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Robert Morris hires Chris Shaw as new women’s soccer coach

From Robert Morris University athletic department report

Robert Morris University Vice President & Director of Athletics Chris King announced Wednesday that Chris Shaw has been named head coach of the women’s soccer program.

Shaw will be replacing soccer icon John Kowalski, who served as RMU women’s coach since 2002.

“Today is an exciting day for RMU Athletics and our women’s soccer program,” King said. “Chris Shaw is a tremendous coach and will be a great fit within the culture of our department. His philosophies on the student-athlete experience align with the vision, core values and purpose of our department. His track record for success and Division I head coaching experience make him the ideal head coach to lead our women’s soccer program moving forward. Chris understands the importance of developing meaningful relationships on campus, in the community and within the college soccer industry. He will bring an exciting brand of soccer to Robert Morris and the Northeast Conference.”

Shaw spent the last six years as the head coach at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), compiling an overall record of 66-48-9 (.573). The winningest coach in program history,  He was fired at the end of the 2019 season after posting a 6-13-1 mark this year.

Shaw was named the 2016 Mountain West Conference (MWC) Coach of the Year after leading the Rebels to an overall record of 16-4-3 (.761), including a mark of 8-1-2 (.818) in the MWC. UNLV claimed its first conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth since 2007, had a 12-match unbeaten streak during the year, the longest in program history, and also established school records for points (152), goals (51) and assists (50).

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to lead the Robert Morris women’s soccer team,” Shaw said. “I would like to thank Athletic Director Chris King and the rest of the search committee for their faith in me and providing this opportunity. On my visit, I was very impressed with the vision that Chris has for the athletic department at Robert Morris and the changes he has already implemented in his time there. I’m thrilled to be a part of the growth of the athletic department and to help the women’s soccer program compete for NEC titles moving forward.”

Prior to being named head coach at UNLV, Shaw spent the 2013 season as the head coach at Barton College in Wilson, N.C.  The Bulldogs posted an overall record of 14-5-1 (.725), and Shaw was selected as the 2013 Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year.

Shaw also spent four seasons as head coach at the University of Mount Olive in Mount Olive, N.C., from 2003 to 2007, compiling an overall record of 52-34 (.605). While leading the Trojans, Shaw orchestrated the greatest turn around in NCAA Division II history, as UMO went from 3-15 (.167) in 2003 to 20-3 (.870) in 2004. Named the 2004 Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year, the Trojans produced the highest scoring offense in NCAA Division II.

Overall in 12 years as a head coach, Shaw has posted a record of 132-87-10 (.598). Shaw also spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Fresno State University (2007-09) as well four years as associate head coach at North Carolina State (2009-12).

Shaw, a native of Fayetteville, N.C., earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and physical education from Methodist University in 1994. He also owns a Master of Arts degree in exercise physiology from East Carolina University, which he earned in 1997.

A 1993 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American at Methodist University, Shaw helped the Monarchs earn four consecutive Dixie Intercollege Athletic Conference championships and bids to the NCAA Division III Tournament (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993). Selected to the USA South Conference 50th Anniversary Team, Shaw was named to the 1993 Adidas Scholar-Athlete All-American First Team.

Shaw, who played for the Raleigh Flyers of the United Systems of Independent Soccer League (USISL) in 1994, owns a Premier Diploma from the NSCAA and an “A” level national license from U.S. Soccer. He has extensive club and Olympic development experience, as well, most recently having served as the girls director for ODP for the state of Nevada.


Adrian Blewitt, Head Coach, Army West Point Women’s Soccer
“Chris is a great hire for Robert Morris. Chris has had tremendous impacts and experiences at his previous programs and he has made them better and more complete in many ways. Not only is Chris an excellent ‘on field’ coach, but a detailed conveyer and teacher of information to student-athletes. Robert Morris will see positive improvement in all aspects of its women’s soccer program very soon.”

Tim Santoro, Head Coach, N.C. State Women’s Soccer
“Chris is someone I’ve known for a long time, from taking coaching courses as young, aspiring coaches to now as college soccer colleagues. He flat out knows the game and, more so, knows how to convey a message and teach it. He will be a great asset for Robert Morris and I’m thrilled to see him get this opportunity.”

Steve Springthorpe, Head Coach, Tennessee Tech Women’s Soccer
“Robert Morris is getting a great coach. He has a passion for the game of soccer and a true desire to help the players he coaches become winners on the field and in life. Chris has helped build programs into winners both as an assistant coach and a head coach. I’m confident Chris will take Robert Morris to a new level of success in a very short period of time. I’m excited for Chris and the University.”

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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