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Bob Lilley

This article is about the American soccer coach. For the English footballer, see Bob Lilley (footballer). For the American football player, see Bob Lilly.
Bob Lilley
Full nameRobert Lilley
Date of birth (1966-05-02) May 2, 1966 (age 49)
Place of birthFort Monmouth, New Jersey, United States
Playing positionMidfielder
Youth career
George Mason
Senior career*
1989–1990Orlando Lions
1989–1991Maryland Bays
1990–1991Hershey Impact (indoor)
1992–1997Harrisburg Heat (indoor)173(73)
1994Pittsburgh Stingers (indoor)26(14)
Teams managed
1997–2001Hershey Wildcats
2002–2003Montreal Impact
2004–2007Vancouver Whitecaps
2007–2008Detroit Ignition
2009–2011Rochester Rhinos

Robert "Bob" Lilley (born May 2, 1966 in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, United States) is an American former soccer player and is in his second stint as head coach of the Rochester Rhinos. He has managed the Hershey Wildcats, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, Detroit Ignition, and Rochester Rhinos.

Playing career

Before turning pro Lilley played at George Mason University where he was team captain. In 1989, Lilley signed with the Orlando Lions of the American Soccer League.[1] In 1990, the ASL merged with the Western Soccer Alliance to form the American Professional Soccer League. Lilley spent the 1990 season with the Lions in the new APSL.[2] In the fall of 1990, he joined the Hershey Impact of the National Professional Soccer League. In 1992 he moved to the Harrisburg Heat. In 1994, he spent the summer indoor season with the Pittsburgh Stingers in the Continental Indoor Soccer League. Following the 1996–1997 NPSL season, Lilley retired from playing and entered the coaching ranks.

Management career

His first coaching experience was with the Hershey Wildcats in 1997, experiencing much success with the club as being the team's one and only head coach. He led Hershey to the playoffs each year, as well winning A-League coach of the year in his rookie season. He was able to guide Hershey to one Northern Conference and three Atlantic Division titles as well as the 2001 A-League National Championship final, which they lost 2–0 to the Rochester Raging Rhinos. After the 2001 season, the team was folded by the ownership, having decided that the team would not be successful financially.

On January 23, 2002 he was appointed the new head coach of the Montreal Impact signing on a two-year contract.[3] His first season with the Impact, the team finished first in the Northeast Division, and also claimed the Voyageurs Cup. In 2003 he led Montreal to the Eastern Conference title and, the Voyageurs Cup for the second time in a row. And for the second time in his career he wins the A-League Coach of the Year, becoming the only the second two-time Coach of the Year recipient in league history, following Alan Hinton in 1994, and 1995.

After the 2003 season he left the Impact for personal reasons, eventually signing a two-year deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps on November 1, 2004 becoming the team's first American coach, and the first coach never to have previously played for Vancouver.[4]

He led Vancouver to the playoffs in 2004 but were eliminated in the quarterfinals, but were able to claim the Cascadia Cup. In 2006 he led the Whitecaps to their first North American championship since 1979, when they defeated the Raging Rhinos 3–0 at PAETEC Park becoming the first team in USL First Division history to win the title on the road.

Lilley was sacked as Vancouver Whitecaps head coach on September 18, 2007 two days after the Whitecaps were eliminated by the Portland Timbers in the first round of the United Soccer Leagues First Division playoffs.[5] He was hired by the Detroit Ignition of the Major Indoor Soccer League as their assistant coach afterwards and promoted to head coach on November 6, 2007.[6]

On November 16, 2009 the Rochester Rhinos announced the hiring of Lilley as the club's new head coach for the 2010 season.[7]

During their match on January 25, 2013, the new Harrisburg Heat of the Professional Arena Soccer League honored Lilley with a halftime ceremony for his service with the original Heat franchise in the mid-1990s.[8] [8]


Managerial stats

Team From To Record
G W L D Win %
Hershey Wildcats April 29, 1997 September 8, 2001 140 86 46 6 65.15
Montreal Impact April 26, 2002 September 7, 2003 56 32 15 9 68.09
Vancouver Whitecaps April 24, 2005 September 18, 2007 84 33 20 31 62.26
Detroit Ignition November 6, 2007 April, 2008 30 22 8 - 73.33
Rochester Rhinos November 16, 2009 September 15, 2011 54 28 16 10 63.63

External links

Preceded by
Position created
Hershey Wildcats Head Coach
Succeeded by
team folded
Preceded by
Nick De Santis
Montreal Impact Head Coach
Succeeded by
Nick De Santis
Preceded by
Mark Pulisic
Detroit Ignition Head Coach
Succeeded by
Matt Johnson