The Florida Gators women's soccer team is going to need a new head coach after just one season with Tony Amato at the helm.
On Wednesday, Florida announced that Amato is leaving the program after just one season with the team. In a statement, Florida athletic director Steve Stricklin cited "challenges with relationship building and communication" as as well as a "disconnect" between Amato and the athletes he was in charge of.
“My thorough evaluation of the soccer program is that there is a disconnect between Tony and his athletes,” Stricklin said, via WUFT.org. “We have worked diligently with Tony since last fall when I first became aware of challenges with relationship building and communication. As the issues continued to be brought to my attention, it became apparent that sufficient progress was not being made and Tony was not a fit for the University of Florida.���
Amato's departure comes amid a mass exodus of players leaving the Gators soccer program. That exodus of players - some of which were among the top recruits in the country - stemmed from a litany of player complaints ranging from forced eating habits to an apparent disregard for players' mental health.
It certainly didn't help that Tony Amato's first year at Florida was a disaster. The team went 4-12-4 in his first year at the helm.
After making him one of the highest-paid coaches in women's college soccer following a stellar career at Arizona, it must have been too much for the Gators to tolerate.
But the story goes a lot deeper. The extent of Amato's obsession with his players' eating habits really takes over the narrative.
Florida will have to look long and hard for a head coach who will get along with the players better in their upcoming search.