Florida hired Samantha Bohon as its women’s soccer coach on Monday, tasking her with revitalizing a stumbling program that used to be the one to beat in the Southeastern Conference.
Bohon replaces Tony Amato, who was fired last month amid complaints he made comments about his players’ eating habits, body shapes and weights. Amato lasted 11 months after signing a six-year contract to replace beloved program architect Becky Burleigh.
A 45-year-old mother of three boys whose maiden name was Samantha Baggett, Bohon takes over in Gainesville after 15 years at Embry-Riddle University in nearby Daytona Beach. She was a five-time conference coach of the year with the Eagles, helping them transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II and becoming a power in the Sunshine State Conference. Embry-Riddle won the last two conference tournaments (2019, ’21).
Bohon’s career record is 167-76-16, including 78-25-6 in league play. She also has SEC experience, having served as an assistant at Tennessee (2001-05). She was the team’s recruiting coordinator and in charge of defense. During her tenure in Knoxville, the Lady Vols won three SEC titles and advanced three times to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16.
Bohon grew up in Daytona Beach before becoming a four-year starter at Duke (1994-97). She was affiliated with the U.S. women’s national team between 1998 and 2000, first as a team captain for the Under-21 national team and then a floating member of the 1999 Women’s World Cup Residency program. She made two international appearances with the full team, scoring a goal against Finland in 1999 and registering an assist against Ukraine the previous year. She also played for the Raleigh Wings in the W-League, which won a championship in 1999.
Her top priority in Gainesville will be to settle and rebuild a program that had more than a dozen players enter the NCAA transfer portal since the end of last season and get it back to being among the SEC’s elite. The Gators won 14 conference titles and made the NCAA Tournament 22 times during Burleigh’s 26 seasons, which peaked with the 1998 national championship led by Danielle Fotopolous, Heather Mitts and Abby Wambach.