UNC Greensboro announced today that Chris Rich has been named men’s soccer head coach. Rich has spent the past 12 years as an assistant coach, including his three most recent stops at Atlantic Coast Conference schools Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
“We are excited to welcome Chris to the UNCG Spartan family,” said Director of Athletics Kim Record. “Chris has a proven track record of success leading student-athletes on the field and in the classroom. Over the past five years, he has worked in the state of North Carolina and understands the passion this state has for soccer. With his leadership – including six NCAA Tournament appearances as a coach – we know that Chris will build on UNCG men’s soccer’s rich history of success.”
“It is an incredible honor to be named the head men’s soccer coach at UNCG,” Rich said. “I am very grateful to Kim Record, Jody Smith, and Chancellor Gilliam for giving me the opportunity to lead the Spartan program. I look forward to working with the staff and players to build on the great tradition of the men’s soccer program. We will be committed to excellence in all aspects of the program as we look to compete at the highest level.”
“I would also like to thank Duke University, John Kerr, and Dr. Kevin White for giving me the opportunity to work at such an incredible institution. I have worked with some fantastic student-athletes and coaches during my career and I would not have this opportunity without them.”
Success in the ACC
Over the past three seasons, Rich served as assistant men’s coach and recruiting coordinator at Duke, where he helped guide the Blue Devils to two NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and finishes in the top 15 of the final United Soccer Coaches poll.
During that span, Duke also garnered 12 All-ACC selections including six last season, the most earned by the school in a single season since 2001. Additionally, the Blue Devils had a combined five players selected in the Major League Soccer Draft in 2017 and 2018.
In his role as recruiting coordinator, Rich secured three top-12 Top Drawer Soccer national recruiting classes while the men’s soccer team maintained a 3.3 cumulative team GPA.
During the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Rich was an assistant coach for North Carolina’s men’s soccer team, aiding in all aspects of running the program including recruiting, scouting, video analysis, practice and game preparation, and operations. In those two seasons, the Tar Heels won a combined 30 games and advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Prior to his stint at North Carolina, Rich served as an assistant coach with Virginia Tech where he oversaw scouting of opponents along with the development of First-Team All-ACC selection Kyle Renfro. Renfro was only the second Hokie to earn First-Team All-ACC honors.
Starting at his alma mater before a move to Division I
Rich began coaching in the Division I ranks in 2011 as an assistant coach at Florida International after spending four seasons at Barry (2007-10) – his alma mater – as assistant coach.
While on Barry’s coaching staff, Rich was instrumental in the Bucs making two trips to the NCAA Tournament. In 2010, Barry set a new program-record with four All-American selections.
Rich is also a scout for United States Soccer Federation and has been a national instructor for United Soccer Coaches since 2011. He earned his B.S. in Sport Management from Barry in 2006 and his M.S. in Sport Management from Barry in 2009.
What they’re saying about Rich
“I’m very proud of Chris. I’ve known him for quite a few years. We started working at Kendall Soccer in Miami when I was a director and coach at the academy. We’ve always kept a tight relationship. He’s one of the most honest, hard-working, confident and responsible young minds in soccer I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with, I believe, some high-level people in the country in terms of coaching education and on and off the field support for a team with scouting, recruiting, all those things.
So I’m very honored to speak a few words on Chris. I know he’s going to do a great job of setting the tone for the program, creating a fantastic culture of competition for team camaraderie and spirit and pride in the university, and the values that the university holds. I’m very confident in the job he’s going to do there. He’s going to build and develop. It’s a great opportunity for him, and I know he’s going to take advantage of it. I’m thinking of him and wish him the very best. Greensboro is very lucky to have him.”
— Luchi Gonzalez, FC Dallas (MLS) Head Coach
“Congratulations to UNCG and Coach Rich. Chris is a top young coach and an outstanding recruiter. He’s a diligent worker and bright coach who I’m confident will build on – and add to – the excellent tradition of UNCG Men’s Soccer. The future is bright in Greensboro.”
— Kevin Hudson, SMU Men’s Soccer Head Coach
“Chris is an outstanding hire for UNCG. He knows what it takes to be successful at the highest level. I have no doubt that he will meet the expectations of the administration, alumni, and the Greensboro community.”
— Mike Brizendine, Virginia Tech Men’s Soccer Head Coach