Soccer coach signs contract extension through 2021 season

May 10, 2018 | Athletics, News, Alumni
By Steve Easton

The University of Toledo and Head Women’s Soccer Coach TJ Buchholz have agreed to a contract extension that will keep Buchholz at the helm of the Rockets through the 2021 season.

“TJ has done a terrific job restoring our program’s championship tradition, and we are extremely pleased to offer him this contract extension,” said UT Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike O’Brien. “TJ and his staff have established a tremendous culture for our student-athletes both on and off the field since taking over three years ago. Their continued hard work and commitment to success resulted in a Mid-American Conference title and our return to the NCAA Championships last fall. We believe our program will continue to compete for championships in the years ahead.”

“I want to thank President [Sharon L.] Gaber, Mike O’Brien, and [Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator in Intercollegiate Athletics] Kelly Andrews for their strong belief in what we are building within our soccer program,” Buchholz said. “I also want to thank [Interim Assisant Soccer Coach] Paul Smith, [Assistant Soccer Coach] Jessica Nei and [Associate Head Athletic Trainer] Gretchen Buskirk for all their hard work. This extension completely validates the great efforts our staff is putting in for our success, and I am grateful to have them a part of our team. 

“Lastly, none of this would be possible without the amazing student-athletes I have the opportunity to coach at Toledo,” Buchholz said. “Our players inspire me daily to be at my best, and I am fortunate to work with such a tremendous group of people.”

Buchholz was named the Rockets’ head coach in May 2015 and guided UT to its fifth MAC Championship last fall. Toledo posted a 12-8-3 overall record and a 6-3-2 league mark in 2017, highlighted by a pair of overtime victories in the MAC Tournament.

The Rockets picked up numerous individual accolades in 2017. Senior midfielder Isa Echeverri was named first-team All-MAC, becoming the first player in program history to be honored as an all-conference player in each of her four seasons. Echeverri also was named to a pair of all-region teams in her final two seasons at UT. Senior defender Chiara Paradiso and junior forward Hannah Scafaria were second-team selections, while redshirt freshman goalkeeper Madison Perrin was named to the all-freshman team.

Buchholz said he is extremely appreciative of the support he has received since being hired prior to the 2015 campaign and is looking forward to continue to build for future success.

“Three years ago, Mike and Kelly provided me a tremendous opportunity, and they tasked our staff with bringing a MAC Championship back to the soccer program,” Buchholz said. “Our players and staff worked relentlessly and committed to our culture the past three years to make a championship a reality.

“The University of Toledo is a special place, and I am thankful and blessed to guide the Rockets for many more years to come. This extension shows our current players and our future recruits what a strong commitment there is for the direction of the Toledo Soccer program.” 

Buchholz has recorded more than 200 wins in 16 seasons as a men’s and women’s head coach at the collegiate level. His achievements also include the unique success of taking teams to the national tournament at the NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics levels.

A native of San Bernardino, Calif., Buchholz received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Northwestern (Iowa) College in 1999 and a master’s degree in sports management from California (Pa.) University in 2008.

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