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UIC welcomes first women’s soccer team

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Brian Rigby

Women's soccer head coach Brian Rigby is a UIC alumnus.

UIC will introduce women’s soccer as a varsity sport, debuting in fall 2014.

Men’s soccer alumnus Brian Rigby was named head coach of the program, pending Board of Trustees approval.

Rigby will have nearly two years to recruit and formulate a roster before the Flames play their first home game at Flames Field.

The initiative is another step in UIC’s commitment to provide more opportunities for female athletes. The athletic department added women’s golf as a varsity sport in 2010 — the Flames wrapped up their first competitive season last spring.

“We are thrilled to be able to add another women’s program to our varsity sports lineup,” said athletic director Jim Schmidt. “I want to thank our university administration, in particular Chancellor Paula-Allen Meares, for her full support in this vision.

“When we surveyed the student population at UIC, there was overwhelming support for women’s soccer. We’re excited about bringing this new program to our university, the athletic department and the Chicagoland community.”

Rigby was assistant women’s soccer coach at Loyola from 2007-11. The Ramblers captured the Horizon League Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2007. They won the league’s regular season title in 2008.

“He really impressed us during the interview process,” Schmidt said. “He has a great vision to build a program from the ground up, and we’re excited about him leading our women’s soccer program into the future.”

Rigby said he is thrilled to return to the UIC athletics family.

“The opportunity to lead a start-up women’s soccer program at my alma mater is something that is very special to me,” Rigby said.

“The ability to come back, and provide the same opportunities to young women that were given to me is priceless. As an alum, as an ambassador of the game of soccer, and as someone who has lived in the area for many years, it’s exciting and humbling to be selected as the person to lead the new era of women’s soccer at UIC.”

Rigby was the 2011 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Regional Coach of the Year.

He coached one Horizon League Player of the Year at Loyola and has mentored three female players who went into the professional ranks.

Rigby coached at DePaul from 2005-07. He has been coach and technical trainer for the FC United Soccer Club in Glenview since 2008.

Rigby was a four-year letterwinner (1994-97) with the Flames, collecting All-League honors in 1997.

He graduated with a dual bachelor’s degree in marketing and management in 1998.

Rigby lives in Chicago with his wife, Amanda, and daughter, Remy.

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