The 2019 season will be Matt Pucci's tenth season as a part of the Loras Women's Soccer Program and fourth as the head coach. Prior to the 2013 season, Pucci was named Associate Head Coach as a part of Head Coach Dan Rothert's staff and continues to serve in this role for the men's soccer program. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Pucci serves as an instructor in the kinesiology department.
The 2018 season was Pucci's ninth as a member of Loras Soccer staff and third as the Women's Soccer Head Coach. His team won it's 12th overall Conference Championship and first as a part of the American Rivers Conference. The team also captured the American Rivers Conference Tournament Championship earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. For the team's accomplishments Pucci was awarded A-R-C Coach of the Year and senior Gretchen Schutz was named A-R-C Most Valuable Player. Schutz also earned United Soccer Coaches Association All-Region Honors in addition to Senior Elizabeth Mills and Junior Jenny Wick. His team was also presented with the United Soccer Coaches Association Team Academic Award and the Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award.
In 2017, Pucci's team won its second consecutive and 11th overall Iowa Conference Championship, finishing with a 15-2-3 overall record, advancing to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament for the second year in-a-row. Loras garnered a D3Soccer.com All-American, three United Soccer Coaches All-North Region selections, five All-Iowa Conference honorees and the United Soccer Coaches Team Ethics and Team Academic Awards. Sydney Wright was named a First Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, the second in program history and first since Michelle Wieser was named a Third Team selection in 2004. For his team accomplishments, Pucci was named IIAC Co-Coach of the Year.
In his first season at the helm, Pucci guided the women's soccer program to an Iowa Conference Championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament, where they defeated No. 20 St. Thomas to advance to the second round. Elizabeth Mills was named Iowa Conference MVP and NSCAA All-Region, while Sydney Wright earned NSCAA All-Region and Scholar All-American honors.
Since joining the Duhawks' coaching staff in 2010, the men’s teams have won six regular season conference titles, six conference tournament titles and have made seven NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition, the men's teams advanced to the Final Four three times ('12, '13, '15) and the NCAA Division III National Championship game in 2015.
The women's teams have won five Iowa Conference Regular Season Championships and four Iowa Conference Tournament Championships since 2010, advancing to five NCAA Tournaments in the process. In both the 2010 and 2012 seasons, the women advanced to the "Sweet 16" for the second and third time in program history, respectively.
Pucci was a four-year member of the Loras varsity team from 2004-2007. During that time he helped lead the Duhawks to two Iowa Conference Regular Season Championships, two Iowa Conference Tournament Championships, three NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Duhawks' first NCAA appearance in 2005. Pucci was a captain during Loras' first apperance in the NCAA Final Four in 2007, as the Duhawks went undefeated at 23-0-2, finishing No. 2 in the country.
As a player, Pucci’s honors include being named to the NSCAA All-Region First Team, D3soccer.com All-Region First Team as well as All-Conference First Team, while putting together the fourth-best offensive season in program history his senior year, by scoring a league-high 17 goals. Pucci is currently ranked in the top-10 for goals scored in a career.
Pucci's coaching career began during his time on the Duhawks' roster with the boys' high school teams at Hempstead and Wahlert Catholic. While the head coach with the Golden Eagles in 2008, the team won the IHSSA 1A State Championship and he was named the Mississippi Valley Conference Coach of the Year and was named Iowa High School Coach of the Year. Upon concluding his time in Dubuque, Pucci spent two seasons with Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa. The Cougars qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of those two seasons, winning the Freedom Conference twice.
Pucci earned his bachelor's degree from Loras College in public relations in 2008 and followed with his master's degree in management from Misericordia University in May of 2010. His professional coaching licenses include both the National Diploma and Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Originally from Libertyville, Ill., Pucci now resides in Peosta with his wife, Carrye, and their daughters, Nora and Ellee.