Springfield, Ohio - It was quite a week for Norman Riker. First, he welcomed his second child into the world. Then by the end of the week, he had signed a contract to become Wittenberg University's new women's soccer head coach.
Riker was chosen from a large pool of qualified candidates to replace Fran Kulas, who resigned in December to become director of coach and player development for Kentucky Youth Soccer in Lexington, Ky. Riker becomes the seventh head coach of the Wittenberg University women's soccer program since it became a varsity sport in 1986.
Most recently, Riker was the interim head coach of the women's soccer team at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for the 2001 season, and he also serves as the men's lacrosse assistant coach. He had been serving as an assistant in both programs since 1994, and he also worked as the building manager of Walker Fieldhouse on the Vassar campus.
A native of Block Island, R.I., Riker was a four-year lacrosse letterwinner at Springfield College (Mass.). He was a captain of the lacrosse team as a senior and he was selected to participate in a pair of senior all-star games. He holds a bachelor of arts in history from Springfield, and he has since attained a master of professional studies in humanistic education from the State University of New York, New Paltz.
Riker, a four-year high school letterwinner in soccer and lacrosse at Suffield (Conn.) Academy, attained several soccer coaching accreditations, including a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) diploma in 1997, an NSCAA Goalkeeping Institute, Level 1 diploma in 1998, an NSCAA advanced national diploma, with distinction, in 1998, and a United States Soccer Federation "B" License in 1999. He is the founder and director of a summer camp in his hometown of Block Island, R.I., and he remains an active player in a local soccer club and lacrosse club in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Riker, with his wife Gabrielle and their children Isabelle and Sofia, plans to move to Springfield permanently by June, although he will be coming to campus prior to that to meet with his new team and plan offseason workouts. He inherits a team that went 7-7-3 in 2001 and is expected to return seven starters in 2002.
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