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Don D'Ambra Named Saint Joseph's Men's Soccer Coach

April 15, 2010

4975287  PHILADELPHIA - Professional and collegiate soccer standout Don D'Ambra will return to his alma mater to become the head men's soccer coach at Saint Joseph's University, as announced today by SJU director of athletics Don DiJulia. D'Ambra is just the fourth head coach in the program's history.

D'Ambra is arguably one of the most decorated SJU student-athletes to be named a head coach on Hawk Hill. He returns to Saint Joseph's after a successful coaching and playing career with the Philadelphia Kixx of the MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League). He played 16 seasons in the MISL, the last 14 with the Kixx. In 2002, he assumed duties as the head coach of the Kixx, and has served as vice president of soccer operations/head coach since then, while also continuing his playing career.

D'Ambra helped the Kixx to two MISL championships, as a player in 2002 and as the player/coach in 2007. He was a four-time All-Star and is the Kixx' all-time leading scorer, amassing 388 goals and 905 points. In eight seasons as head coach, he totaled 119 wins, which is the most in the team's history.

"We are pleased and honored to welcome back Don D'Ambra as our new head men's soccer coach. Don is committed to the SJU mission to enhance the overall student-athlete experience," said DiJulia. "Don's passion and commitment to excel will encourage the success of our student-athletes and the soccer program from its solid foundation built by his predecessors - Tom Turner, Jack Ruggero and Jack Dunn. " 

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 "He brings energy and a vision for the future of the Hawk soccer program. Don made us proud during his playing days here and no doubt will make us even more proud during his tenure as our head coach," said DiJulia.

"It's such an honor and the fulfillment of a long-time goal to be named the head coach at my alma mater," said D'Ambra. "I was blessed to be able to play and coach professional soccer in my hometown, and I am very grateful to the Kixx organization for all the opportunities I had in my 14 years with the team. I'm now looking forward to adding on to the foundation that Coach Turner built and am excited about the chance to help these young men develop both on and off the field."

"The level of education and new facilities here at Saint Joseph's are top-rate, and I hope to bring the soccer program up to that same standard of excellence. It's a privilege for any student-athlete to attend a university with as much to offer as SJU. I'm looking forward to the challenge of establishing a soccer program that will attract top quality players from not only this region, but nationally and beyond. My experiences as a student-athlete and assistant coach here were incredibly rewarding, and I'd like to thank Coach Turner, Don DiJulia and the University for their support and encouragement. I'm thrilled to be back."

While at Saint Joseph's from 1990-94, he was a Regional All-America First Team selection and remains the only player in Hawk history to earn the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year award, winning it in 1993. D'Ambra holds the SJU career records for goals (41) and points (102), as well as the marks for goals (15) and points (38) in a season (1993).

He replaces Tom Turner, who retired after 23 seasons as the Hawks' head coach. D'Ambra was an assistant coach on Turner's staff from 1996-99.

"I am thrilled about the hiring of Don and delighted that Saint Joseph's can move forward with such a highly-qualified person. Don is a shining example of an SJU graduate, both on and off the field," said Turner.

A native of Philadelphia, D'Ambra attended North Catholic High School and graduated from Saint Joseph's in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in food marketing. The 37-year old D'Ambra and his wife, Leslie, have three daughters.

He is the son of Dominic and Joanne D’Ambra of Wildwood Crest, NJ.

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