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Robert Morris alum Jeff Garner to take over as Riverhounds SC president

Photo courtesy Orange County SC

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC have a new president, as the club announced Thursday that Jeff Garner, a sports executive who most recently served as President of Business Operations for the 2021 USL Championship Cup winners, Orange County SC.

A former football player at Robert Morris University, where he graduated in 1999, Garner brings more than 20 years of experience in sport management, and has become very well acclamated with managing business operations for a USL Championship club.

“Jeff comes to us as someone who knows the USL Championship and has experience in Western Pennsylvania, as well. We’re glad he wanted to come back to Pittsburgh to lead our club, and we’re going to continue the rapid growth we’ve had in all areas of the Riverhounds organization,” Riverhounds owner Tuffy Shallenberger said on the club’s website.

“I couldn’t be more appreciative to Tuffy and the entire club for welcoming me to such a critical and exciting next chapter for Riverhounds soccer,” Garner said.

“My family and I are so happy to return to Pittsburgh and contribute to the fabric of this wonderful community by sharing our affordable family entertainment experience with the region.”

Garner will replace VIc Gregovits, who recently left the post after a little more than a year.

Gregovits stepping down as Hounds’ president after short but productive tenure

Gregovits is stepped away from the Hounds to accept a new position as the Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company in Canton, Ohio.

The new president will have a challenging but exciting task to keep the club on path expotental growth with the development and near completion of AHN Montour Soccer Complex, continue to build community partnerships as attendance numbers for the Hounds and other facility revenues are starting to slightly increase at Highmark Stadium after COVID-19 put a dent on things in 2020 and 2021.

Garner comes to the Hounds after three successful years as President of Business Operations with 2021 USL Championship winner Orange County SC, where he oversaw all aspects of the team’s business operations, including sponsorship, ticketing, marketing and stadium operations.

During Garner’s tenure in Southern California, his fan-first approach resulted in a surge in game attendance, realizing an increase of 155 percent over 2021. In addition to record-setting financial results, Garner has expanded event offerings, spearheaded a regional broadcast partnership, implemented fan-driven technology assets and directed the launch of multiple community outreach programs.

Garner, a native of York, Pa., is a 1999 graduate of Robert Morris University, where he played football for the Colonials. After graduation, he began his career in Minor League Baseball, spending thirteen years with several award-winning franchises. That stint included 10 years with Chuck Greenberg and the Greenberg Sports Group, owner/operators of the Altoona Curve, State College Spikes and Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

In 2013, Garner joined Penn State University as an Assistant Athletic Director for Ticket Sales & Service, where he managed ticketing and fan services across the Nittany Lion athletic program, including Beaver Stadium and the opening of Pegula Ice Arena. He made his move to California in 2018 when he was named President of the San Diego Fleet in the Alliance of American Football.

With the Riverhounds, Garner will lead the business side of the club, Highmark Stadium and the AHN Montour Health + Sports Medicine Center, as the team continues its post-pandemic growth.

A member of the Robert Morris University Sports Management Hall of Fame, Garner returns to Western Pa. with his wife, Karla, and their two children.

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).

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