The search for a new men’s soccer coach at Saint Joseph’s has ended with the return of one of the program’s highest profile alumni.
Don D’Ambra, a long-time star for the Philadelphia Kixx indoor soccer franchise and a 1994 graduate of St. Joe’s is returning to his roots to head up the team that helped catapult him into the pro ranks. He will be unveiled at a press conference on Monday. He’s just the fourth coach in St. Joe’s soccer history, replacing Tom Turner after 26 seasons at the helm.
D’Ambra was the face of the Kixx for 14 seasons, the last eight of which he served as a player/coach/vice president of soccer operations. He led the franchise to Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) titles in 2002 and 2007, and one of most recognizable figures for one of indoor soccer’s most popular teams. He also served as Turner’s assistant here at St. Joe’s from 1996-99.
The 37-year-old native of Philadelphia collected 388 goals, 905 points, four All-Star selections, and 119 coaching wins with the Kixx, all franchise highs.
D’Ambra’s time at St. Joe’s was just as illustrious, as his name is on the top line of most statistical categories. He’s the all-time leader in points (102), goals (41), and shots (297). His 15 goals and 38 points in 1993 are the most ever in a single season for a Hawk, and he also holds the third most prolific season (13 goals and 31 points in 1992) in those categories.
He was honored as the 1993 Soccer Seven and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year for the winningest team in St. Joe’s history (12-6-1). D’Ambra was also inducted into the St. Joe’s Soccer Hall of Fame in 2000. He’s the second former Kixx player to join the Hawks’ current coaching staff, with former teammate Drew Kopp also an assistant on the women’s team.
– Matthew De George ’10