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Riverhounds announce head coaching change

By Riverhounds Staff, 11/14/17, 1:45PM EST

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PITTSBURGH (November 14, 2017) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have hired former Rochester Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley to replace Dave Brandt.

The mutually agreed upon change comes in response to Brandt being deemed ineligible to coach under United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Division II requirements for the upcoming 2018 campaign due to not meeting the required “A” licensing level for a head coach.

Lilley joins the Hounds after six seasons with the Rhinos. He led Rochester to the playoffs in every year at the helm, including winning the USL Cup in 2015.

“We are highly disappointed with this news, but understand the necessity to comply with the league’s decision,” Riverhounds owner Tuffy Shallenberger said. “Dave has been nothing shy of first class since joining the organization. We are incredibly grateful for his contributions to the Riverhounds and he has left the team in a significantly better position than when he arrived.

“Moving forward, we must continue to operate at the highest professional standards at all levels and do feel very fortunate to welcome Bob to the Riverhounds team. His level of success within the USL is one that goes without saying and something we have had to endure plenty of times both here in Pittsburgh and on the road. Having Bob in our corner is an incredibly fortunate and exciting result to an unfortunate circumstance.”

Brandt was hired by the Hounds partway through the 2016 season after a successful collegiate coaching career at first Messiah College then the United States Naval Academy. In his two seasons with the club, Brandt oversaw an improvement from 25 points in 2016 to 36 points this past year.

As part of the Division II sanctioning, the USL must ensure all clubs meet the full list of minimum standard requirements that have been established by the USSF, including requiring all head coaches to obtain a USSF "A" License.

Between two coaching stints from 2010-11 and 2014-17, Lilley experienced massive success as head coach of the Rhinos, compiling a record of 87-37-53 across 177 matches and earning Coach of the Year honors on two separate occasions in 2010 and 2015. Outside of league play, the Rhinos have consistently been one of the toughest outs in U.S. Open Cup play as well; recording at least a 4th Round finish in four straight seasons.  

“I am excited and honored to join the Pittsburgh Riverhounds organization. They have made tremendous strides as a club to move forward in the modern USL,” Lilley said. “Tuffy’s investment and ability to tap into the corporate community in Pittsburgh, as well as the phenomenal growth of their youth development model has this team poised to continue its rise in prominence.”

A native of Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, Lilley began his professional coaching career in 1997 with the Hershey Wildcats in the USL A-League. His five seasons with the club saw him earn USL-A Coach of the Year honors in his first year and not once fail to reach the playoffs.

Following the club folding in 2001, Lilley continued with stints in USL-A north of the border with first the Montreal Impact from 2002-03 and then the Vancouver Whitecaps from 2004-07. Most notably, Lilley received Coach of the Year honors for a second time in 2003 with the Impact, as well as led the Whitecaps to a league title in 2006. 

Prior to joining the Rhinos ahead of the 2010 season, Lilley spent 2007-08 as head coach at the Detroit Ignition in the Major Indoor Soccer League. He was tabbed Coach of the Year after helping the club to a regular season title.

As a player, Lilley’s professional career spanned nine seasons, including one year with the short-lived Pittsburgh Stingers of the Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1994. Primarily playing defender, a bulk of Lilley’s career was spent indoors in Harrisburg with the Heat of the now-defunct National Professional Soccer League, where he tallied 73 goals across 173 appearances.

He also played outdoors in the top division of American soccer at the time, the American Professional Soccer League, with the Orlando Lions and Maryland Bays from 1989-91. 

The Riverhounds formally introduced Lilley earlier today at Highmark Stadium as the 10th head coach in the club’s history.