Story & Photo by Madi Zick
As the school year begins at Rose State, the athletic programs kick off as well. Tommy Riley is the new head coach of the Rose State women’s soccer program, as former coach Damon Solomon accepted an assistant coaching job at a college in California. Solomon led the team to the District Championship last season and with this year, Riley takes the reigns and plans for the coming year.
Coach Riley was born and raised in Liverpool, England, but moved to Oklahoma in 1995. Riley played soccer at Oklahoma City University all four years of college and then transitioned to coaching. He started coaching the Olympic Development Program in 1997. He still coaches private training sessions at ODP aside from his current responsibilities. After college, he began his career as the co-ed soccer coach at Heritage Hall High School in Oklahoma City. He later served as an elementary school P.E. teacher for 13 years; afterward, he left to be the head women’s coach at St.Gregory’s University for five years.
Riley left coaching behind for a while as he worked for the OKC Energy as the Director of Player Development, but he is excited to get back into the college scene of coaching.
“It’s a good challenge; I like challenges,” Riley said. “I want to build something that people will see as a powerhouse in a few years.”
Assistant Coach Sadè Boswell is looking forward to working with Riley and creating a family environment that will help the team go far this season.
“From first impressions, he has knowledge of the game,” Boswell said. “He seems easy to get along with, and his personality meshes with mine.”
Boswell is thrilled to see the team work hard during preseason and for the talent that the freshman class has brought in.
Both coaches hope to go as far as possible and reach the national tournament. Riley and Boswell have the same ambitions for the future season. They are looking forward to Nationals and that sunny week in Florida.
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