UNC Greensboro announced on July 30, 2019, 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 being at Atlantic Coast Conference schools Duke, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
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 of 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.
In 2012 and 2013, Rich also 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.
Jaime Ibarra joined men's soccer's coaching staff as an assistant coach for the 2019 season after spending more than two years with Southern Methodist University’s men’s soccer program. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Ibarra served as a graduate assistant as the Mustangs won back-to-back American Athletic Conference championships.
In 2017, the Mustangs won 17 games – most since the 2006 season – en route to an appearance in the third round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The next season, SMU defeated then-No. 7 UCF in the AAC Championship Game to earn a second-straight trip to postseason play.
Prior to his time at SMU, Ibarra was an assistant coach at Mountain View Community College and worked with the North Texas Olympic Development Program. He earned a B.A. in History and a M.B.E in Bilingual Education from SMU.
Garrett McLaughlin comes to UNCG from Lipscomb where he spent the last four years. He was an associate head coach last year.
During his time with Lipscomb, McLaughlin helped the Bisons reached their first two NCAA Tournaments in program history. In 2018 they reached the NCAA Sweet 16 after defeating No. 25 Washington and No. 9 UCF in the first two rounds. They ended the season ranked in three of the year-end Top 25 polls.
During that 2018 season, the Bisons men's soccer program also had the highest team grade point average in the country with a cumulative 3.7 grade point average.
Prior to Lipscomb, he was an assistant coach for Xavier University's men's soccer program where he assisted in all areas of the program. Specifically, in managing day-to-day on-field training, recruiting and team academics.
Helped Xavier clinch a spot in the Big East Tournament. Also, helped coach the 2016 Big East Defender of the Year, Cory Brown. As well as Jalen Brown, an All-Big East selection, who was drafted in the second round of the MLS Draft to New York City FC.
Before Xavier, McLaughlin had two successful seasons as a Volunteer Assistant at Lipscomb, where in his first season, he helped the Bisons to a program-best 12-4-1 record securing the A-Sun regular season title in 2014. The Bisons were 18-14-2 overall during his two years in Nashville, racking up several conference honors in the process.
McLaughlin trained the 2014 A-Sun Defender of the Year, Luke Gearin, and the A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Ivan Alvarado. While at Lipscomb, he also coached at the Tennessee Soccer Club.
Prior to being a Volunteer Assistant at Lipscomb, McLaughlin began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, a Division III school in his home state of Texas. The Cru racked up a 26-19-4 record during his three years with numerous conference awards and accomplishments.
McLaughlin played at Lipscomb University during the 2007-2010 seasons and was a four-year starter. He was a three-year captain of the Bisons, starting 67 out of 72 games played throughout his four years. He scored 10 goals and had eight assists in his tenure. He helped the Bisons to their first ever ASUN Conference Tournament appearance in 2007.
Originally from Belton, Texas, McLaughlin played for the Lonestar Soccer Club in Austin. He holds a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in counseling.
Jeff Gross heads into his second year as the associate head coach in 2020 after serving as an assistant for the previous five years at UNCG under women's head coach Michael Coll. Gross has helped Coll and the Spartans win two of the last three Southern Conference Tournament Championships to claim the conference’s automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament.
The Spartans entered the SoCon Championship Tournament as a No. 3 seed in 2019, finishing with a 7-2-0 record in conference play. UNCG had three players earn All-Conference designations including an All-Freshman selection in Gabi Santora. UNCG went as far as the SoCon semifinals before the team's season ended against No. 2 Furman. The Spartans recorded five clean sheets as a team on the year, including four in conference play alone, tied for the most in the SoCon.
In 2018 the Spartans boasted their best overall record, 15-5-1 and 7-2-0 in the SoCon, in the last five years. UNCG outscored its three SoCon opponents by a combined score of 11-4 to claim to its ninth SoCon Tournament title in program history. Cienna Rideout was named SoCon Player of the Year after leading the league in points (37) and goals (14), and Nicole Souply won freshman of the year. Six players garnered All-SoCon accolades, and three freshmen made the all-freshman team.
The previous season the Spartans went 11-8-3 and 5-2-2 in the Southern Conference. UNCG won its last three regular season games and then the SoCon Tournament, the first since 2010.
In Gross' second season the Spartans posted a 9-9-3 record and improved to 6-2-1 in the Southern Conference. The team earned a No. 3 seed in the SoCon Tournament, its highest in four seasons and seven players earned All-SoCon honors.
Gross came to UNCG after being the Director of Coaching for the East Meadow Soccer club in Long Island, New York after finishing his fifth year with the club in 2014. He has been instrumental in the club's ability to gain entry into the Elite Clubs National League for girls, the National Premier League for boys and into every major tournament and showcase in the country for both boys and girls.
Prior to working with the East Meadow Soccer Club, Gross worked five years as the Director of Coaching at the Football Club Frederick in Frederick, Maryland from 2004-2009. During his time there he led the U-16 Girls team to the Maryland State Cup Championship in 2009 and a Region I finalist.
Over a coaching career that spans 25 years to this point, Gross has been involved in several high level soccer environments including boys elite leagues/cups, girls elite leagues/cups and several tournament championships. He has worked with players that have played in the youth national teams, at all ages, and a multitude of players that have gone onto successful college soccer careers.
From 1994 through 2004, Gross was the head coach of the Maryland Olympic Development Program leading the U-16 squad to a ODP National Championship finalist in 2000. Also his U-15 team was a Region I Regional Champion in 1999.
Gross played his collegiate soccer career at the University of Maryland Baltimore County earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in 1991. Gross holds the USSF “A” license and the NSCAA “Premier Diploma” and the US Soccer National Youth License.
Stefani Workman is entering her fourth season as an assistant coach of the UNCG Women's Soccer Program. Stefani was an integral part of helping the Spartans win back-to-back SoCon Tournament Championships in 2017 and 2018. Workman has a variety of different roles on and off the field including office administration, recruiting, gameday management, and training the Spartan goalkeepers.
Under the tutelage of Coach Workman, freshman goalkeeper Abby Buchholz delivered five shutouts over her 16 starts in 2019, with four coming in conference play. Her 0.89 goals against average when playing conference opponents ranked fourth in the SoCon, while her four clean sheets against ETSU, Mercer, Wofford and VMI placed her in a tie for the top mark in the conference. After going 0-3-0 in her first four career appearances, Buchholz’ play continued to improve over her debut campaign with the Spartans, closing out the season on a 9-3-1 streak, and making a team-high 53 saves on the year.
In her first two seasons working with the Spartan goalkeepers, Workman guided Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper to among the best in the Southern Conference in every statistical category. Cooper led the SoCon in save percentage (.848) in 2018, while finishing second in saves (106) and shutouts (8) and third in goals against average (0.94). She allowed just one goal in the conference tournament with a .032 goals against average, 0.952 save percentage and 20 saves that pushed the Spartans to win their eighth SoCon Tournament, and first since 2010. In 2018 Tyler-Cooper was selected to the All-SoCon Second Team with a 15-5-1 record on the year. She ranked second in the conference in shutouts (6), third in saves (87), fourth in save percentage (.813) and fifth in goals against average (0.97).
In addition to her experience at the collegiate level, Workman currently serves as a US Soccer Youth National Team Scout where she identifies top talent for regional Identification Centers and Youth National Team Camps. She also serves as the Director of Goalkeeping for NC Fusion Triad.
Workman comes to Greensboro following a two-year stint as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Dayton. In 2016, she helped the Flyers capture an Atlantic 10 Conference Championship and a birth in the NCAA tournament. During her run in the Buckeye State, Workman also served as the Director of Goalkeeping for Thunder United in Cincinnati and the head coach of the U15 Ohio South Olympic Development Program (ODP) Team.
Prior to her time at Dayton, Workman spent one season as an assistant at the University of Georgia where she mentored three All-Southeastern Conference performers, and helped guide the Bulldogs to a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2014.
Before making the move to Athens, Georgia, Workman made her debut as a head coach at NCAA Division II program Concord University in Athens, West Virginia . From 2010-14 the Mountain Lions posted a 34-31-4 record, boasting 14 All-Conference selections in the Mountain East Conference. While serving as head coach, Workman also acted as the Director of Academics for the athletic department where she helped develop and run the Graduation Retention Improvement Program (GRIP) for all student-athletes at Concord University.
Workman spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons on the women’s soccer staff at West Virginia University under the leadership of Nikki Izzo-Brown. While with the Mountaineers, she coached the goalkeepers to 26 shutouts, a Big East Regular Season Title and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. During her time at WVU, Workman also earned a Master’s of Science in Athletic Coaching Education.
She began her coaching career in 2005 as an assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati. Her main responsibilities included video analysis, individual development plans, recruitment of student-athletes, and on-field coaching of goalkeepers and the defensive unit.
Workman has served on staff of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I/II Olympic Development Programs and state ODP programs (KY, NC, OH, WV). She has obtained a National “B” License from the US Soccer Federation (USSF) and an Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma from the United Soccer Coaches (USC) Association.
In her In her playing career, Workman started all four seasons as a goalkeeper at Morehead State University. She earned multiple Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Player of the Week awards while helping the Eagles to multiple OVC Tournament appearances. She earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science from Morehead State in 2005, graduating with summa cum laude honors. Furthermore, Workman was the Vice President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and attended the NCAA Student Athlete Leadership Conference as the Champ Life Skills Coordinator for Athlete Activities.
A native of Poca, West Virginia, Workman was named the 2000 West Virginia Soccer Coaches goalkeeper of the year. A four-year starter at Poca High, she was named to the all-state team four times, including first-team recognition in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Workman played club soccer in West Virginia from 1992-2001.
Bachelor's – University of Southern Maine, 2020
First Year at UNCG in 2020-21
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