Cowlishaw named interim Richmond head coach

Cowlishaw named interim Richmond head coach
August 10, 2012

Former Spider standout Leigh Cowlishaw has been named men’s soccer interim head coach at the University of Richmond, effective immediately.  Cowlishaw replaces Clint Peay, who resigned to accept a coaching position with the Under-17 U.S. Men's National Team.

Cowlishaw is currently the head coach of the professional soccer team Richmond Kickers and will continue in that role in addition to taking the helm of Spider men’s soccer this fall.

 “We are grateful to Coach Cowlishaw for agreeing to step in to assist with our men’s soccer program,” said LaRee Sugg, Associate Athletic Director.  “He brings with him a great affection and respect for the University as well as a desire to win that will be contagious among our student-athletes. We look forward to him being a positive influence on our young men during his tenure with our program. “

Cowlishaw, a native of Burton-on-Trent, England, was a forward for the Spiders from 1990-93. He earned CAA Player of the Year honors as a freshman in 1990, also receiving All-America honors that season. Cowlishaw led the Spiders to their first CAA title and first NCAA Tournament berth in his freshman campaign.

The Spiders' all-time leader in goals (54), assists (31) and points (139), Cowlishaw was a two-time Academic All-American. He was also named to the CAA Silver Anniversary men’s soccer team in 2009.

“I am honored that the University of Richmond asked me to guide them through this difficult transition period,” said Cowlishaw. “The challenge of producing a winning season, coupled with a return to my alma mater, was an opportunity I could not pass up.

“I look forward to working with the players and am hopeful that my passion for soccer, UR and success will help drive the team toward a positive and memorable season.”

Cowlishaw holds Richmond's top-two single season marks in points, goals and assists. He scored 53 points in 1990 and had 39 in 1991.  He scored 21 goals in 1990 and had 17 in 1991 and had 13 assists in 1991 and 11 in 1990.

A cornerstone for the Spiders’ men’s soccer program, Richmond named an award in Cowlishaw’s honor following his graduation. The Leigh Cowlishaw Hall of Fame Award was bestowed upon a Spider men’s soccer student-athlete who demonstrated outstanding play and dedication throughout his athletic career at Richmond. The award was presented annually from 1995-2008.

Cowlishaw was inducted into the University of Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame with the Class of 2001, becoming the first soccer student-athlete to be selected.

Cowlishaw is in his 13th year as head coach of the Richmond Kickers, having led the team to three USL Finals and a USL-2 title in 2006.  Cowlishaw just secured his 200th victory with the Kickers last month. He joined the Kickers as a player after graduating from the University of Richmond, helping them win the "Double" with the US Open Cup and Premier League Championships in 1995.

Cowlishaw ranks sixth on the Kickers all-time goals scored list (19) and seventh in all-time points (49). He was the first Kicker to have his number (13) retired.  Cowlishaw also boasts postseason appearances in 11 of the last 12 seasons, two league championships and six appearances in the playoff final at the helm of the Kickers. Cowlishaw is a two-time Coach of the Year.

Off the pitch, Cowlishaw acts as the Richmond Kickers Vice President and serves on the board of the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club.

A national search for a permanent men’s soccer head coach is scheduled to begin following the 2012 fall season.

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