One of the most successful coaches in not only Division II men's soccer coaching history, but in NCAA men's soccer history, Tony Martone concluded his 35th season at Merrimack College in the fall of 2016.
Martone's record now stands at 363-268-51 (.591), one that ranks him fifth in wins among active Division II coaches and 16th all-time in Division II.
Merrimack made its third straight NCAA Tournament and fourth in program history, winning 15 games for the third straight season. The Warriors defeated Franklin Pierce to advance to the second round, the fourth time Merrimack has won at least its opening round game in NCAA Tournament play. Six Warriors earned all-conference recognition, three earned all-region honors and Lars Sund (NSCAA) and Jaime Cortes Torres (CoSIDA Academic) were named All-Americans.
Between 2013-15, Merrimack collected back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances (2014, 2015), the second and third in program history. Despite missing out on the national tournament, the Warriors won 13 games in 2013 and reached the NE10 Final. In 2014, the Warriors advanced to the East Region Final - one of the final 16 teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament. Merrimack hosted the game as well - the first such occurence in program history. The Warriors combined to win 30 games, and saw four student-athletes earn All-American status among various all-region and all-conference honorees.
2012 was another historic year for Martone, as the Warriors posted a 15-4-2 overall record, claiming the program's fourth Northeast-10 Conference regular season title in the process while also qualifying for the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in program history.
Merrimack also enjoyed a historic 13-game unbeaten streak (12-0-1) during the 2012 campaign, as the Warriors won the NE-10 regular season title on the final day of the season by means a 4-0 thrashing of Saint Rose. Merrimack would finish as the runner-up in the Northeast-10 Championships but would make up for it with the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, a 1-0 win over Franklin Pierce before falling to Southern New Hampshire in the Second Round.
The fall of 2012 was also highlighted by Martone eclipsing the 300-win plateau.
For his efforts, Martone was named the Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year, as well as the NSCAA East Regional Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the NCAA National Coach of the Year Award, as well.
On Oct. 1, 2011, Merrimack College renamed its turf field Martone-Mejail Field to recognize Tony Martone and Gabe Mejail, the Merrimack women's soccer head coach, for their dedication and service to the Merrimack soccer programs.
From 2007-2009, the Warriors accumulated 34 wins, totaling at least 10 in each season. The 2007 campaign saw the Warriors reach the NE10 Final and were the only team to defeat Franklin Pierce, the eventual national champion. The Warriors got off to an 8-1-2 start in 2008, and 2009 saw Robbie Sabadoz collect NE10 Player of the Year honors, the first for the program since Steve McAuliffe in 1997.
Martone, who holds a United States Soccer Federation ‘A License,’ has earned the distinction of consistently fielding competitive teams. During his tenure, his teams have won four Northeast-10 regular season championships as well as three tournament championships. When the Warriors participated in the ECAC tournament, his teams were selected for postseason play for a record six straight years and won the overall ECAC championship in 1997.
Martone's emphasis on academics has also paid off in the classroom as many of his players have earned conference, regional and national academic team honors. Merrimack has earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award in nine straight seasons.
He holds the distinction of having graduated every four-year student-athlete that has participated in his program. In addition, two of his former players - Steve McAuliffe (1997) and Matt Johnson (1999) - were the recipients of the ‘ECAC Scholar Athlete of the Year’ award. This prestigious award is given to the top student-athlete in the ECAC from a pool of over 7,000 eligible athletes from all male sports. They are the only two athletes in Merrimack history to have earned this honor.
Since 2011, the program has had three CoSIDA Academic All-Americans: Jaime Cortes Torres (2016), Julio Leon Garcia (2014) and Robbie Sabadoz (2011). Athletically, the program boasts nine All-Americans overall, including seven since 2009. Lars Sund (2016), Joseph Briers (2015), Augusto Silva (2015), Jose Silva (2014, 2012), Franklin Lemus Pena (2012) and Robbie Sabadoz (2009) all earned NSCAA All-American status.
Martone began his coaching career in 1981 as an assistant coach at Curry College. In 1982, he became the youngest head coach in the country when he was hired by Merrimack at the age of 24. His abilities, commitment and passion for the sport of soccer have earned him numerous coaching honors over the years. The list includes: N.E.I.S.L. Coach of the Year in 1994, 2004; E.M.S.C.A. ‘College Coach of the Year’ in 1995 and 2004; and Northeast-10 ‘Coach of the Year’ in 1987, 1994, 2002, and 2004. In 1994, Martone was recognized by Soccer New England as ‘The person who did the most for soccer in 1994’ and was inducted into the Massachusetts Senior Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.
For his dedication and professional accomplishments in the coaching world, Martone was named the U.S. Adult Soccer Association Region I Coach of the Year, and the runner-up National Coach of the Year following the 2006-07 season.
Along with coaching the Warriors, Martone has been involved with many other soccer programs across the New England Region, ranging from youth to the professional level. Professionally, he has coached with the Boston Bolts of the ASL and the Cape Cod Crusaders of the USISL – both of which qualified for postseason play in each of his seasons behind the bench - and has also worked with the coaching staff and management of the Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution, primarily as a scout.
Additionally, some of his youth teams went on to win state and regional championships. Several of Martone’s players have moved on to play at various levels of the US National Teams, including the Men’s National team and the Olympic team, as well as overseas. Further, over 50 of his former protégés have gone on to join the coaching ranks at the college and/or professional levels. From 2000 through 2004, Martone coached the Massachusetts Men's State Team. During this time, his team was ranked in the top 10 state associations in the country.
One of the most rewarding experiences for Martone came in 1994, when he was selected as the Competition Manager for the Boston/Foxboro venue for the 1994 World Cup. In his capacity, he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of competition, including the management of all the World Cup games played in Boston. For his efforts, he was recognized by US Soccer and World Cup USA 1994 as ‘The best competition manager in the country.’
Martone is a 1981 graduate of Boston College, where he earned three varsity letters. The highlight of his playing career came in 1980, when he was invited to train with U.S. Avellino of the Italian First Division. His efforts and abilities earned him a contract offer which would have loaned him to a third division team. While his dream of playing professionally came to an abrupt end due to a serious injury, Martone has remained an active player for many top semi-professional and amateur teams throughout New England. He currently still completes in an over-50 division.
Martone resides in Saugus, Mass., with his wife, Patricia, and his two daughters - Rosalba and Antonella.