The Greenville Triumph has announced Rick Wright as its head coach and technical director. Wright succeeds John Harkes in the role after serving as assistant coach since 2019.
“I’m excited to embark on this incredible opportunity as head coach and continue to work alongside my fellow colleagues, players, and staff,” said Wright in a news release. “The Greenville Triumph SC is committed to bringing joy to the Upstate through the game of soccer, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Chris Lewis, president of the Greenville Triumph SC, said that key factors in Wright’s hiring include his extensive coaching experience, dedication to the Club and its culture, and presence in the Upstate soccer community.
“We’re thrilled to name Rick the new head coach and technical director of our men’s team,” said Lewis in the release. “Rick has been a successful head coach at multiple levels and his intimate knowledge of our Club, its mission and culture are incredibly valuable. Furthermore, Rick’s corporate leadership experience brings essential skills to the head coach & technical director position that are important to the Club as it enters the next chapter of its development.”
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In addition to his assistant coaching position, Wright previously served as director of technical alliances and community development where he was responsible for cultivating relationships with the local soccer community, according to the release. In this role, Wright worked collaboratively with the Club’s front office on community and player relations initiatives while collaborating on its youth soccer strategy and programming.
Since 2019, Wright has helped spearhead several of the club’s youth initiatives including the Unified team, Academy Cup team, Pass it On clinics, and Future Leaders programs.
“Rick has demonstrated a passion not only for our team’s success on the field, but also for carrying out our Club’s mission to positively impact our community,” said chairman and majority owner Joe Erwin in the release. “He has a deep knowledge and understanding of the game, and we look forward to having him play an active role in the Club’s continued growth.”
Born in Hamilton, Bermuda, Wright has been involved with South Carolina soccer since 1976. He helped start Anderson University’s soccer program and then served as its head coach for four years before returning to his alma mater, Erskine College, as head coach of the men’s and women’s programs from 1987-1993.
During his time at Anderson University and Erskine College, Wright led both teams to multiple conference titles. In addition, Wright spent 10 years on the staff of the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program for Region III, and twelve years as an Olympic Development Program South Carolina state coach.
As a player, Wright made appearances for both the Bermuda and U.S. National Teams, including an appearance with the United States team at the 1976 Olympic Games.
Wright’s support staff for the 2024 season will be announced at a later date, the release stated. The club recently announced it will be returning to Furman’s Paladin Stadium for a second season as the organization continues to work on securing a location and plan for a permanent stadium.i