Samantha Bohon hired as soccer coach

UF has hired Samantha Bohon as the third women’s soccer coach in program history, athletics director Scott Stricklin announced on Monday.

Bohon comes to Florida after leading the Embry-Riddle program for the last 15 seasons. Under her watch, she led the Eagles to multiple conference championships and oversaw the program’s transition from NAIA to NCAA Division 2 competition.

She guided the program to eight consecutive NAIA postseason appearances to start her tenure, and they advanced to the national quarterfinals in five straight seasons. They shared one regular season Sun Conference championship and captured four consecutive conference tournament titles.

“Samantha Bohon’s unique history has blended playing and coaching experience at all levels of women’s soccer,” Stricklin said in a statement. “From her playing career at Duke and with the US National Team to her work on the administrative side with the NCAA to coaching in the SEC, NAIA, and NCAA Division II, the one constant has been success.

“As a native Floridian, and from having coached in the SEC, she understands the history of the Gators’ soccer program. But she also knows how to navigate teams through changing environments, as the successful transition Embry-Riddle made from NAIA to NCAA Division II demonstrates.

“That background, along with her character and ability to lead, make her an ideal choice to be a Florida Gator.”

As a member of the Division 2 Sunshine State Conference, the Eagles won the 2019 conference tournament championship and advanced to the round of 16 in the national tournament. Her team won both the regular season and tournament championships in 2021.

In total, Bohon coached one NAIA National Player of the Year (Andrea Froshaug), 24 All-Americans and 45 First Team all-conference performers during her time in Daytona Beach.

“I want to humbly thank Scott Stricklin, the search committee and the rest of the athletic department for this incredible opportunity to lead Florida’s storied soccer program,” Bohon said. “It was clear early on of our shared values and goals for the program that will ultimately lead to an unforgettable student-athlete experience. The university and athletic department prioritize developing the student, person and player, which will ultimately set our student-athletes up for future success.

“I am eternally grateful for the last 15 years spent at Embry-Riddle and believe wholeheartedly that my time as an Eagle prepared me for this next exciting adventure.

“The University of Florida offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for student-athletes to receive a top-5 academic education, utilize state of the art facilities and compete in one of the best conferences in the nation all while having unmatched support. I am chomping at the bit to get started! Go Gators!”

Bohon is from Ormond Beach, Florida, and played collegiately at Duke. She also played with the U.S. Under-21 and Senior National teams.

She served as an assistant coach at Tennessee from 2001-05, where she was part of the Volunteers’ first two SEC regular season and tournament championship teams in 2002 and 2003.

She takes over a UF program that has taken a nosedive over the past two seasons. In Becky Burleigh’s final season in 2020-21, the Gators went 6-8-3, including a 1-6-1 mark in SEC play. In their lone season under Tony Amato, they went 4-12-4 and 3-6-1 in league play.

Amato was fired on April 27 due to what Stricklin referred to as “challenges with relationship building and communication.” Since then, several of Amato’s former players at both Florida and Arizona have alleged that Amato regularly made critical comments about the players’ bodies and eating habits.

One former Gators player told Payton Titus of that she gained 10 pounds, drank excessively and wanted to kill herself because of his coaching.

Bohon has been tasked with rebuilding the Gators’ program both on and off the field.

Ethan Hughes
Ethan was born in Gainesville and has lived in the Starke, Florida, area his entire life. He played basketball for five years and knew he wanted to be a sportswriter when he was in middle school. He’s attended countless Gators athletic events since his early childhood, with baseball being his favorite sport to attend. He’s a proud 2019 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2017 graduate of Santa Fe College. He interned with the University Athletic Association’s communications department for 1 ½ years as a student and also wrote for for two years before joining Gator Country in 2021. He is a long-suffering fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can follow him on Twitter @ethanhughes97.