University of Richmond men's soccer coach Jeff Gettler has resigned after the Spiders finished this season 3-12-3, ending a 14-year career with the program.
Gettler, who was the winningest coach in school history, finished with a 123-115-40 record. Tim O'Sullivan, Gettler's predecessor, was second with a 115-108-25 record.
The department of athletics announced the resignation late Friday. Assistant athletics director LaRee Sugg was scheduled to meet with the team at 4:30 p.m. Gettler has already cleared his office and was not immediately available for comment, said Mark Kwolek, an athletics department spokesman.
A nationwide search for a new coach is under way, with the aim of hiring one soon.
"We are working hard to identify quality candidates and have someone hired as soon as possible," Sugg said in an e-mail. "We have a great school and program. We feel confident that we will attract an excellent candidate pool."
Junior Stephen Charczko said that he found out about Gettler's resignation Thursday night. Charczko said Gettler either called or e-mailed every player to let them know of his intention to resign.
"I'm pretty upset," Charczko said. "It happened so fast. It's gonna be really hard to adjust to a new coach. It hasn't hit me yet the he's not going to be my coach in the spring."
Gettler did not immediately return a phone message left at his home Friday night.
The struggling team has finished better than .500 only once in the last five years, going 10-7-4 in 2006.
Charczko said that he felt that Gettler resigned for "himself." But he said that he felt there was some pressure on Gettler from the athletic department.
"I blame the athletic department for not caring about soccer anymore," Charczko said.
Gettler had eight 10-win seasons. In 1998, he led the Spiders to a record of 14-7-2, the second-most wins in a season in program history. The team also won the Colonial Athletic Association title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
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The Spiders were knocked out in the first round by a 2-1 loss to the University of Maryland.
Richmond also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2002 after posting a 10-8-3 record, but lost in the first round again, this time to Old Dominion University 3-0.
Richmond won the Atlantic 10 title in 2003, when Gettler was honored with A10 Coach of the Year.
"I want to thank Jeff for his contributions to Richmond soccer," Jim Miller, director of athletics at Richmond, said in a statement.
This version of the story ADDS comment from Sugg.
Contact staff writer Andrew Prezioso at email@example.com
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