Rob Wright starts his 18th season as head men’s soccer coach at Plymouth State in 2019-20. Wright took over in 2002 as just the seventh head coach in the 60-year history of the Panther men’s soccer program and is the second-longest tenured coach in program history.
Wright has led the Panthers to Little East Conference post-season berths eight times, and ECAC post-season berths in five seasons. He was also an assistant on the 2001 PSU squad that captured the ECAC New England Championship. Wright earned career coaching victory #100 with PSU's final win in 2014.
The Panthers won or shared the LEC regular season title in 2003, ‘06, and ‘15, and made LEC Tournament championship game appearances in 2006 and ‘08. The 2010 & ‘11 Panthers won the Little East Sportsmanship award, with the 2011 squad being recognized by the NSCAA with the ‘Team Ethics Award of Merit’; one of only two men’s soccer programs in the country to win the award that year.
PSU has registered a 125-141-31 overall record during his tenure, with Wright ranking second on PSU’s all-time wins list. In addition, the Panthers have appeared in the New England regional rankings on multiple occasions while also cracking the National Top 20.
A native of England, Wright completed a Bachelor's degree (with honors) from De Montfort University (England) in 1996. He attained a post-graduate degree from Cheltenham & Gloucester College (England), a sport psychology diploma from Newcastle College (England), and the Hanson’s coaching award from North Hertfordshire College (England). While at NHC, Wright coached and played as the starting goalkeeper on the team that went to the 1997 National Championship game. Most recently, Wright finished a Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration from PSU, graduating with a perfect grade point average.
As a coach, Wright has worked across the world for various coaching organizations, including the academy system at English Premiership club Arsenal FC. Wright holds the highest coaching licenses in the country; the USSF 'A' license, USSF National Youth License, NSCAA Advanced National License, NSCAA Goalkeeping License, as well as several licenses from the English FA / UEFA. In addition to his duties at PSU, Wright has served as the head goalkeeping coach for the New Hampshire Olympic Development Program and recently retired after 17 years of serving the NH ODP program as the head coach for various age groups. In addition, Wright served as a staff coach for the US Youth Soccer Region 1 Boys ODP program, working for seven years with the top players in the Region at the U13, U16, and U17 ages, before retiring in 2015.
As an educator, Wright works for the New Hampshire Soccer Association, teaching United States Soccer Federation National licensing courses to hundreds of coaches in the region. At PSU, Wright teaches for the department of Health & Human Enrichment, in both the ‘Coaching’ and ‘Sports Management’ programs.
Wright has served on the USC soccer rankings committee, the NCAA rankings committee, and has worked as the NCAA site rep at multiple NCAA Tournament locations. Wright has also served on the coaching advisory board for 'Coaches Across Continents' (a group dedicated to using soccer for empowerment in developing nations), currently serves on the board of the Pemi Baker Soccer Club, and is the owner of Goals Galore Soccer Camps. Wright also worked for eight years as the Director of Coaching for PLAY SOCCER, recruiting and training hundreds of coaches to teach in communities throughout the Northeast.