For Immediate Release: Rock Hill, 2/4/2016
Discoveries Soccer Club is delighted to announce the appointment of former Winthrop Head Coach Rich Posipanko as Director of Operations, Community and Corporate Development. Posipanko, who this year retired from the Head Coaching position at Winthrop after 27 years, will now co-ordinate corporate relationships, sponsorships and general fundraising activities for DSC, while supporting our community development program through commercial interaction with local businesses and retailers.
Executive Director Dave Carton on the Posipanko appointment:
“Obviously this is a very serious and high profile appointment for the club, and as we grow and develop we are now witnessing a specific need for expertise and experience in this area of our operations. While we have some fantastic partners, Gaffer’s role will be to improve the management of our current relationships and also open up new opportunities for the club with local businesses. At DSC we want to play an integral role in the community, and a large aspect of that is to provide local businesses a platform to grow with us. We are thrilled to have Gaffer come on board this year, and while his impact will be directly visible in our major projects, his experience in the game will no doubt benefit the club as a whole. Gaffer recruited me as a player back in 2005 and has been a mentor to me since the day I got here. It’s a pleasure to be working with him again and we are all excited for some great things ahead”.
Posipanko on his new role with DSC:
“I have been around since the early years of Discoveries Soccer Club and have seen it develop from having one or two teams into a very successful club which currently has over 1,100 members and works with an additional 2000 youth players from the various recreation programs within our community. Both Winthrop University and DSC have played a major role in the growth and development of soccer in the community over the years. By joining the DSC team I am honored that I will be able to continue playing a small role in the development of soccer in the area. I would like to thank the DSC Board of Directors and Executive Director Dave Carton for this opportunity. I have known Dave since he was recruited to play for Winthrop. He not only played four years for me, but also served as an assistant coach for another four years. Over this time, we have developed a very strong relationship based on mutual respect. I have watched closely his professional career over the years and have been most impressed with the job he has done and how he has moved up the ranks to become the Executive Director. He has done an outstanding job moving DSC forward and bringing a much improved professional atmosphere to the club. I am excited to once again work with Dave and the entire DSC family and hopefully I can make a meaningful and positive contribution”.
Rich Posipanko finished his 27th and final year at Winthrop University and 37th season as a head coach for his career in 2015. For the past twenty-six seasons, the Eagles have averaged over 10 wins per season in the toughest region in the Nation. The Eagles were 15-7-1 in 2002 that led to a regular season and tournament Big South championship and NCAA College Cup South Region appearance. In 2005, the Eagles finished 12-8-1 and finished as the Big South Runner-Up for the third time under Posipanko and fifth time overall. In 2006 the Eagles once again claimed the Big South regular season and tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA College Cup South Atlantic Regional with a 15-3-4 record. In 2008 the Eagles were again Big South Regular Season and Tournament Champions with a record of 15-6-1. Posipanko was also selected Big South Coach of the Year for the third time and led his team back to the NCAA College Cup in 2008. In 2009 the Eagles again were Big South Champions and made it back to the NCAA College Cup with a 11-6-4 record. In 2012, the Eagles once again won the Big South Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA College Cup with a record of 12-8-2. They also finished the 2012 season ranked in all three polls. The Eagles have also been successful in the classroom as well, receiving the NSCAA Academic Award seven out of the past eight years for receiving a 3.0 Team GPA or better. The 2015 season was Posipanko’s last season at Winthrop and ended at 11-7-2. He ended his career by winning both the Big South Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championship and going to the NCAA College Cup for the sixth time. He was also voted Big South Coach of the Year for the fourth time.
The 1991, 2006, 2008 and 2015 Big South Conference Coach of the Year has compiled a career record of 392-270-59 and has a Winthrop mark of 275-221-37. Posipanko is currently ranked 7th among NCAA Division I active coaches in total victories. He is also ranked 21st on the All-Time list for victories. In 2002 he became the winningest coach in Winthrop history with his 134th win. Posipanko is also the winningest coach in Longwood University history with 117 wins and is also the All-Time winningest coach in Big South Conference history with 275 total victories. During the 2007 season Posipanko reached the 300 career win mark and joined an elite group of only 52 coaches in NCAA history (all divisions) and 25 coaches at the Div. I level to reach this plateau.
Before coming to Winthrop, Posipanko spent 10 successful years as head coach of Longwood University in Virginia where he compiled a record of 117-49-21. During his last seven years at “The Wood”, Posipanko guided his squads to the NCAA Division II top 20 ranking and also developed seven All-Americans.
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 who is from Levittown, PA 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 1986-1989. While at Longwood, Posipanko was honored three times 1982, 1984, and 1986 as the Virginia Coach of the Year and in 1982 and 1984 he was tabbed Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year.
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 has served on numerous committees including the NCAA Academic All-American Selection Committee; chair of the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America South Rating Board; chair of the NCAA Soccer Selection Committee for the south region; President of the Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Association; and President of the Big South Conference Soccer Coaches.
Posipanko has helped raise over $205,000 for Cancer Research over the past six years through his annual Kicks Against Cancer Game, Champions Night and now a new group he is associated with called The Carolinas Kickin It Challenge.
He is also very active on the fundraising front. He 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.
During his 37 years as a collegiate head coach he’s had 164 All-Conference players, 70 All-Region selections, 14 All-Americans, four Olympic team players, four Freshmen of the Year, three Player of the Year, 38 Academic All-Americans, six national team members and a Lowes Senior Award Top 10 finalist and Walter Byers Scholarship Finalist. Also one Walter Byers Scholarship Winner. Over the years, 16 of his players have also gone on to play in the professional ranks.
A 1974 graduate of Slippery Rock University with a degree in health and physical education, Posipanko earned his master’s degree in the same field with a concentration in administration and athletic management in 1979 from the College of New Jersey (Trenton State College). He is married to the former Gayle Keener of Amelia, VA.