It is hard to believe that our spring season has already come and gone. Despite the challenges of COVID we were extremely excited and grateful to be back on the field and playing in an actual season. The season looked a bit different this year as our conference was split into a mountain side and a west side. We finished 4th on the arguably stronger west side after being selected to finish 9th in the preseason poll. We had three players make second team all conference (Samantha Bailley, Nailah Hapring, Lourdes Bosch) the first time multiple selections have occurred since 2016. This season left us motivated and hungry forAugust to show everyone who UNLV is and represent our city!
UNLV men’s soccer head coach Rich Ryerson announced Monday that the fall 2021 season will be his last leading the Rebel program.
“It has been an absolute honor to steward the UNLV men’s soccer team for the last 11 years, and I could not be more proud to serve one more season this fall,” Ryerson said. “I am so very proud of the accomplishments of all of our student-athletes through the years with our graduation rates, championships, Major League Soccer signings, and the tremendous volunteer work throughout our community.”
Ryerson, who will enter his 12th season as head coach this upcoming fall, took over the program in the Spring of 2010 after spending the previous two years as its assistant coach. In 2014, he led the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 26 years and subsequently recorded its first NCAA Tournament win in 29 seasons in 2016.
“We appreciate the many years of hard work and dedication that Rich has devoted to UNLV,” UNLV Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois said. “From a player to coach, Rich has made an incredible impact on so many student-athletes, our program and soccer in the Las Vegas Valley. While he is departing from this head coaching role, we know he will continue to be connected to UNLV Athletics.”
Ryerson led UNLV to the Western Athletic Conference’s regular season and tournament championships in 2014 and to the conference tournament title again in 2016. He was named the WAC Coach of the Year and NSCAA Region Coach of the Year in 2014.
“Rebel soccer is dear to my heart as an alumnus, as well as for my three brothers and nephew who represented the university as part of the program,” Ryerson continued. “I would like to thank Desiree for her confidence as I transition my career from the soccer field to my next opportunity. Additionally, thank you to the UNLV Soccer Foundation and our Valley’s soccer community for all of their support over the years.”
Ryerson, the fifth head coach in program history, met a challenge in 2010 when the program was in jeopardy of being cut because of the budget situation by leading its fundraising charge. Under his watch, five Rebel soccer players have heard their name called during the MLS Draft: Salvador Bernal in 2015, Bradley Kamdem in 2016, Danny Musovski and Kevin Partida in 2018, and Timo Mehlich in 2019.
One of four Ryerson brothers to play for the Rebel men’s soccer program (Rob, Kenny, Tim), Rich was a four-year starting defender/midfielder for UNLV from 1983-86 and led the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances along with three straight conference championships as a student-athlete. During his junior season, the Rebels posted a program-best 18-2-2 mark and a No. 4 final national ranking. That 1985 squad was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
A national search for his replacement will commence in the fall.
Hear from UNLV men’s and women’s soccer head coaches Rich Ryerson and Jenny Ruiz-Williams along with other Rebel alumni, MLS player Danny Musovski, USL Player Joaquin Rivas and WPSL Associate Commissioner Macy Jo Harrison about their experiences at UNLV and in the world of professional soccer.
Gift to be allocated towards scholarships for both men’s and women’s soccer programs
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV Soccer Foundation has made a $40,000 donation to the Rebel Athletic Fund’s new D5 Momentum Fund 2.0 in a move to support both the men’s and women’s soccer programs during these unprecedented times, the athletics department announced Thursday.
“The UNLV Soccer Foundation is truly leading by example with this generous contribution,” said UNLV Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois. “The Momentum Fund is crucial in continuing our momentum toward creating a championship culture through the support of and investment in our student-athletes in all 17 of our sports programs at a time when it is needed the most.”
The $40,000 donation will be allocated evenly towards scholarships for both the men’s and women’s soccer programs.
“Our commitment today ensures the men and women of the UNLV soccer programs are supported during this health and humanitarian crisis,” said Dan Giraldo, UNLV Soccer Foundation President. “The board fully understands that these are unprecedented times where the health and safety of our student-athletes should remain a top priority and investing into the Momentum Fund is our way to help not only UNLV Soccer, but UNLV Athletics in this time of need. We hope that other foundations can step in, to the best of their abilities, and provide needed inspiration to their respective programs which will in turn assist the Momentum Fund and UNLV Athletics as a whole.”
“The generosity and support of the UNLV Soccer Foundation for both the men’s and women’s programs has been absolutely incredible since it was established four years ago,” said UNLV men’s soccer head coach Rich Ryerson. “This gift to the Momentum Fund illustrates the foundation’s dedication, not only to UNLV soccer, but also to UNLV Athletics. During my time serving as the head coach, this community has supported the program beyond expectations. On behalf of both the men’s and women’s soccer programs, I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the UNLV Soccer Foundation board members!”
“The support of the UNLV Soccer Foundation has been unbelievable,” said UNLV women’s soccer head coach Jenny Ruiz-Williams. “I am constantly filled with joy – day-to-day and moment-to-moment – by their encouragement, generosity, and selflessness as they invest in the future of both the men’s and women’s programs.”
The Momentum Fund originally debuted in March of this year, before evolving into the D5 Momentum Fund 2.0 in August as the athletics department, which is facing unprecedented financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, looks to overcome the loss of ticket and premium sales revenue. The new focus has a goal of raising $1.5 million from donors by the end of the calendar year.