"We are proud and excited to announce Billy as our next head coach," McGarity said. "He will bring plenty of experience from a successful Duke University program, and we are looking forward to him leading us in the future. We are thrilled to welcome Billy and his family to Athens and to the University of Georgia."
Lesesne comes to Georgia following 14 seasons in Durham, the last 11 as the program's associate head coach. He helped lead the 2011 edition of the Blue Devils to the NCAA College Cup and was named the Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year that season. In his 14 seasons at Duke, the Blue Devils reached a total of 12 NCAA tournaments, including three consecutive trips to the quarterfinals, from 2011-13.
He previously spent three seasons as an assistant coach before his promotion in the summer of 2004. In addition to his coaching duties at Duke, Lesesne was a North Carolina ODP state coach and Region III staff coach in 2002-03.
Prior to his time in Durham, Lesesne served as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt for two seasons, guiding the Commodores to the semifinals of the SEC tournament in 2000.
Lesesne's previous head coaching experience came at his alma mater, Erskine, where he spent six seasons. There, he served as the head coach of both the men's and women's programs. He earned several honors during his time at Erskine, including NSCAA Division II Women's South Region Coach of the Year and Carolina's Virginia Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1997, after leading the Lady Fleet to a 15-2-1 record and a conference title. He also won the Carolina's Virginia Athletic Conference Messick Award for Sportsmanship in 1996, '97, and '98, as well as the conference award for highest graduation rates for student-athletes.
Lesesne began his coaching career at Cambridge Academy in Greenwood, South Carolina in 1988, before serving as the assistant men's coach at the College of Charleston from 1990-91. He also coached the South Carolina Boys' State ODP team from 1990-95 and the Girls' ODP team from 1996-99.
Lesesne enjoyed a successful playing career, playing three years of professional soccer with the Charleston Battery (USISL/A-League) and four years at Erskine, where he was an NAIA All-America selection his senior season and an NSCAA All-South Region honoree his last two seasons. He also earned NAIA All-District 6 honors from 1983-86, and was the Jake Todd/Erskine College Senior Athlete Award winner for the 1986-87 school year. He graduated from Erskine in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in biology/natural science.
Lesesne currently resides in Durham with his wife, Katie, two daughters, Addison (10) and Victoria (9), and son, William (2 weeks).