Josh Rife (left)
Liberty Women's Soccer Head Coach Nate Norman has announced the hiring of Josh Rife as assistant coach. The addition of Rife rounds out Norman's full-time staff heading into the 2016 season.
"I am very excited to bring Josh on as part of our staff," Norman stated. "He has played and coached at the highest levels. He played his college soccer at Indiana and had a very long and successful professional career, as well. He also has coaching experience collegiately in the men's and women's game and most recently on the professional level with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds."
Norman added, "He not only will be a huge help on the field, but he understands the culture we have here in our women's soccer program. He really cares about serving others and developing each player on and off the field."
Rife brings a wealth of professional coaching and playing experience to the Lady Flames' program. The Honolulu, Hawaii native most recently served as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer League (USL). In 2015, the Riverhounds closed out the year tied for second in the league with 53 goals. Rife was also the head coach for the organization's U-23 developmental squad.
Prior to his time with the Riverhounds, Rife was the head coach for the Rochester Lancers (2013-14) of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), becoming the youngest head coach in league history. During his year-long stint, Rife handled the daily operations of the team and was in charge of overseeing the organization's camps and clinics.
In 2008, Rife was hired as an assistant men's soccer coach at NCAA Division II member Palm Beach Atlantic, where he coached under current Liberty men's soccer assistant coach Jose Gomez. In 2010, the pair helped guide the Sailfish to an NCCAA National Championship.
An accomplished soccer player on the professional indoor and outdoor circuit, Rife signed with the Philadelphia KiXX of the MISL on Nov. 4, 2005, and went on to be named to the 2006 All-MISL Rookie Team. On Oct. 19, 2006, the KiXX traded Rife to the Detroit Ignition of the Xtreme Soccer League (XSL). While with the Ignition, Rife was named the XSL Defensive Player of the Year. He led the XSL with 31 shot blocks as Detroit won the league championship.
After his time in the Motor City, Rife played professional indoor soccer with the Milwaukee Wave in the MISL. During the 2009-10 season, he was named second team All-MISL and MISL Defensive Player of Month in January and March. Rife led the MISL with 36 blocked shots and played all 20 games, scoring 11 goals and tallying 28 points.
Rife began his professional playing career in 2003 with the Charlotte Eagles of the USL Professional Division, where he also played alongside Gomez. Rife was instrumental in guiding the team to a USL2 Championship in 2005 and was voted USL2 Defender of the Year in 2006.
Following a 10-year run with the Eagles, Rife played 26 games with the USL's VSI Tampa Bay FC in 2013. After a year in which the team captain earned second team All-USL PRO honors, Rife retired from professional indoor and outdoor soccer.
Rife spent the first two years of his collegiate career at TCU (1998-99) before transferring to Indiana. Rife started 46 matches with the Hoosiers, becoming a two-time All-Big Ten Selection (2000-01) while earning first team NSCAA All-Region honors in 2001. Rife helped the team to two College Cups, a Big Ten Tournament championship in 2001 and the 2000 Big Ten regular-season championship.
Rife grew up in Denton, Texas, and attended Denton High School, where he was a four-year varsity starter. He played club soccer for the Texas Longhorns, a Dallas-based soccer club, from the age of nine until he was 18. At the age of 11, he toured Norway, Sweden and Denmark with a Venezuelan youth team and played in a series of tournaments where he garnered local and national attention.
Rife comes to Lynchburg with his wife, Christy, and two daughters, Maddison and Kilee. A former member of the Charlotte Lady Eagles and a 2008 UNCW Hall of Fame Inductee, Christy also served as an assistant at Gardner-Webb.
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