Fourteen years. 143 wins. Six NCAA Tournament appearances. Forty-six All-SEC honors. Four SEC West titles. 2018 SEC Tournament Champions. Ten All-Americans. Those are just a few of the many accomplishments that Brian Lee has achieved during his 14-year tenure in Baton Rouge.
Lee has taken the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament a total of six times with two of those appearances coming in the last four years (2015 and 2018). In those six tournament appearances, the Tigers have advanced to the Round of 32 three times. Lee has helped LSU earn the right to host three NCAA Tournament matches and the Tigers have gone 1-0-2 in those three contests. LSU knocked off Arkansas Pine Bluff in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament by a score of 7-0 before falling to Texas A&M by way of PKs in the second round. LSU prevailed in penalty kicks against Boston University in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. LSU is 2-5-2 in the NCAA Tournament all-time with every single appearance coming under Lee. LSU has played in the NCAA Tournament in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2018.
In 2018, Lee led a group of 25 underclassmen paired with four juniors and three seniors to the first-ever SEC Tournament title in program history. The Tigers made history on Nov. 4, 2018, with the program’s first-ever SEC Tournament title with a 4-1 victory in penalty kicks over Arkansas. A sensational ‘top bins’ rocket from Shannon Cooke in the 72nd minute of the match leveled things up at one apiece against the Razorbacks. Abbey Newton gained possession of a loose ball near midfield before sending it over to Cooke, who let one of the most masterful strikes in program history rip. Forty yards out – top bins – and boom, just like that, LSU had tied it up. The tournament MVP, Caroline Brockmeier, made 19 saves in the magical four-match run to go along with one shutout; she saved three penalty attempts (2 against Tennessee and 1 against Arkansas). Alex Thomas, Adrienne Richardson and Shannon Cooke were named to the all-tournament team for their performances. Cooke scored two goals in the tournament and Richardson earned an assist on Cooke’s first goal of the tournament against Tennessee.
The Tigers knocked off Missouri in the opening round of the tournament thanks to Alex Thomas’ first-career hat trick. Thomas became the first player in LSU history to score three goals at a SEC Tournament match. The Tigers following the opening round win over Missouri with a penalty kick victory over Tennessee. After battling to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of play, freshman Meghan Johnson sent LSU to the semifinal round with a conversion on her attempt in the ninth round to give LSU the 7-6 advantage. In the semifinal round against South Carolina, LSU was the beneficiary of an own goal by South Carolina in the 66th minute that resulted in LSU’s 1-0 victory.
The SEC Tournament victory resulted LSU hosting its third-ever NCAA Tournament game at the LSU Soccer Stadium. In front of 1,309 passionate soccer fans, LSU battled to a nil-nil draw against Boston University after 110 minutes of play and took the match to penalties. Caroline Brockmeier stoned four of Boston’s shots and Abbey Newton and Lucy Parker converted their tries in the fourth and fifth rounds to propel LSU to the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. The home crowd of 1,309 fans was the third-largest across the country in the 32 opening round games.
The 2018 squad was led by the triumvirate of Caroline Brockmeier, Chrissy Pitre and Alex Thomas. The three seniors combined to make a 212 appearances on the pitch during their careers. Thomas played 83 matches, Pitre had 68 appearances, and Brockmeier had 61. Thomas started all 83 games of her career and finished with 17 goals, 10 assists and 44 points. Her 83 starts are the sixth-most in program history and her 7,364 minutes played ranks No. 2 on the LSU all-time list. Brockmeier ended her three-year tenure at LSU as the school record holder for most saves in a career with 287. She saved shots at a .793 percentage during her time in Baton Rouge and that is the best average in school history. She also ranked second in career wins (28) and shutouts (24).
In Lee’s 14 seasons in Baton Rouge, the Tigers have posted a 143-108-45 overall record with a 63-67-24 mark against conference opponents. Lee has led the Tigers to second-place regular season conference finishes in 2008, 2009 and 2011. The program record for most SEC wins in a season is eight, set in both 2009 and 2011. Lee has guided the Tigers to SEC West division titles in 2011, 2009, 2008 and 2007.
Tigers Shine in National Spotlight
LSU soared to new heights in 2009 by matching the school wins record with a 15-4-5 overall mark and establishing a new school record with an 8-2-1 mark and 25 points in SEC play. For the second-straight season, the Tigers finished in second place in the final SEC standings and just one point shy of Florida for their first ever SEC Championship. LSU then took a No. 2 seed to the SEC Tournament and advanced to the conference final for the first time in program history.
The Tigers were rewarded for their outstanding performance with a No. 4 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, while serving as a regional host for the first time in team history and advancing to the NCAA Second Round for the second time in three seasons following a first ever appearance in the second round of the postseason in 2007.
Their effort helped land a No. 14 national ranking at the end of the 2009 season in the final Top 25 ranking released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. It marked the second year in a row for LSU to finish a campaign as high as No. 14 in the national rankings.
Midfielder Malorie Rutledge was at the center of LSU’s emergence into the national spotlight. After being recruited by Lee as part of a heralded Class of 2006, the Sharpsburg, Georgia, product wrapped up her collegiate career in 2009 as the most decorated Tiger to step on the pitch. Rutledge earned consensus All-America accolades in 2008 and 2009, while also being picked as a two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year and three-time First-Team All-SEC performer during her brilliant career.
Rutledge rewrote the school record books in four seasons in Baton Rouge while setting LSU career records with 46 assists and 102 points from 2006-09. She added 28 goals as the club’s most prolific scorer in its 21 years of collegiate competition. Rutledge wrapped up her career with an NCAA-leading 18 assists as a senior in 2009, shattering her own team single-season mark.
While Lee has coached 26 Tigers to 41 All-SEC selections in his 11 seasons, LSU was recognized with a team-best five all-conference selections in 2009.
Joining Rutledge on the All-SEC squad were defender Chelsea Potts (first-team), midfielder Allysha Chapman (second-team), midfielder Melissa Clarke (second-team) and forward Carlie Banks (all-freshman). Both Clarke and Potts ended their collegiate careers in 2009 as three-time All-SEC performers following their senior season.
The Tigers nearly matched that performance in 2011 as they again finished runner-up for the SEC Championship with a 13-8-1 record and their second-best league mark in program history at 8-3 with 24 points on the final SEC table. That earned the Tigers their fourth SEC West title and fourth at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament in a five-year span.
Chapman led the charge for the Tigers in 2011 with her second First-Team All-SEC selection and third All-SEC honor in her collegiate career. She also made history by becoming the first LSU Tiger to be selected the SEC Defensive Player of the Year with her performance as one of the premier defensive talents in all of college soccer.
Five Tigers were again honored as All-SEC selections in 2011 as Chapman was joined on the squad by seniors Taryne Boudreau (first-team) and Natalie Martineau (second-team) and freshmen Alex Arlitt (all-freshman) and Jodi Calloway (all-freshman).
Chapman has since gone on to star for the Canadian Women’s National Team during her professional career. She made history in each of the last two summers while becoming the first Tiger to ever play at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015 and the Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016 as Canada’s starting left back throughout both tournaments.
LSU Soccer made history once again in 2013 when it became the first team SEC history to feature at least three freshmen on the All-SEC team in a single season with first-team, second-team or honorable mention all-conference honors. Striker Summer Clarke, midfielder Emma Fletcher and defender Megan Lee were each honored as Second-Team All-SEC performers in the wake of outstanding rookie seasons with the Tigers in 2013.
Clarke earned her second career All-SEC honor with a second-team selection in 2015 as she joined with the likes of Jorian Baucom(first-team) and Alex Thomas (all-freshman) in getting the Tigers back in the NCAA Tournament with one of the biggest turnarounds in the country.
Individually, Lee has coached five athletes to All-America honors and nine athletes to Freshman All-America honors in 21 seasons as a head coach. In addition, he has coached four Southern Conference Players of the Year, five Southern Conference Freshmen of the Year and three SEC Players of the Year, while guiding his athletes to a total of 92 all-conference selections since his first season as a head coach in 1994.
Despite finishing in 12th place in the final SEC standings in each of the previous two seasons prior to Lee’s arrival in Baton Rouge, LSU Soccer has shown steady progress and continued staying power in their ascent to the top of the SEC as the squad finished in eighth place in 2005 and 2006, fourth place in 2007 and second place in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
The Tigers have also been a staple in the national rankings in recent seasons while cracking the Top 25 nationally in all major polls. LSU has climbed as high as No. 9 in 2008, No. 10 in 2009, No. 18 in 2010, No. 14 in 2011, No. 25 in 2013 and No. 24 in 2015 in the rankings.
Tigers Battle Nation’s Elite
Lee and his dedicated coaching staff have built a program with the ability to compete with anyone in women’s college soccer. That was never more evident than in 2007 when LSU battled No. 4-ranked Texas to a 2-2 draw on the road in Austin and dominated No. 6-ranked Tennessee by a 3-0 margin at home for the program’s first victory against an opponent ranked as one of the Top 10 teams in the country.
The Tigers were impressive again in 2009 when they earned a pair of shutout wins versus teams in the Top 10 of the polls with a 6-0 blanking of No. 8-ranked Georgia and a 1-0 shutout of No. 10-ranked South Carolina in a pair of matches played at the LSU Soccer Stadium. The Tigers and Gamecocks then battled to a 1-1 draw in the SEC Tournament final during the 2009 season as South Carolina took the tournament title with a marathon 8-7 decision in penalty kicks.
In 2011, LSU Soccer earned its fourth at-large NCAA Tournament berth in five seasons on the strength of a resume that featured a pair of shutout wins over No. 10 Tennessee and No. 11 Florida in conference play en route to a third runner-up finish in the final SEC standings.
With the Volunteers bringing a Top 10 national ranking to Baton Rouge for the second time in three seasons, the Tigers were dominant in a 2-0 shutout to extend their unbeaten streak to four-straight in the series. The Tigers then made history with a trip to Gainesville, Florida, on Oct. 23 of the 2011 season as they pitched a 1-0 shutout for their first victory over the powerful Gators and hand Florida only its fourth defeat in SEC play at Pressly Stadium in its history.
The Tigers have since earned a pair of wins over nationally-ranked opponents in their inaugural meeting on the pitch in recent seasons with a 3-1 road triumph over 16th-ranked Missouri for their signature win of 2012 and a 1-0 shutout of 13th-ranked Southern California in a match played at a neutral site at the Minnesota Gold Classic in 2013.
LSU’s NCAA Tournament qualification in 2015 was solidified with a signature win over 15th-ranked Duke as the Tigers blanked the Blue Devils, 1-0, in Baton Rouge during the non-conference season. Duke recovered to finish as the NCAA runner-up at the NCAA Women’s College Cup in December 2015, falling to Penn State, 1-0, in the national championship match.
The Tigers have more than proven themselves as an elite program during Lee’s 10 seasons in Baton Rouge as they have now scored nine wins and 10 draws against nationally-ranked teams since the 2007 season.
LSU Soccer: A Box Office Smash
Lee’s impact has not only been felt with unprecedented results on the field, but also at the box office as record crowds have packed the LSU Soccer Stadium week in and week out to watch the Tigers in action since his arrival in Baton Rouge.
The 2011 season witnessed the birth of a new era of LSU Soccer as the Tigers christened the new LSU Soccer Stadium on the night of Sept. 9 with a dramatic 1-0 shutout of the Oregon Ducks before a record crowd of 2,542 supporters on hand for the festivities. It proved a fitting end to a night of celebration of one of the top rising programs in all of college soccer as the squad opened a stadium that stands as one of the true jewels of the Southeastern Conference.
The Tigers wrapped up the 2011 campaign ranked among the Top 20 teams nationwide in average attendance while drawing an average of 1,174 fans in their nine matches played at the new LSU Soccer Stadium to stand as the NCAA’s No. 17-ranked program at the box office.
They then raised their attendance record again in 2012 when 2,624 supporters witnessed a 1-1 draw with the visiting Rice Owls in their home opener on Aug. 24.
The 2007 season proved to be unlike any other in the history of the program as the Tigers were unbeaten at the LSU Soccer Stadium for the first time with a 5-0-3 record while drawing an average of 1,294 fans per match. That ranked LSU Soccer among the Top 10 teams in the country in average attendance for the first time as the team finished the season at No. 7 in the NCAA with average paid attendance. The Tigers set three single-game attendance records on the season which includes a crowd of 2,402 for its 3-0 win over No. 6 Tennessee on Oct. 5, 2007.
LSU Soccer has proven formidable on its home turf while following an unbeaten season in 2007 at 8-1 in 2008, 7-1-2 in 2009, 6-1-2 in 2010 and 7-1-1 in 2011. The Tigers are coming off their second unbeaten season at home in team history as they were 8-0-4 in 12 matches played on their home turf at the LSU Soccer Stadium in 2015.
Tigers Lead by Example
Not only have the Tigers proven to be one of the SEC’s top programs with their effort on the field in 11 seasons under Lee’s direction, but they have also taken great pride in their performance off the field as they are the University leaders in community service each season as winners of four-straight Tiger Cups from 2009-12.
The Tiger Cup is presented each season by the Tiger Athletic Foundation as part of the annual TAF Academic Excellence Gala to the athletic program that best represents the University with its performance on and off the field. The winner of the Tiger Cup is determined using a point system based on a team’s final conference and national ranking, cumulative team grade-point average and community service hours accumulated during the previous academic year.
Lee’s athletes boast a proven track record in the classroom as his teams have earned 10 NSCAA Team Academic Awards. A total of 122 student-athletes were selected to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll in his 11 years at Furman, while 137 Tigers have been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in his 11 seasons in Baton Rouge.
LSU Soccer actually set a program record following the 2015 season with 17 selections to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll a year ago, eclipsing the team’s previous record of 14 SEC honor roll selections three times in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Lee Brings Proven Track Record to Tigers
Winning conference titles and leading a nationally-prominent program are nothing new for the native of Cheltenham, England, who led the Furman Lady Paladins to six Southern Conference Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances during his 11-year tenure after starting the program from scratch in 1994.
In 11 seasons, Lee’s teams amassed a 144-80-10 overall record, including an impressive 76-16-3 mark in conference play. The Lady Paladins went undefeated in conference play three times (1999, 2000, 2002) and were just shy of perfection in 2003 after finishing the season with a 10-0-1 record in Southern Conference play.
For his many accomplishments, Lee was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year five times and was named the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 1999, the same year in which he was selected as a finalist for the NSCAA National Coach of the Year Award.
In addition to his experience coaching at the collegiate level, Lee served on the staff of the Region III Olympic Development Program Team from 1999-2008, while reaching the rank of assistant coach of the Region III ODP Team in 2006.
In 2014, Lee rejoined the coaching staff for the Region III ODP Team as the head coach of the Under-15 age group.
A successful athlete in his own right, Lee earned four letters with the Furman men’s soccer team from 1989-92 as an integral part of three Southern Conference titles and was voted team captain and selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player as a senior. He also led his team to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance and a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1991.
Lee, 46, graduated from Furman in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He and his wife, the former Nancy Repsher of Westboro, Massachusetts, and also a 1993 graduate of Furman University, have two children – Aidan, 12, and Abby, 11.
The Brian Lee File
Full Name: Brian Gordon Lee
Birthdate: May 14, 1971 in Cheltenham, England
Wife: Nancy Repsher of Westboro, Mass.
Children: Aidan, Abby
Education: Furman University, B.A. Political Science, 1993
Playing And Coaching Experience
- * – NCAA Tournament Appearance
- ^ – SEC Tournament Champions
- # – SEC Western Division Championship
- ! – Southern Conference Championship