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Lilley Returns As Rhinos Coach
USL Hall of Famer set for second stint in Rochester

Rochester Rhinos News Release -- www.rhinossoccer.com

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Rochester Rhinos President and Chief Operating Officer Pat Ercoli announced on Tuesday that Bob Lilley – whose 13-year professional coaching career includes 13 trips to the playoffs and one USL Championship – will be the sixth head coach in Rochester’s 18 years of storied tradition.

“We are excited to have Bob back, he is a proven commodity, someone that has had a very successful history in the game and is well respected in the soccer circles," Ercoli said. "Bob understands the team’s tradition and knows what is needed to help build a successful team.”

Lilley’s coaching career was forged over 13 years as a head coach with the Hershey Wildcats, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, Detroit Ignition, and Rochester Rhinos. Lilley amassed a career regular season record of 179-97-56, and he has surpassed 200 career victories when playoff wins, U.S. Open Cup wins, and indoor soccer coaching wins are included in the total. He guided his team to the playoffs every season, and won the USL Championship with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2006.

“I am excited to be returning to Rochester and have the opportunity to work with Pat, Rob and the entire organization again,” Lilley said. “I certainly missed the USL environment during my time away and am looking forward to the challenge of helping Rochester achieve continued success in the league. The fans and City of Rochester deserve a team they can continue to be proud of.”

Lilley’s professional coaching career began with the Hershey Wildcats from 1997 to 2001. Lilley compiled an 86-46-6 record during the regular season, and led Hershey to three division titles. His Wildcats scored 255 goals in 138 regular season matches (1.85 goals per game), and Hershey scored 50 or more goals in the regular season three times. Hershey qualified for the playoffs every season during Lilley’s tenure as head coach. In 1997 he was honored with the Coach of the Year award for the first time in his career. In 2001 Lilley and the Hershey Wildcats advanced to the A-League Final against the Rochester Rhinos where they lost 2-0 in front of 13,692 fans at Frontier Field.

Lilley moved to the Montreal Impact from 2002 to 2003. He won 16 games each season he was in Montreal. In 2003 he won his first regular season title, and he led a team to a division title for the fourth time in his career. After the season Lilley was named Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. Lilley had a 32-15-9 record in 56 matches in charge of the Impact.

After taking the 2004 season off, Lilley returned to coaching with the Vancouver Whitecaps from 2005 to 2007. In 2006 Lilley led the Whitecaps to a 4-0-1 record in the playoffs, and Vancouver scored 11 goals and only conceded one in five postseason matches. Vancouver won the 2006 USL First Division Championship with a 3-0 victory against the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen’s Stadium in front of 9,547 fans. Lilley put together a 33-20-31 record in 84 regular-season matches with the Whitecaps. 

After spending the 2007-2008 season coaching indoor soccer with the Detroit Ignition, Lilley returned to the sidelines in the outdoor game with the Rochester Rhinos. He led the Ignition to a regular season title, the second of his career, and he was honored as the Coach of the Year for the third time in his career after the indoor season. On November 16, 2009 the Rochester Rhinos announced the hiring of Lilley as the fourth head coach in club history.

In 2010 he completely overhauled the Rhinos roster, and then led his new team to the USSF D2 Pro League Regular Season Title. Lilley went 16-8-6 with Rochester in 2010, and won the Coach of the Year award for the fourth time in his career. The 2010 Rochester Rhinos lost 3-2 on aggregate to the Puerto Rico Islanders in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.

In 2011, Lilley led the Rhinos to the USL PRO National Division Title with a 12-8-4 record-the sixth division title of his career. After defeating the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 4-0 in the USL PRO National Division Semifinals, Lilley and the Rhinos were eliminated from the 2011 playoffs 2-1 by the Harrisburg City Islanders after a memorable National Division Final at Sahlen’s Stadium. Lilley’s two-year record with the Rhinos was 28-16-10.

Over the course of his 13-year career Lilley has coached 26 award winning players. He has had players named to the All-League team 18 times, with 14 first-team selections and four second-team selections. Lilley has coached the Most Valuable Player twice, the league’s leading scorer twice, the Goalkeeper of the Year twice, the Defender of the Year once, and the  Rookie of the Year once.

“We are looking forward to getting back to our winning ways and Bob is the right coach for the job. He is a proven leader  and know what it takes to win,” Adirondack Sports Club, LLC Owner and Chief Executive Officer Rob Clark said.

One of the storied clubs in American professional soccer, Rochester concluded the 2013 season with a 261-150-85 all-time
record. The Rhinos have won five division titles, two conference titles, and three regular season titles. Rochester has qualified for the playoffs in 17 of the club’s 18 seasons in existence. The Rhinos advanced to the league finals in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2006 as well as the U.S. Open Cup Final in 1996 and 1999. Rochester won A-League Titles in 1998, 2000, and 2001.

In 1999 the Rochester Rhinos became the only team outside of Major League Soccer to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup during the professional era. Rochester has had 37 players named All-League, 17 league award winners, and eight USL Hall of Fame selections.

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