RICHMOND, VA – (Monday, August 6, 2012) – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to recognize Leigh Cowlishaw for achieving a career milestone with his 200th win as head coach on Friday, July 13 with a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at City Stadium. An integral member of the Kickers franchise since the club’s inception in 1993, Cowlishaw has compiled an overall record 203-103-73 over 13 seasons at the helm.
“We are proud to recognize Leigh for this milestone achievement, reaching 200 professional wins,” commented Rob Ukrop, Richmond Kickers President, Board of Directors. “Leigh has been a wonderful ambassador for our club both on the field and in the community. Since 1993, his vision and leadership have helped shape the Richmond Kickers into the model for soccer in the United States. Leigh has a unique ability to find players with team-first goals at the professional level and blend their talents to build successful teams that reflect the mission and values of our club.”
Under Cowlishaw’s guidance, the Kickers have qualified for postseason play 11 of the past 12 seasons, reaching the league title match six times (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010) and claiming the USL crown twice (2006 and 2009). Having also achieved significant success in the U.S. Open Cup, he won the tournament title as a player in 1995 and has since led the team to four quarterfinal appearances (2001, 2004, 2007, 2011) and a remarkable semifinal finish in 2011. Ousting five Major League Soccer teams along the way, including Colorado Rapids in 2000, D.C. United in 2004, LA Galaxy in 2007 and Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in 2011, the Kickers became the first lower division team to defeat back-to-back MLS teams on the road.
Cowlishaw’s success on the field is matched by numerous awards off the field, helping to guide the club to five USL Organization of the Year awards (1995, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009). Following the 2006 and 2009 seasons, he was named FieldTurf USL-2 Coach of the Year and was a USL Coach of the Year finalist six consecutive seasons (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011). In 2009, Cowlishaw was honored for his achievements by being inducted into the USL Hall of Fame in the Coach Category.
As Director of Soccer, Cowlishaw provides technical direction and guidance for all levels of the Kickers organization and serves on the Richmond Kickers Board of Directors. Integral in establishing the Richmond Kickers youth club in 2000, he now works closely with the technical staff to oversee nearly 8,000 youth soccer players in programs sponsored by the Kickers and partner clubs.
As a professional player (1993-1998), Cowlishaw helped the Kickers win the “Double” with the U.S. Open Cup and the Premier League Championships in 1995. He resides in sixth place on the Kickers all-time goals scored list (19) and all-time points list (49) and is a Kickers top 10 career leader in assists (11). Cowlishaw is the only player to play under every coach in Kickers franchise history and in September of 1999, he was honored as the first player to have his number (13) retired.
At the University of Richmond, Cowlishaw made his mark by becoming the career record holder for goals (55), assists (33) and total points (143), earning All-American honors and the CAA Player of the Year award. In January 2001, he was the first soccer player in university history to be inducted into the University of Richmond Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Richmond Kickers return to Richmond City Stadium this Saturday, August 11 to host the Harrisburg City Islanders in the regular season home finale at 7:00 p.m. Order tickets in advance at RichmondKickers.com.