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Steve Ballard
Position: Head Coach

Steve Ballard is in his eighth season as head coach of the UTSA women’s soccer program, which joins Conference USA this fall.

With more than 20 years of women's head coaching experience, Ballard has accumulated a career record of 223-177-27 (.554), including a 61-67-13 record at UTSA.

He transformed the Roadrunners into annual Southland Conference contenders in his first six years on the job, as proven by his 32-13-8 league ledger, a pair of runner-up finishes in the conference standings (2006 & '07), six consecutive Southland Tournament appearances and the tournament crown and program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010.

A strong believer in academics, Ballard placed 13 players on the Southland's All-Academic teams during the Birds’ six years in the league, including first-teamers Allison Dillon, Anka Grotle, two-time honoree Ezinne Okpo, Maria Jose Rojas and Chelsea Zimmerman. Two players also were named to CoSIDA's Academic All-District squads — Okpo and Zimmerman — and 107 earned spots on the Southland Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll. His team also has been recognized with the Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in each of the last six seasons.

Ballard has mentored 27 all-conference performers, including six first-teamers, and two Southland Freshman of the Year winners (Zimmerman 2006/Dillon 2007). In 2011, Grotle became the first player in program annals to earn first-team accolades in back-to-back seasons and the first repeat selection since Okpo was named to the league’s top squad in 2007 and again two years later.

Last season, Rojas led the team in goals (4), assists (3), points (11), shots (40) and shots on goal (23) and earned third-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors. The junior also notched a pair of game-winning goals that lifted UTSA to victories over Eastern Michigan (Aug. 31) and New Mexico State (Oct. 21).

UTSA ended the 2011 season with a 9-9-2 record, including a 5-3-1 Southland mark, and it advanced to the semifinals of the Southland Tournament after qualifying for the event for the sixth consecutive year. Rojas led the squad with nine goals and 22 points, which were the most by a Roadrunner since Dillon netted 10 and tallied 26 points in 2007. Grotle earned her second first-team all-conference nod, while Rojas and freshman Liv Nyhegn were named to the second team. Danielle Snyder was an honorable mention selection after earning the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Week award three times, while Grotle and Rojas added to their haul as by being named to the circuit's all-academic first team.

In 2010, Ballard guided the Roadrunners to a 13-8-2 record that culminated with the program’s first Southland Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. The 13 wins was one of nine school marks set during the season, including points, goals, assists, shots on goal, saves and shutouts. UTSA placed a program-best six players on the All-Southland teams, led by Grotle’s first-team nod. A trio of Roadrunners (Dillon/Zimmerman/Rojas) landed on the second team, while Laurel Dierking and Dacia Webb were named honorable mention. The accolades continued to pile up after UTSA defeated top-seed Southeastern Louisiana in the tournament championship game. Webb was named the event’s Most Valuable Player, while Katie Dugan, Grotle and Zimmerman made the All-Tournament Team. The Roadrunners traveled to the Pacific Northwest for their inaugural NCAA Tournament game where they lost to national No. 2 seed Portland.

UTSA concluded the 2009 campaign with a 9-10-2 overall record (4-3-2 SLC) and it qualified for the Southland Tournament for the fourth year in a row. The Roadrunners landed five players on the All-Southland teams, led by Okpo’s first-team honor. Meanwhile, a pair of players were tabbed second-team all-conference (Dillon/Zimmerman), while Taylor Padia and Webb were named honorable mention all-league performers. UTSA also was honored for its work in the classroom, as four Roadrunners landed on the Southland All-Academic teams. Okpo and Zimmerman were tabbed first teamers, while Dillard and Dugan garnered second-team accolades. Zimmerman also was a second-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District VI selection.

Ballard’s 2008 squad posted a pair of then-school records with 10 wins and nine shutouts en route to a 10-10-1 overall record and it finished second with a 6-2-1 league mark. UTSA made its third consecutive trip to the conference semifinals and four Roadrunners received postseason accolades. Okpo was a second-team all-conference performer, while a trio garnered honorable mention accolades (Celeste Carruth/Dillon/Nicoline Joergesen).

In 2007, he led his team to marks of 9-9-2 overall and 6-2-1 in Southland play en route to a third-place finish. The Roadrunners also reached the conference tournament semifinals for the second consecutive season and four players collected all-conference honors, led by Southland Freshman of the Year and first-team honoree Dillon. Joining Dillon on the first team was Okpo. Veronica Najera and Zimmerman picked up second-team certificates. Meanwhile, Okpo was a second-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District VI selection and she also collected Southland All-Academic honors for the second year in a row. Halee Hamm also was named to the league’s all-academic second team.

Ballard guided a young squad that featured 24 freshmen, including nine in the starting lineup, in 2006 to an 8-9-2 overall record and second-place finish in the conference standings with a 5-1-2 mark. The Roadrunners earned their first Southland Tournament berth as the No. 2 seed and a quartet of players earned all-conference honors, highlighted by Zimmerman, who also was picked as the circuit’s Freshman of the Year.  The team was just as strong in the classroom, as 20 players were named to the Southland Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll and the squad also received the NSCAA Academic Team Award.

Prior to coming to UTSA, Ballard led Eastern Illinois to four consecutive NCAA Championship appearances. He started the Panthers' highly-successful program in 1995 and also launched programs at Averett University and Elon University.

In 10 years at EIU, he compiled a 126-66-13 record, which was an average of 12 wins per season. He put together nine consecutive campaigns of at least 10 victories and also oversaw a complete move into the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) in 1999 after EIU held dual membership with the Missouri Valley Conference in 1998.

Ballard built the Panthers into a regional powerhouse in Charleston, Ill., compiling a 16-5 record in 1996. He continued to build upon his early success and led EIU to its first OVC Regular Season Championship in 1999 with a 12-9 mark that began a string of six consecutive conference championships.

The Panthers claimed another OVC regular season title in 2000, won the tournament championship in 1998 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament from 2001-04. Ballard was named the 2000 OVC Coach of the Year after the Panthers compiled a 15-4-1 record. The following year, he guided EIU to a 14-6 ledger and the OVC Tournament Championship. In 2004, Ballard led the Panthers to a 13-5-2 record and they led the league in shots, goals, assists, points and corner kicks. After joining the OVC in 1999, Ballard’s squads went 33-4-3 (.857) in regular season league play and constructed a 10-1-1 (.869) mark in conference tournament matches.

Included in his team’s unprecedented success were numerous individual honors, including 45 All-OVC players and three OVC Player and Freshmen of the Year awards. Additionally, seven of his players earned NCAA Great Lakes All-Region honors and the Panthers annually ranked among national leaders in offense and defense.

Ballard's Year-by-Year Record

Year School
1986  Elon  10-3 — (NAIA)
1987  Elon  10-9 — (NAIA)
1988  Elon 14-6 — (NAIA)
1993  Averett  2-11-1 — (NCAA Division II)
1994  Averett  2-13 — (NCAA Division II)
1995 Eastern Illinois 8-11-1 — (NCAA Independent)
1996 Eastern Illinois 16-5  — (MVC)
1997 Eastern Illinois 14-6-1 4-1 (2nd/MVC)
1998 Eastern Illinois 10-7-1 3-2-1 (4th/MVC)  ·  3-1 (2nd/OVC)
1999 Eastern Illinois 11-9 5-0 (1st/OVC)
2000 Eastern Illinois 15-4-1 5-0 (1st/OVC)
2001 Eastern Illinois 14-6 4-1 (2nd/OVC)
2002 Eastern Illinois 12-8-2 4-1-1 (2nd/OVC)
2003 Eastern Illinois 11-6-5 6-0-2 (2nd/OVC)
2004 Eastern Illinois 13-6-2 6-1-1 (2nd/OVC)
2006 UTSA 8-9-2 5-1-2 (2nd/SLC)
2007 UTSA 9-9-2  6-2-1 (3rd/SLC)
2008 UTSA 10-10-1 6-2-1 (t-2nd/SLC)
2009 UTSA 9-10-2 4-3-2 (t-4th/SLC)
2010 UTSA 13-8-2 6-2-1 (t-2nd/SLC)
2011 UTSA 9-9-2 5-3-1 (4th/SLC)
2012 UTSA 3-12-2 2-4-2 (8th/WAC)
Totals 22 seasons 223-177-27 (.554) 74-24-15 (.721)
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