"I came to Washington and have stayed at Washington because it provides student-athletes with the opportunity to experience the best of everything and succeed in all areas of their lives."
Lesle Gallimore enters her 20th season at Washington - the longest tenure of any coach in the Pac-12 - looking to continue the winning tradition she established when she arrived in Seattle in 1994.
In Gallimore’s 20-year tenure as the Husky women’s soccer coach she has recorded over 200 victories, has appeared in 12 NCAA tournaments -- twice having advanced as far as the quarterfinals -- and has won a Pac-10 Championship.
She entered the 2013 season with a record of 199-158-34 at Washington and 231-183-43 overall coaching in Division I. The longtime Washington coached picked up her 200th win for the Huskies against UNC Greensboro on August 25, in a game played in Hawai’i.
Some of Gallimore’s best teams included the 2010 team that went 13-9-2 overall and advanced to the Elite Eight for the second time in school history, upsetting No. 2 overall seed Portland along the way. The Huskies defeated Oklahoma, 4-0, in the First Round before eliminating the Pilots 10-9 on penalty kicks. The Huskies then upset UC Irvine on the road, 1-0, in 2OT, before falling to Boston College in the Elite Eight, 1-0 in OT.
In 2009, Gallimore picked up her 200th D-I win at Oregon, putting her in elite NCAA company as she became the 37th Division I coach to reach the milestone.
In 2004, Gallimore directed UW to its best NCAA performance, a quarterfinal appearance that capped three consecutive shutout victories in the preceding rounds. The Huskies posted a 17-5-1 record en route to the Elite Eight. They placed third in the Pac-10 with a 5-3-1 record. The magical season capped the career of Ellertson, who Gallimore helped mold into UW's all-time goal scorer, the only two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year and an eventual U.S. National Team member.
In 2001, Washington was ranked in the national top-20 from the beginning of the season until the end for only the second time in the program's history. Despite the loss of the school's top two all-time scorers, UW posted a 13-5-2 record and tied for second place in the Pac-10 standings with a 6-2-1 mark. The Huskies beat San Diego 2-0 in the first round of the 2001 NCAAs and advanced to the second round for the second straight season. Goalkeeper Hope Solo was voted the Pac-10 Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy Award.
A year later, in 2002, Gallimore posted her 100th victory as the Huskies’ head coach.
In 2000, the Huskies posted an all-time best 18-3 record, won their only Pac-10 championship, received the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. It was the first Pac-10 championship for a school outside of California. During that season, Gallimore registered her 100th career coaching victory on Sept. 10, 2000 with a 3-1 win over Ohio State. The 2000 season also saw the Huskies register 22 school records, including surpassing standards for single-season victories (18) and longest winning streak (11). The season ended with UW's first-ever Sweet 16 appearance. Attendance at Husky Soccer Field soared to an average of 1,592 spectators per game in 2000, the second-highest figure in the nation. The 1-0 overtime triumph over No. 4 UCLA drew a UW single-game record 3,403 fans. The Huskies also drew lofty rankings.
Gallimore was successful immediately upon her arrival, directing UW to a 13-6-2 record in 1994, her first season. Washington advanced to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance and postseason victory.
In the process of registering team victories, she has also overseen the individual development of players. Four of her former players, Hope Solo Tina Ellertson (Frimpong), Kate Deines and Veronica Perez are playing in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Both Solo and Frimpong have also spent time on the U.S. National team, with Solo currently the starting goalkeeper for the team that won a gold medal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and was second at the 2011 Women's World Cup. She was recently chosen as the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year. Ellertson was on the U.S. roster for the 2007 Women's World Cup in China, while another of Gallimore's pupils, Clare Rustad, competed in the Olympics for Canada. Meanwhile, Perez and younger sister and current Dawg Amanda, play with the Mexican National Team. The elder Perez led Mexico into the 2011 World Cup and to a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games.
Gallimore is well respected among her peers, as evidenced by the many awards she earned in 2000, all of them voted upon by other coaches. She was named the 2000 Pac-10 Coach of the Year by her conference colleagues and received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) West Region Coach of the Year award. Gallimore was voted the National Coach of the Year in a Soccer Buzz coaches poll. She was chosen to serve as an assistant coach on April Heinrich's U.S. National Team staff for the Algarve Cup in Portugal during March of 2001. The coach began earning a reputation early in her tenure at Washington. Her accomplishments in 1994 earned her a designation as the West Region Coach of the Year by the NSCAA and Umbro. She served as head coach of the West Team for the U.S. Olympic Sports Festival in both 1994 and 1995 and as the head coach of the Region IV Olympic Development Program as well.
Gallimore was the head coach at San Diego State University for four years prior to arriving at UW. She was hired as Washington's second head coach in February of 1994, replacing Dang Pibulvech, the school's inaugural coach. Her first UW team broke the existing school records for most goals scored, fewest goals allowed and most shutouts en route to the school's first NCAA Tournament berth. UW also posted its first postseason win, advancing to the regional semifinal, a heart-breaking loss to Stanford, 6-5, on penalty kicks. Washington ended the 1994 season ranked No. 13. Gallimore has proven successful at tutoring players and grooming future head coaches. Two of her Huskies played in the WUSA professional league. Midfielder Theresa Wagner spent two seasons with the Bay Area CyberRays and was a member of the 2001 inaugural league champs. Goalkeeper Hope Solo was the fourth overall selection in the 2003 WUSA Draft. The 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year was picked by Philadelphia. Two of Gallimore's former UW assistants have joined the head coaching ranks. Tara Erickson (Bilanski) is in her fourth season at Oregon after three years at Portland State. Chuck Sekyra left after the 2002 season to assume the head coaching position at Seattle Pacific.
A 1986 California graduate with a degree in psychology, Gallimore compiled a 32-25-9 record in four years as San Diego State's head coach. Gallimore was a four-time All-American at California (1982-85) and led the Golden Bears to the national playoffs three out of her four seasons. Later she was named the school's 1976-86 Athlete of the Decade. Following graduation, Gallimore continued to play soccer competitively while serving as an assistant at California from 1986 through 1989. She helped the Golden Bears reach the NCAA soccer Final Four twice, in 1987 and 1988.
While coaching at Cal, playing in four Olympic Sports Festivals and winning national club titles, Gallimore attended law school in San Francisco. Her alma mater honored her in 1995 with induction into the California Athletic Hall of Fame, recognizing her numerous achievements in the sport of soccer. As a player, she helped the West earn a gold medal at the 1987 Olympic Sports Festival and gained a spot on the U.S. National B Team as a result. In 1988, she joined the California Tremors and helped that team to the national club title. Gallimore was a member of the Ajax club team of Southern California that won the 1993 national amateur championship. She was captain of the gold-medal-winning West team at the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival. She played on the over-30 winners at both the 1998 and 1999 USASA national championships.
A native of Redondo Beach, Calif., Gallimore graduated in 1981 from South Torrance High School. She obtained her United States Soccer Federation "A" License, the highest coaching license available, in 1993. She was the Region IV Olympic Development head girl's coach for six years. In February of 1999, Gallimore coached the U.S. U-19 National Team to a second-place finish in the inaugural USYS/adidas Cup. Gallimore has been a national staff coach for the NSCAA since 1995. She served on the NCAA National Committee for Division I Women's Championships, and was an at-large representative to the Board of Directors of the NSCAA. Gallimore lives in Seattle with her son, Zachary.