Winthrop University

Longtime Winthrop soccer coach Rich Posipanko stepping down after 2015 season

Winthrop University men’s soccer coach Rich Posipanko has announced that the 2015 season will be his last.

Posipanko has been at the program’s helm for 27 years. The 1991, 2006 and 2008 Big South Conference coach of the year has compiled a career record of 380-263-57. His Winthrop mark is 263-214-35 and he’s led the Eagles to five NCAA College Cups. Posipanko is currently ranked seventh among NCAA Division I active coaches in total victories, and is 21st on the all-time list for victories.

In 2002 he became the winningest coach in Winthrop history with his 134th victory. Posipanko is also the winningest coach in Longwood University history with 117 wins. His 263 victories are the most among any Big South coach in the league’s history. During the 2007 season Posipanko reached 300 career wins and joined an elite group of only 52 coaches in NCAA history (all divisions) and 25 coaches at the Div. I level to reach that level.

From 2001 to 2014 the Eagles ranked in the Top 10 nationally in scoring seven times, Top 25 10 times and the Top 50 on 11 occasions. The Eagles pushed themselves into the national polls on several occasions during this time as well. His teams have also been successful in the classroom maintaining around a 3.0 for the past 26 years.

Posipanko - better known as "Gaffer" by his players and peers - has had a long list of successes through his years of coaching. Prior to his position at Longwood, Posipanko served as the assistant coach at College of New Jersey (formally known as Trenton State College) for three years. He also coached the Virginia State Team in the Olympic Development Program from 1986 to 1989. In addition to his college coaching experience, Posipanko coached professionally serving as assistant coach of the Houston Dynamos in the United States Soccer League in 1985.

Posipanko is dedicated to soccer and spends much of his free time trying to improve the college game and give back to the local community with many summer soccer camps and clinics.

He is also very active on the fundraising front. Posipanko has raised over $250,000 over the years for the soccer program including many of the upgrades to Eagle Field, enhanced scholarship funding and helped increase the operational budget. He also started the Manchester Cup each spring which has become one of the top college showcases in the nation drawing huge crowds and top teams from the south region. In addition he has always tried to bring high level teams to the community, whether they were other ranked college teams, USL Pro teams or two years ago when Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire came to Eagle Field and became the first MLS side to play in upstate South Carolina.

One of his passions in recent years has been raising money for breast cancer. Posipanko helped raise over $205,000 for breast cancer over the past six years through the Kicks Against Cancer Games, Champions Night and now a new group he is involved with called The Carolinas Kickin’ It Challenge.

During his 36 years as a collegiate head coach he’s had 156 All-Conference players, 64 All-Region selections, 14 All-Americans, four Olympic team players, four Freshmen of the Year, three Player of the Year, 34 Academic All-Americans, six national team members and a Lowes Senior Award Top 10 finalist and a Walter Byers Scholarship finalist and winner. Over the years 16 of his players have also gone on to play in the professional ranks.

The Eagles are coming off one of the best season in school history. In 2014 they were 13-4-2 with the highest season ending RPI in program history at 39. The Eagles return 9 or 10 starters and 21 players for the 2015 season.

The 2015 regular season will end for Posipanko where his collegiate coaching career began as the Eagles head to Farmville, Va., to take on Longwood.