On Dec. 24, 2019, Marquette announced that Frank Pelaez will serve as the new head women’s soccer coach.
“I am thrilled to be able to welcome Frank back to the Marquette family,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Bill Scholl said. “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, who previously worked at Marquette as the assistant and associate head coach for 19 years, has spent the past five seasons coaching staff for the Ramblers, Loyola University Chicago women’s soccer team. He spent two years as the associate head coach. The Ramblers won two Missouri Valley Conference tournament titles to earn the league’s NCAA Championship berth in each of the last two seasons, while losing just one league game during that time.
“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. “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.
“My family can’t wait to return to the Marquette community and not only develop relationships with our current players, but also with the program’s tremendous group of alumni,” Pelaez added.
Pelaez was part of a staff alongside head coach Barry Bimbi that earned the last two MVC Coaching Staff of the Year honors and led the Ramblers to a program-record 12-match winning streak in 2019. In total, LUC went 52-37-10 during his time in Rogers Park and 21-10-2 in conference play. Loyola ranked second in the nation with 61 goals scored in 2017 and in 2018 lost to eventual NCAA champion Florida State, 1-0, in the NCAA First Round.
A native of Cartagena, Colombia, Pelaez joined the Ramblers after a successful stay at Marquette, which included 13 seasons as associate head coach. During his 19-year stint in Milwaukee from 1996 to 2014, he helped guide the Golden Eagles to a 282-104-39 record, highlighted by nine regular season conference championships, five BIG EAST titles, two BIG EAST tournament championships and a pair of Conference USA Tournament titles. Marquette recorded 19 consecutive 10-win seasons with 11 seasons of 15-or-more wins and appeared in the NCAA tournament 12 times. He also directly assisted in the development of 113 all-conference, 63 all-region and 12 All-America selections.
His time at Marquette included a program-record 20-win season in 2000 and a six-year stretch from 2008-13 in which the Golden Eagles made six NCAA appearances and won five BIG EAST regular season titles. In the four years from 2010-13,
Marquette went 70-15-6 overall and a remarkable 39-1-1 in BIG EAST play, advancing to a pair of NCAA Sweet 16s and winning two conference tournament crowns.
In the classroom, Pelaez’s squads have earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award in every season since 1997.
Pelaez also spent one season as an assistant coach with the Marquette men’s team, helping the Golden Eagles to a 12-8-1 record in 2001.
Prior to his initial arrival at Marquette, Pelaez spent four years as the head boys’ and girls’ soccer coach at A.C. Reynolds High School in Asheville, North Carolina. During his four seasons at the helm, Pelaez compiled an 88-21-6 overall record, earning Western Carolina Coach of the Year honors for both boys and girls following the 1995 and 1996 seasons. He was also tabbed as the Boys’ Coach of the Year in 1993. Under Pelaez’s guidance, both sides captured their first conference titles in school history while also qualifying for the state quarterfinals on three separate occasions as well.
Pelaez played collegiate soccer at UNC Asheville, serving as the Bulldogs’ captain as a senior. He earned his bachelor’s degree in visual arts from the school in 1992.