut State University's Little East Conference playoff games through the first 17 seasons of the championship. After serving as an assistant coach in the first year of LEC playoff competition in 1999 (when Eastern lost a first-round game), D'Ambrosio took over as head coach in 2000, and has remained in that position. Now in his 19th year with the program (17th as head coach), D'Ambrosio has won all 11 of the program's LEC playoff games.
Chris D'Ambrosio has been the definition of consistent success during his career at Eastern Connecticut State, having made the LEC Tournament each year since taking over in 2000. Heading into the 2016 season, D'Ambrosio has posted a career 314-191-95 (.653) and claimed the Little East Conference championship four times in 2003, 2005, 2009, 20011 and a total of seven regular season titles. D'Ambrosio has had only one season with an overall record under .500, his first season as head coach.
Prior to D'Ambrosio's arrival, Eastern was 26-23 in the first ten seasons of LEC regular-season competition. Since then, the Warriors are 86-20-6 in regular-season conference play, having lost more than one regular-season conference match only three times in the last 15 years and compiling the best regular-season winning percentage and most wins during that span of any LEC program.
D'Ambrosio, who led the program to its first perfect (7-0-0) LEC regular season in 2015. For that, he was named LEC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career (second time in six years) and in 2010, D'Ambrosio was voted NSCAA New England Coach-of-the-Year after the team went unbeaten before losing its only game in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Under D'Ambrosio's tuteledge, the Warriors program has had several student-athletes garner individual awards. The D'Ambrosio era has collected four LEC Player of the Year awards (Daniela Marchitto last won in 2011), four LEC Defensive Player of the Year Awards, including three in a row from 2008-2010 (Lauren Hickey won in 2009 and 2010). The program also reaped four LEC Rookie of the Year awards, which was last won by current Warriors' team captain, Emily Becher in 2014.
He is the program leader in wins, winning percentage, games coached and seasons coached. In addition to his success on the field, D'Ambrosio's teams have won an NSCAA Ethics Award each of the last four years, an NSCAA Team Academic Award three times in the last four years, and have featured one NSCAA Scholar All-America, three NSCAA Scholar All-East Region, two CoSIDA All-District, and an average of nearly seven LEC All-Academic qualifiers in the nine-year history of the award.
D'Ambrosio is a 1985 graduate of Saint Thomas University (FL), where he received a B.A. Degree in Sports Administration He holds an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and NSCAA Goalkeeping I Diploma.
D'Ambrosio and his wife, Gina, reside in Andover with their sons Cooper – a three-year member of the Eastern men's soccer program (two-time LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year) and current graduate student soccer player at Division I Central Connecticut State University -- and Carson -- a junior goalkeeper at Central.
The 2016 Warriors were voted as the preseason favorites by the LEC coaches and are currently second in the LEC standing with a 7-2-1 (2-0-1 LEC) record. The 2016 LEC Women's Soccer Tournament begins with the quarterfinals on November 1 and conclude with the Championship on Saturday, November 5, hosted by the highest remaining seed.
Each week, beginning on September 16th, the conference office will recognize and celebrate the historical contributions of the league's student-athletes, coaches, and administrators along with releasing "Top-Moments" in LEC History and first-person video insights from current and former Athletic Directors throughout the entire 2016-17 academic year. The LEC will also incorporate 30th Anniversary giveaways for all student-athletes, administrators and fans.