La Salle Names Rob Irvine Head Men's Soccer Coach
PHILADELPHIA – Rob Irvine, who spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Penn and the last two campaigns as the head coach at Kean, has been named the head men's soccer coach at La Salle University, interim director of athletics Bill Bradshaw announced today.
"Rob impressed us with his passion, energy, recruiting connections and plan for the future of La Salle men's soccer," Bradshaw said. "He helped Penn to three NCAA Tournaments during his time as an assistant there before reviving the Kean program to one of the top programs in Division III in a short period of time. We believe that Rob will build upon the strong tradition of men's soccer at La Salle that was developed by Bill Wilkinson and Pat Farrell."
"I would like to thank President Hanycz, Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw, Senior Associate Athletic Director John Lyons, and the members of the search committee for the opportunity to lead the La Salle men's soccer program," Irvine said. "It is an honor to continue to build upon the hard work and strong foundation that Coach Pat Farrell and Coach Bill Wilkinson have created at La Salle. I'm looking forward to working diligently with our staff, players, and proud Explorer alumni to continue to push the program forward."
Irvine took over a Kean program in 2014 that finished last in the New Jersey Athletic Conference the previous season. He led the program to its most victories (12) since 2002 and its first home playoff game since 2006 in a conference that is considered one of the most competitive in Division III.
In his second season, Kean began the season 14-2 and reached as high as #12 in the national polls. The Cougars finished the 2015 season ranked in the top 10 nationally in goals per game, assists per game and shots per game.
Kean had eight All-NJAC selections in two seasons and one player named to the NSCAA All-Region team.
Irvine spent the previous eight seasons at Penn (2006-14), helping the Quakers to three NCAA Tournaments (2008, 2010 and 2013) and a pair of Ivy League Championships (2008, 2013). The 2010 NCAA bid was an at-large selection after the team finished 13-6 overall with a #24 RPI. The Quakers defeated Bucknell, 1-0, in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
He coached 42 All-Ivy League players, including 12 Quakers that were named to the first team. Duke Lacroix was named the 2013 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year. In addition, four of his players were selected in the Major League Soccer draft (Christian Barreiro Tom Brandt, Dan Cepero, and Alex Grendi).
Irvine was the head men's and women's soccer coach at the College of the Southwest in Hobbs, New Mexico from 2004-06. He was named the conference's coach of the year three times and led the team to the Red River Conference Tournament four times.
Born in Leeds, England and a native of Toronto, Ontario, Irvine began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Syracuse, from 2001-03. He also has extensive club coaching experience with FC Delco, including being the head coach of the U15/16 US Development Academy Team from 2008-10.
Irvine played collegiately at Syracuse from 1994-97 and served as the team captain during his junior and senior seasons. He was a four-year starter for the Orange and graduated with a bachelor's degree in advertising from the Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1998.
He was a member of the Canadian Olympic Soccer team pool in 1993-94 and competed in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Tournament as a member of the Canadian National U17 team in 1991.
Irvine began his professional playing career in the A-League in 1998 for the Toronto Lynx and was a National Professional Soccer League draft pick in 1998 by the Buffalo Blizzard. He played one season for the Glen Shields Sun Devils of the Canadian Professional Soccer League before two years with the Sacramento Knights of the World Indoor Soccer League, helping the team to a pair of WISL Championships.
In addition to his bachelor's degree from Syracuse, Irvine received master's degrees from Syracuse (public administration, 2003) and Penn (organizational dynamics, 2012). He also owns an "A" license from the United States Soccer Federation.
What They Are Saying About Rob Irvine:
Rudy Fuller, Head Men's Soccer Coach, University of Pennsylvania:
"This is a great hire for La Salle University, the Explorer men's soccer program and the greater Philadelphia soccer community. ?I'm thrilled for Rob and think he will do an outstanding job. ?The La Salle soccer family is getting a hard-working, energetic, passionate, and knowledgeable leader for their current and future teams. ?I have no doubt that there are successful days ahead for La Salle soccer."
Zack Steffen, MLS Columbus Crew and U23 US National Team goalkeeper:
"Rob was a vital part to the start of my growth in the net. I was 14/15 when they brought me up to play with his U16 FC Delco Academy team, and from the first training I noticed his passion and high intensity. He pushed all of his players to get better each training. These main aspects of his coaching showed me how competitive and focused you have to be in every training, and I've lived by this and have gotten better each season since."
Duke Lacroix, NASL Indy Eleven and Penn Soccer Alumni:
"Rob drives players to excel on and off the field, pushing players to have a competitive passion for the sport. His intensity to coach and unwavering desire to teach the skills of the game has benefitted myself over the years. His attitude and preparation fostered my development as a player."
John Hackworth, U17 US National Team head coach, former Manager of Philadelphia Union:
"La Salle just made one of the best hires in college soccer. I have watched Rob grow into an outstanding coach and leader over the last several years. He has invested in his own development as a coach through many levels of soccer. Coach Irvine will run a first class program."