Bob Lilley guided the Rhinos into the USL playoffs in each of his six years in charge. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Bob Lilley has left the Rochester Rhinos to become head coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
The veteran United Soccer League head coach replaced Dave Brandt in what the Riverhounds said was a “mutually agreed upon” change, saying that Brandt was ineligible to coach under U.S. Soccer Federation Division II requirements in 2018 because he did not have an A coaching license.
Lilley’s departure cast some doubt on the future of the Rhinos, although Rochester team owners talked as though the team would return for the 2018 USL season.
“Bob Lilley should be proud of his accomplishments in Rochester, as he coached the Rhinos to many memorable victories. He always brings a winning spirit and an infectious dedication to the sport,” said Pat Ercoli, a former Rhinos coach and current Rhinos Chief Soccer Officer.
The Rhinos have scheduled a news conference to discuss the future of pro soccer in Rochester, N.Y. Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
“We are proud to be part of the storied history of the Rochester Rhinos soccer team,” co-owner David Dworkin said in a press release. “We expect to have more announcements this week to explain the critical needs of our organization and where things stand.”
In his two tenures as Rhinos coach, Lilley guided the side through 177 matches and compiled a 87-37-53 mark. The team reached the playoffs in all his six seasons at the helm, including winning the 2015 ULS Cup.
“We knew Bob Lilley as one of the most respected coaches in the United Soccer League,” Dworkin said in a statement. “He provided leadership to the team and to our organization. We thank him for his commitment to giving Rochester fans plenty of exciting soccer.”
Added his wife, Wendy Dworkin, another co-owner: “We will certainly miss Bob Lilley’s expertise and his incredible knowledge of soccer. He’s been a guiding force as coach of the Rochester Rhinos and we are grateful for all he has done for our team and soccer in Rochester.”