The Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced today that Hunter Gilstrap has rejoined the organization as director of the Goalkeeper Academy training program.
Gilstrap donned the goalkeeper’s gloves for the Hounds for five seasons from 2010 through 2014 before moving to the Carolina RailHawks this year. He made 93 league appearances for the Hounds and picked up the USL-2 Goalkeeper of the Year award in his debut season.
The Asheville, N.C. native played an instrumental role in shaping the Goalkeeper Academy during his stint with the pro team. Gilstrap will be the lead instructor going forward with responsibility for developing training sessions and managing the coaching staff while also building the popularity of this goalkeeper-specific training program.
“Welcoming Hunter back into the fold gives us an amazing resource to offer to young goalkeepers in the area,” said Riverhounds Academy development director Jason Kutney.
“This full-time appointment demonstrates our commitment to this specific area of player development.”
With the recent development that the Riverhounds reportedly parted ways with last season’s primary goalkeepers Calle Brown (Houston Dynamo) and Ryan Thompson (announced he won’t be returning to Pittsburgh), it will be interesting to see if Gilstrap would end up returning to the pro team in addition to his duties as the director of the Goalkeeper training academy.
Among the goalkeepers that have trained under Gilstrap and the Riverhounds Academy in recent years who’ve been making an impact recently include WPIAL Boys Class AAA runner-up, Fox Chapel’s sophomore Jakob Dunn and WPIAL Girls Class AAA Champions’ Norwin sophomore Sam Wexell, among others.
John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).