PISCATAWAY, N.J. (July 22, 2014) – Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann today announced the retirement of women’s soccer coach Glenn Crooks following a 14-year career with the Scarlet Knights that saw him finish as the second-winningest coach in program history.
Mike O’Neill, Crooks’ top assistant in his 14 seasons at Rutgers, has been elevated to head coach by Hermann after serving as the associate head coach for the past 10 years. First assistant Meghan Ryan, entering her seventh season with the Scarlet Knights, will be named associate head coach.
Rutgers opens the 2014 season, its first as a member of the Big Ten, on Aug. 22 vs. Stony Brook.
“After 21 years as a Division I women’s soccer head coach, I have decided to retire,” Crooks said. “I have full confidence in the current coaching staff, led by the extraordinary talents of my associate head coach Mike O’Neill and first assistant Meghan Ryan. I know that the Rutgers women’s soccer program is well positioned to make an immediate impact in the Big Ten.
“I look forward to continuing to coach and train teams at the club and ODP levels while exploring media and broadcasting opportunities beyond my current work as an analyst for Sky Blue FC.
“I want to thank everyone at Rutgers, especially the student-athletes, for making this an unforgettable experience for me personally and professionally. It was the greatest day of my coaching career when I was hired at Rutgers in April of 2000, and these have been 14 years to cherish. My heart and rooting interests will always be with Rutgers and our women’s soccer program.”
Crooks compiled a 155-103-36 record at Rutgers, leading the program to seven NCAA Tournament berths and two Sweet 16 appearances. The Scarlet Knights went 13-4-5 last season, earning an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
His best season at Rutgers was the 2006 campaign, when the team set school records for wins (16), shutouts (16) and conference wins (8). Soccerbuzz ranked Rutgers No. 11 in its final poll, the highest national ranking in program history.
Crooks coached two Olympians at Rutgers: All-American Carli Lloyd and Jonelle Filigno. Lloyd earned a gold medal with the U.S. Women’s National Team during the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. Filigno took home a bronze medal for Team Canada during the 2012 London Olympics.
“Over the last 14 years, women’s soccer has been one of our most successful programs academically and athletically,” Hermann said. “We are thankful for Glenn’s leadership and dedication to his program and to Rutgers over the past decade and a half. We wish him all the best as he transitions to the next phase of his career.”
Overall, Crooks has a record of 200-158-45 for his 21 years as a college head coach, which included three years at LIU and four at St. Peter’s College.
O’Neill, one of the best soccer players in New Jersey high school history, has served as Crooks’ associate head coach the past 10 seasons.
“We are very fortunate to have an associate head coach in Michael O’Neill who has been with the program for 14 years, who knows and loves Rutgers, and who will be able to step in and take the reins of the program without skipping a beat,” Hermann said. “We look forward to the program continuing to achieve a high level of success in the classroom and on the field.”
O’Neill has strong ties to the New Jersey club soccer scene and is the Director of Coaching for Players Development Academy (PDA), one of the top youth soccer clubs in the country. He is also the head coach of the PDA Slammers, a three-time national champion.
A native of Kearny, N.J., O’Neill was named the winner of the Coggin Award in 1984 as the top high school player in New Jersey, leading Kearny High School to a state title and No. 1 ranking nationally.
As a collegian, O’Neill led Seton Hall to BIG EAST championships in 1987 and 1988. The school reached the Elite Eight both years.
A 1990 graduate of Seton Hall, O’Neill resides in New Egypt, N.J., with his wife Rachel and their three children.
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