March 16, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame men's soccer head coach Bobby Clark has announced the hiring of former Irish standout Chad Riley as assistant coach. Riley was a four-time monogram winner for the Fighting Irish from 2000-03 and spent the past year as an assistant coach at St. John's.
"I had a wonderful experience of playing at Notre Dame for four years and now this is a great chance for me to come back to a place I really believe in," says Riley. "I had the pleasure of playing under Bobby (Clark) and now being able to coach along side him is a dream come true."
Following his graduation from Notre Dame in 2004, Riley served as an assistant coach at Oberlin College in Ohio during the 2004 season. He helped guide the Yeomen to a 9-8-3 record as five players earned all-North Coast Athletic Conference honors. The team was also a recipient of the National Soccer Coaches Association Team Academic Award, posting a 3.52 grade-point average, the highest of any of the 73 men's teams honored.
At St. John's in 2005, Riley helped guide the Red Storm to an 11-6-5 record and a berth in the third round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to top-seeded Maryland. St. John's boasted five all-BIG EAST selections in 2005, including M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist Matt Groenwald.
"It was around this time last year that (St. John's head coach) Dave Masur was looking for a young assistant coach," says Clark. "I said to Dave that if I was looking for a young, top-class assistant the first person I'd look at would be Chad Riley. Dave took my advice and hired Chad and this year when we were looking for an assistant coach, the first person I thought of was Chad. He'll do a wonderful job. He's a great young man who really loves both Notre Dame and soccer and that's a great combination."
Riley, a native of Houston, Texas, was a three-time all-BIG EAST performer during his Notre Dame career. He started 75 games in a Fighting Irish uniform and was an integral part of the Notre Dame squad that captured the 2003 BIG EAST tournament championship. That team would also make the program's second-ever trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Riley graduated with a degree in theology from the College of Arts and Letters and was twice named to the BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team.
"It'll be great to work with some of the players that I already know," states Riley. "I've played with some of them and I was also involved in their recruiting with official visits and all of that. I have also been able to get to know a lot of them by working summer camps here, so the transition should be pretty easy."
Riley fills one of two vacancies in the Notre Dame coaching staff after associate head coach Brian Wiese left to take over as head coach at Georgetown and assistant Mike Avery departed to become the top assistant coach at Louisville.
"It's great to have a Notre Dame alumnus on the staff," comments Clark. "He was a great four-year monogram winner here at Notre Dame. He was just a fabulous person to coach and I know he'll be a wonderful coach here for the University."