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News Section: Sports

Ricky Hill to Return as Rowdies Head Coach

Published Monday, December 16, 2013 12:01 am 1987 Ricky Hill.JPG

ST. PETERSBURG - The Rowdies have announced that Head Coach Ricky Hill will be returning for the 2014 Season, signing a one-year contract extension. The former England international will enter his fourth season with the Rowdies after joining the club for the 2011 Season.

“I am very happy to have committed to this extension,” said Hill.  “I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the Rowdies, from the early 1990’s to present day.  Rowdies fans are second to none in support of the team, and myself in particular.  I look forward to continuing my efforts to help produce a winning side, and make the fans and the entire organization proud of the Rowdies.”

Hill’s personality has been an asset to the organization since his arrival, demonstrating resilience and perseverance. Hill’s ambition to focus on maintaining possession of the ball has led the Rowdies to play one of the most attractive styles of soccer in the North American Soccer League.

"I could not be more pleased with the re-signing of Ricky Hill,” said Perry Van Der Beck, Executive Vice President, Technical Director and Director of Player Development. “He has earned the utmost respect from the players, fans and the entire Rowdies organization for his expert knowledge of the game and his successful achievements as a coach and as a professional player. Having already won the 2012 NASL Championship, Ricky continues to build the foundation for more NASL Championships for our club in the future."

In his first year with the club, the Rowdies defeated the Bolton Wonders of the English Premier League and Hill guided the club to the NASL quarterfinals while also earning the NASL Fair Play award. Recognizing the prolific season the team had in 2012, Hill earned the inaugural 2012 North American Soccer League Coach of the Year Award. With Hill at the helm, the Rowdies were awarded their second consecutive Fair Play Award by the NASL for the 2012 season.

In 2013, the club battled for first place until the final weeks of the season finishing with the second-best overall record combining the spring and fall campaigns. Another historic moment in Hill’s coaching tenure with the Rowdies was guiding the club to the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after defeating the three-time champion Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer.

“Head Coach Ricky Hill has been a key component of the Rowdies on-field success,” said club owner Bill Edwards.  “I look forward to working with him to bring the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship trophy back to St. Petersburg, frequently.”

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