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November 11, 2009

Luciano Repeats as Big Sky Soccer Coach of the Year

OGDEN, Utah – Women’s Soccer head coach Andre Luciano has been named Big Sky Coach of the Year for the second-consecutive season, sharing the 2009 award with Portland State’s Laura Schott and Idaho State’s Allison Gibson, the conference announced Wednesday. The award comes on the eve of the Lumberjack’s second-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, as NAU plays at No. 1 Stanford in the opening round of the College Cup on Thursday night.

2009 marks the first time that three coaches have shared the award, as voting amongst the conference’s eight coaches led to a three-way tie. Gibson also won the award for the second time while the honor is the first for Schott.

Luciano guided the Lumberjacks to a 4-3 regular season conference record and their fourth birth in the Big Sky Championship during his nine seasons in Flagstaff. Northern Arizona defeated Portland State in penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie in the Big Sky semifinals before defeating Idaho State, 4-0, last Sunday to advance to its second-consecutive NCAA Tournament. NAU enters its matchup with the Cardinal with a 10-8-2 record for the season.

In nine seasons at Northern Arizona, Luciano now has a career record of 69-86-18 and has led the Lumberjacks to their only NCAA Tournament appearances in program history in the last two seasons. He began his coaching career as an undergraduate assistant at his alma mater, Indiana, in 1993 before stints as head coach McCauley High School in Ohio and as an assistant coach at Washington State and Arizona before taking the head job at NAU in 2001. He is the longest tenured coach in Northern Arizona soccer history, having led the team for nine of 13 seasons since its inception in 1997.

The Lumberjacks represent the Big Sky in the NCAA Tournament for the second-consecutive year, looking to upset undefeated Stanford, the top overall seed in the tournament, Thursday night at 8 p.m. Arizona time in Stanford, Calif.