BREAKING: Frank Pelaez returns to Marquette as head women’s soccer coach

The+Cartagena%2C+Colombia%2C+native+helped+guide+Marquette+to+a+282-104-39+record+during+his+19+seasons+with+the+Golden+Eagles.+Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.

The Cartagena, Colombia, native helped guide Marquette to a 282-104-39 record during his 19 seasons with the Golden Eagles. Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.

Frank Pelaez, former Loyola University Chicago associate head coach, will become the fourth head coach of the Marquette women’s soccer program, athletic director Bill Scholl announced Tuesday morning.

The announcement comes after former head coach Markus Roeders stepped down Nov. 6. Spending 24 years at the helm of the program, Roeders was the longest-tenured coach in program history and posted an overall record of 325-148-51.

“I am thrilled to be able to welcome Frank back to the Marquette family,” Scholl said in a statement. “He is one of the best coaches and recruiters in the country and I am particularly happy that our current and future women’s soccer student-athletes will have the opportunity to play for him.”

Pelaez is a familiar face and name to Marquette, spending 19 seasons combined as an assistant and associate head coach under Roeders before going to the Ramblers in 2015. In 2001, he was an assistant coach with the Marquette men’s soccer team, leading them to a 12-8-1 record.

During Pelaez’s time on Roeders’ staff, the Golden Eagles won two BIG EAST Tournament Championships, five league titles and two Conference-USA Tournament titles and made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Pelaez has developed 113 all-conference, 63 all-region and 12 All-America selections. His squads have earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award in every season since 1997.

“I want to thank Bill Scholl and Sarah Bobert for their confidence in my ability to lead the women’s soccer program at Marquette and also want to express my gratitude to Barry Bimbi and Steve Watson of Loyola for helping put me in a position to continue my career as a head coach,” Pelaez said in a statement. “I feel my core values fit with the Jesuit mission, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running and continue the process of helping our student-athletes succeed in the classroom and life.”

Prior to his hire at Loyola, Ramblers head coach Barry Bimbi spoke highly of Pelaez.

“The opportunity to hire one of the best coaches and recruiters in your profession doesn’t come along every day, so when it did, I jumped on it,” Bimbi said in a statement on the Loyola University of Chicago website. “Not only are we adding a fantastic coach and motivator to our program, but a great family man and close friend as well.”

While at Loyola, Pelaez split time as an assistant and associate coach on a staff that has been awarded the last two Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year honors.

The Ramblers won two MVC Tournament titles to earn an appearance in the NCAA Championship in each of the last two seasons. They only lost one league game during that stretch. LUC went 21-10-2 in conference play and 52-37-10 overall during Pelaez’s time with the Ramblers. Loyola also ranked second in the nation with 61 goals scored in 2017 and in 2018.

Pelaez has not said if Ashley Bares and Nick Vorberg, assistant coaches on Roeders’ staff, will remain in their positions.

Pelaez will take over a program that has missed the postseason for the last two seasons. Despite the graduation of the program’s all-time saves leader Maddy Henry and two big piece defenders Emily Hess and Bri Jaeger, the Golden Eagles return a young and experienced core of players that will look to get back to the winning culture the program holds.

 

This story was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at john.leuzzi@marquette.edu and on Twitter @JohnLeuzziMU.