HEAD COACH RICK STAINTON
Rick Stainton was appointed the third head coach in program history following the 2013 season, returning to Seton Hall after previously serving as an assistant coach for the Pirates for two seasons.
"We are very happy to be able to bring Rick back to the Seton Hall family," said Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons upon the announcement. "Rick has tremendous coaching acumen, and is someone who has spent time as a head coach on the collegiate and professional levels. His passion and enthusiasm for the game are infectious and our student-athletes will benefit from the wealth of knowledge he brings to the position. Rick's familiarity with the program and our vision here at Seton Hall will ease the transition and I know he will be dedicated to putting together a team that maintains a standard of excellence both on the field and in the classroom."
In his first season on the sidelines for The Hall, the Stainton-led Pirates vaulted back into the NSCAA Northeast Regional poll for the first time since August 2012 when Stainton was on staff as an assistant. The Pirates went on to establish themselves as a stout defensive unit, posting six clean sheets in 18 outings and surrendered one goal or less 13 times - including eight of nine non-conference matches.
No stranger to South Orange, Stainton made his way back to The Hall where he was charged with directing the program's recruiting, training and in-match strategy as well as overseeing the team's budget in his time as an assistant under former head coach Kazbek Tambi. During his first season on staff, the Pirates posted their largest win total since the turn of the millennium, recording nine victories and earning a home match in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament. The match proved to be a memorable one as Seton Hall scored the second postseason win in school history and the first via shutout with a 1-0 defeat of St. John's.
Following a 2012 season in which Seton Hall registered seven more victories, five of which were of the shutout variety; Stainton took over as the head women's soccer coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
During his brief stint in Teaneck, Stainton led the Knights to one of the most successful seasons in the history of a young program. He took over a squad whose senior class had registered only 11 wins in the previous three years and engineered a rapid turnaround, guiding the Knights to an 8-8-4 record that included a 4-1-3 mark in Northeast Conference (NEC) play and the #2-seed in the conference tournament.
After compiling their second-best NEC record in school history, the Knights brought two-time reigning conference champions LIU-Brooklyn to the brink in the conference semifinals, eventually falling 2-1 in double-overtime.
Picked to finish eighth in the nine-team league in the preseason poll, Fairleigh Dickinson flourished under Stainton's stewardship. The Knights boasted the stingiest defense in the league, allowing only 0.69 goals per game in conference contests while also putting together an unprecedented streak of six-consecutive clean sheets against NEC opponents. A total of six Fairleigh Dickinson players earned all-conference honors at year's end, highlighted by senior keeper Sage DoVale who was named NEC Goalkeeper of the Year and a First Team All-NEC performer.
A seasoned professional with extensive coaching experience at a variety of levels, Stainton holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "A" License and a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Premier Diploma, as well as a NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma.His coaching résumé is an impressive one, and features a stretch in which he was on staff for the Garden State-based women's professional side Sky Blue FC.
While with Sky Blue FC, Stainton lent his expertise to some of the most prominent women's players in the world, coaching a total of 12 players who competed in the 2011 FIFA World Cup including United States internationals Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Heather O'Reilly and Christie Rampone. That quartet went on to play an integral role on the United States side that captured its third FIFA World Cup title in 2015. Stainton began his tenure with the club as an assistant, a role in which he was responsible for goalkeeper development, prospect identification, implementation of off-season training programs and camp instruction.
He was eventually promoted to head coach of Sky Blue FC in July of 2009.
In addition to his time in the professional ranks, Stainton has also held collegiate coaching positions at Rider University, Caldwell College and Green Mountain College - his alma mater. A former standout goalkeeper for the Eagles, he was elected into the Green Mountain Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
Outside of his professional and collegiate coaching experience, Stainton comes well-versed in the responsibilities associated with a position of leadership. A former administrator within the Seton Hall athletics department, he spent three years as the director of athletics at Saint Rose High School in Belmar, N.J. and is the founder and president of Stainton Sport Enterprises; a sports service business that specializes in training and instruction.