University of Richmond Athletics announced Oct. 27 that women’s soccer head coach Marty Beall’s contract would not be renewed. Former players say they were surprised at first, but ultimately understood the decision.
Beall, who began his tenure with the Spiders in December 2017, just completed his fifth season as the team’s head coach. Over the course of his time at UR, he led the Spiders to a 20-50-9 record.
“I’m very grateful for my time that I got to lead the women’s soccer program at Richmond,” Beall wrote to The Collegian. “I’m especially thankful for my players and the hard work they put into each season. I’ll be their biggest fan and I’m looking forward to seeing the amazing things each of them do with their lives.”
In 2021, Beall led the soccer team to the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament — the program’s first appearance since 2014. In the tournament, UR faced off against second-seeded Dayton University where the Spiders lost 3-1.
This season — which wrapped up on Oct. 23 with the team’s final game of the regular season against Loyola University Chicago — the Spiders went 3-10-4 overall and 2-5-3 in Atlantic 10 conference play. The team’s only three wins were against the University of Delaware, George Mason University and La Salle University.
Throughout UR’s 17 games this season, the Spiders only scored eight goals. Senior forward Molly Wierman, sophomore forward Emma Coleman and first-year midfielder Emma Shields each scored two goals on the year.
The Athletics Department would not comment on what went into the decision of not renewing Beall’s contract, Associate Athletic Director David Walsh wrote in an email to The Collegian.
Walsh also wrote that the Athletics Department has begun its national search for a new head coach and they hope to have a new head coach in the coming weeks. The team’s next head coach will be only the third coach in the program’s history.
Claire Hinkle, ‘21, who played as a goalkeeper under Beall, said at first, she and her teammates were surprised at the news because the team had had such a successful season the year prior.
“But honestly, at the end of the day — with him, people had some really good relationships with him and some people had really bad ones,” Hinkle said.
Hinkle said she and Beall were both stubborn, which contributed to the two butting heads sometimes and having difficult conversations.
“If you had a good relationship with him at first, it was easy to kind of sustain that and keep that relationship. But if there was an off situation for someone else at the beginning of their relationship with him, it was kind of hard to create a solid foundation to build off of that.”
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Taylor Coleman, ‘21, who played as a defender for the Spiders, said it was surprising but expected, as Beall had shared the length of his contract with the team and she was aware that the University was going to re-evaluate his contract.
Coleman thought the decision would be released at the end of the spring season, however, and did not expect the news to come so soon after the end of the season.
“And I know it’s very disappointing because he came in and wanted to turn this program around and I do believe that he had some success and started building momentum towards the end of his contract time,” she said. “But apparently, it wasn’t enough and I don’t know the reasoning beyond that.”
Hinkle said no one ever wants to see anyone get fired, but after the poor season the team had, despite the successes of the 2021, it kind of made sense.
The soccer team will continue to practice during its offseason and the search for a new head coach will continue. As of now, Kelly Grant remains the associate head coach of the team and Scott Letts an assistant coach. Adrian Clewlow is also still listed as a volunteer assistant coach.
Contact sports writer Jimmy James at email@example.com.
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