Tennessee Coach Departing For Florida State
Tennessee women’s soccer head coach Brian Pensky has left Rocky Top to become the head coach at Florida State University. Florida State Athletics announced Monday that Pensky had left.
Pensky leaves Tennessee after 11 years at the helm, having built up the Lady Volunteer program into one of the best in the nation.
Pensky led the Lady Vols to a second consecutive SEC East title in 2021 and the program’s first SEC Tournament title since 2008. Pensky was also named SEC coach of the year in November.
Pensky will fill the FSU head coaching void left by Mark Krikorian’s resignation four weeks ago.
Florida State have made five National Championship appearances over the past nine years, and have won three times. The reigning national champions, the Lady Seminoles, have won five conference tournament championships over the past seven years.
Pensky’s resignation is a devastating loss for one the most prestigious Tennessee athletics programs. The reigning SEC champions now seek a new head coach. The former Tennessee head coach was a strong coach, and Florida State was too good to pass up the chance to lead the Lady Seminoles.
Below is the press release from Florida State University, courtesy Florida State Rivals (Warchant.com)
“Florida State Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford named Tennessee head coach Brian Pensky as FSU women’s soccer head coach on Monday. Pensky, who led the Volunteers to the 2021 SEC Championship, and has won National, ACC and SEC Coach of the Year honors, will take over the Seminoles after coaching Tennessee for the last 10 years. Pensky stated that
“Florida State’s football program is well-respected and considered one of the best in the country. It is an honor to be part of this amazing program with its remarkable tradition. What Mark (Krikorian) did here over the last 17 years is unparalleled in our game. Simply put, he has been the best in the business.”
“But it is more than just the soccer program that attracted me. The university’s academic record is just as impressive. I have coached in ACC and know how strong the league is.
“I take over the program with endless humility and understanding of the task at hand.”
Tennessee’s SEC Championship this year highlighted a season in which the Vols finished with a 20-3-0 record and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16. After the season, Pensky was named SEC Coach of Year and the entire UT Coaching Staff was named Southeast Region Coach of the year. After listening to a lot of input from our soccer student athletes, we set out in search to find the best coach to lead the program that has become the most successful in the country. We are very happy to announce that Brian Pensky is the right person to lead FSU soccer. His talent and drive meet our high standards. Coach Pensky has been a winner in both the ACC, which we consider to be the best conference in the country, and the SEC. He has been a successful coach, establishing programs and achieving high-level success time after time.
“I am excited about the future of our program under Coach Pensky and we welcome him and his family to Florida State.”
Pensky guided the 2018 Volunteers to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in program history. Tennessee finished 16-3-3 overall and recorded the highest winning percentage (. 795) and fewest losses (3) in a single season in school history. The Vols earned consensus top-10 status following the historic campaign.
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“Our soccer program has not only brought three national championships to Florida State University, but they have produced outstanding leaders who are dedicated students,” said FSU President Richard McCullough. “They are the best of intercollegiate athletics.
” Our team members and program deserve a coach who is a success on and off the pitch. We have found that in Coach Pensky. I will be first in line cheering the team and Coach Pensky on next season”
Over the last five seasons, Tennessee has won an SEC title, finished second in the league three times and third once while reaching the NCAA Elite 8 and Sweet 16. Pensky’s overall record in 10 years in Knoxville is 118-58-25.
Pensky was the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Maryland for seven years before taking over at Tennessee.
In 2010, Maryland earned the No. Pensky was the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and was named National Coach of Year by Soccer America as well as ACC Coach of Year. He served as Maryland’s head coach from 2005-11 and posted a 67-52-20 overall record. While at the helm in College Park, Pensky led the Terrapins to their most successful three-year run in program history, with a 44-14-9 record and a . 724 win percentage over the last three seasons.
Pensky guided Maryland to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of the last three seasons, including Sweet 16 appearances in both 2009 and 2011.
In 2010, Pensky led Maryland to its best season in program history with an 18-2-3 (. 848) overall ledger and a school-record 7-2-1 mark in the ACC.
Playing in the highly competitive ACC, Pensky guided the Terps to their second-ever ACC Championship match in 2011 and the Terps advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 that season.
Before guiding the women’s team, Pensky served as an assistant coach with the Maryland men’s program, helping those Terrapins to three consecutive College Cup berths (2002-04). Working with head coach Sasho Cirovski, Pensky helped the Terps to a 57-14-3 record (. 791 win percentage). The men captured the ACC Tournament title in 2002 and the regular-season crown in 2003. In 2004, CollegeSoccerNews.com named Pensky one of the top assistant coaches in the nation. Before working under Cirovski for three years, Pensky was an assistant coach at Loyola College in Maryland. He had previously been an assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at George Washington for the past three seasons.
Pensky, whose overall record as coach at Tennessee and Maryland is 185-111-45, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University in 1991. He holds an “A” license from United States Soccer Federation and an NSCAA Premier goalkeeping diploma.
Contingent on the successful completion of a background check, Pensky takes over an FSU program that will be defending National Champions in 2022 and has reached the national title game in three of the last four seasons.
Pensky is married to Abby and has three children: Alex, Will, and Ben, their youngest son. “
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