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Longtime USF women's soccer coach will join the new USL Super League's Tampa Bay team

Denise Schilte-Brown, who came to USF in 2006 and plans to coach the 2023 season, will be keeping a close eye on the women's World Cup and four former players representing their countries.
Julio Aguilar
/
for University of South Florida
Denise Schilte-Brown, who came to USF in 2006 and plans to coach the 2023 season, will be keeping a close eye on the women's World Cup and four former players representing their countries.

Denise Schilte-Brown will coach her 17th year with the Bulls before assuming her new position at season’s end with a professional women's league slated to begin play in August 2024.

Longtime University of South Florida women’s soccer coach Denise Schilte-Brown is jumping to the professional ranks, joining the Tampa Bay franchise in the new Super League scheduled to begin play August 2024.

Schilte-Brown will coach her 17th year with the Bulls before assuming her new position at season’s end. She will add to an impressive resume that includes a 174-91-41 record, three American Athletic Conference regular season titles, three AAC tournament titles and eight NCAA Tournament appearances.

“It is hard to leave, but I feel good knowing we have built a very strong program and, as I will be remaining in the Bay area, look forward to a front-row seat to watch USF women’s soccer continue to excel on and off the field,” Schilte-Brown, who came to USF in 2006, said in a university news release.

The Tampa Bay team is part of a planned United Soccer League Super League that wants to kick off in August 2024. The 10- to 12-team league is seeking sanctioning as a Division I league by the U.S. Soccer Federation, the sport’s governing body in the country.

The USL, based in Tampa, also oversees a men’s league that includes the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

“She is leaving behind an incredible legacy at USF, and we look forward to watching her build and shape our team from its beginnings,” David Shaw, a co-owner of the Tampa Bay franchise, said in a team statement.

Shaw also announced that Sarasota attorney, business owner and former college soccer player Christina Unkel has been hired as team president. He emphasized that the hiring of Unkel and Schilte-Brown “will catalyze the club’s readiness for play.”

In the meantime, Schilte-Brown’s focus will be on preparing for her final USF season as well as closely watching the women’s World Cup, which begins this week and includes four of her previous USF players: Olivia Chance (New Zealand), Christiane Endler (Chile), Demi Stokes (Great Britain) and Evelyne Viens (Canada).

“We are saddened by Denise’s departure from the USF program, but also excited for her tremendous opportunity,” USF Vice President for Athletics Michael Kelly said in the school’s release. “Denise has guided USF women’s soccer to outstanding conference success, national prominence and a long string of outstanding student-athletes that thrived as Bulls.”

I’m the online producer for Health News Florida, a collaboration of public radio stations and NPR that delivers news about health care issues.
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