In his fifth season as head coach of the Jaguars, Richard Moodie completed the 'three-peat' and added a third consecutive Sun Belt Tournament Championship to the South Alabama trophy shelf in 2021. The Jags' offensive strength continued to show as their scoring offense ranked second in the NCAA. Moodie coached the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, Gracie Wilson, to the tune of 11 goals, 10 assists and 32 points on the season. The Jaguars also saw Sydney Ham receive conference Newcomer of the Year and three all-conference selections (Wilson, Gabrielle Gayle and Jaidy Gutierrez-Campos) under his direction.
Wilson scored the lone deciding goal in the Sun Belt tournament final and led the Jags to their third straight conference tournament championship, which earned the team an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Four Jaguars received all-tournament honors and Wilson earned tournament MVP for her performance throughout the weekend.
He led the Jags to another Sun Belt Tournament Championship in 2020. In addition, the Jags recorded an NCAA tournament victory, the second in program history and first under Moodie, as well as winning the Sun Belt East Division although that recognition only received a number-one seed in the post-season tournament. The Jaguars offensive prowess saw USA ranked number 2 in the NCAA for total goals scored on the season.
South defeated Arkansas State for the second consecutive year to win the Sun Belt Crown. Five Jags earned all-tournament honors including M.O.P. Morgan Cross and goalkeeper Allison Luckhardt, who made her first appearance in the quarterfinals entering for a penalty-kick shootout.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the entirety of the NCAA soccer tournament, men’s and women’s, took place in North Carolina. The 48-team bracket seeded South Alabama against Colorado in the opening round. The match took place in Greensboro with USA taking the 1-0 win after a set-piece goal after a cross went into the goal as the keeper was distracted by a charging attacking player. A massive defensive performance kept Colorado off the board to secure the victory. South would bow out in the following match against Oklahoma State.
South Alabama claimed the regular season conference title and the Sun Belt tournament championship in 2019 which earned the team an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Moodie earned Sun Belt Coach of the Year honors in 2019 as the club won 16 games, and swept the postseason conference awards for the first time in his tenure and the second time in program history (2014).
The club was not content with only winning on the field as the squad put up a combined 3.675 GPA for the spring 2020 term. Two thirds of the team excelled over 3.5 with almost half the squad (48 percent) posting a 4.0. The marks were the best in program history.
As of 2021, Moodie has seen his student-athletes win 11 individual accolades in seasonal awards, while earning 30 placements on the Sun Belt All-Conference teams.
While the coaching staff shares credit for player development, the resulting effort of combined instruction has resulted in the development of four players in the Cypriot First Division, Barclays FA Women’s Super League, and National Premier Soccer League. South has former players representing Apollon (Steffi and Rio Hardy), Tottenham Hotspur (Hannah Godfrey) and Pensacola FC (Briana Morris).
In addition to starting a professional career, Morris was one of two Sun Belt Conference nominations in recognition for achievements on the field and in the classroom during her final year at USA. The Hoover, Ala., native also claimed the South Alabama Student-Athlete of the Year award in April.
In his first season at USA, Moodie made sure the Jaguars kept their status as the elite soccer program in the Sun Belt Conference.
In year one, he guided the Jaguars to their fourth straight regular season title and fifth consecutive tournament crown, all while posting a 14-6-1 overall record and 9-1 mark in the league.
USA led the Sun Belt in four different team categories, including goals (1.90) and points (5.14) per game, and boasted the league’s player and defender of the year in Rio Hardy and Hannah Godfrey, respectively.
A league-high seven Jaguars earned all-conference distinction, with four — Rio and Steffi Hardy, Danielle Henley and Godfrey — on the first team, and three — Kory Dixon, Selma Bjorgvinsdottir and Chelsea Followwell — on the second.
Rio Hardy, who paced the conference with 16 goals, 37 points and six game-winning goals, was also tabbed Second Team All-South Region by United Soccer Coaches. She was joined by Godfrey, who earned third-team honors.
The Jaguars excelled in the classroom as well, as Tiina Trutsi became just the second USA soccer student-athlete to be named CoSIDA Academic All-American, and first to be voted to the first team. Henley was also honored by United Soccer Coaches after being named to its scholar all-region team.
After an 0-4 start to the 2017 season, South Alabama went 14-1-1 in its next 16 matches, and swept through the Sun Belt Tournament by a record combined score of 11-0. The 5-0 title win over Coastal Carolina, the largest margin in league final history, made the Jaguars the first to win five straight Sun Belt Tournament championships.
Henley, Rio and Steffi Hardy, Justice Stanford and Dixon were all named to the all-tournament, with Rio picking up most outstanding player honors.
While year two didn’t end in a championship, the Jaguars extended their streak of six consecutive winning Sun Belt seasons with a 5-4-1 mark in the league (8-9-2 overall) and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament.
South Alabama was faced with its toughest non-conference schedule in years, taking on four SEC and one ACC opponents consecutively, and despite scoring just one goal in the first three games of the league slate, USA come on late with four wins and a draw in its last six outings.
Defensively the Jags were stout, allowing just six goals in 10 league games to rank second in goals against average (0.57) and tied for third in shutouts (5).
Moodie’s efforts in recruiting paid off with another major award winner for the program as Brenna McPartlan became the fifth Jaguar to earn Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honors after leading the team in goals (5), assists (4) and points (14). McPartlan and Hannah Godfrey earned first-team all-conference distinction, and Aníta Ágústsdóttir was voted to the second team. Briana Morris — who tallied a goal and three assists in the Sun Belt Tournament — was placed on the all-tournament team.
Moodie took over the program in December 2016 following a five-year stint leading the Carson-Newman women’s program, which included a pair of NCAA Division II Tournament appearances over the last two seasons.
A native of Stenhousemuir, Scotland, Moodie also directed the Eagle men’s soccer program to a 59-44-9 overall mark — including 35-21 in South Atlantic Conference action — the last six years while guiding the women’s team to a 48-38-7 mark in the last five seasons. In addition to leading C-N’s women to back-to-back league regular-season and tournament titles, Moodie helped the men advance to the NCAA Tournament championship match in 2013.
His last two women’s teams compiled a 36-7-1 record to go along with the four league titles and reached the second round in the NCAA Tournament in each season.
Moodie coached two straight South Atlantic Conference Players of the Year in Julianne Herrity and Lauren Wade. In 2015, Herrity became the first C-N all-American since 2009, in addition to being named first team all-region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Division II Conference Commissioners Association. The following season, Wade was named the league’s top player to go along with all-America honors from both the NSCAA (second team) and D2CCA (first).
Herrity’s totals — in just two seasons — rank fourth in school history in points (79) and fifth in goals (34).
During the 2016 season, Moodie led the Eagle women to a 17-4-1 finish after earning a first-round NCAA Tournament victory. C-N claimed a share of the SAC regular-season title with an 8-2-1 mark, then won the tournament title while outscoring the opposition 9-1 in three matches. A school-record total of 10 Eagles picked up all-conference honors and six — Wade, Herrity, Varin Ness, Heida Ragney, Holly Talbut-Smith and Averi Williams— were named to all-region squads. Wade was selected to multiple All-American teams while being chosen the SAC and Southeast Region Player of the Year.
Wade led the nation in points per game and was second in goals per game and third in assists per contest. In June, she was tabbed the 2016-17 South Atlantic Conference Female Athlete of the Year.
As a team, C-N was third in Division II in both assists and points per game, and fifth in scoring offense, and led the conference in four statistical categories while ranking second in another. Wade and Herrity ranked first and second, respectively, in both goals and points per game, and goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns was first in minutes played and second in goals against average.
For his efforts, Moodie and his assistants were selected the NSCAA Southeast Region Staff of the Year.
The previous fall, Carson-Newman posted a 19-3 overall record and a 10-1 mark in conference play before going on to claim both the program’s first SAC Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament victory since 2009. The Eagles knocked off two nationally-ranked opponents during the season — No. 9 Wingate and No. 13 Lenoir-Rhyne — and did not allow a goal in claiming the league title.
The 19 victories were a 16-win improvement over the year before and led to Moodie being named the conference’s coach of the year. The team won a school-record 12 straight matches, a streak that eventually came to an end in the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament to No. 3 Columbus State.
Herrity was selected to two all-region teams and was a third-team all-American and SAC Player of the Year. Ness and Ragney joined Herrity on the all-conference first team, while three others were tabbed to the second and honorable mention squads. Ness picked up the program’s first league freshman of the year honor in six years and Ragney was the SAC Women’s Championship MVP.
While the 2014 season only resulted in three wins, three losses came in overtime, and three players were named to All-SAC teams, the program’s most since 2010.
On the men’s side, Moodie finished third or better in the South Atlantic Conference four straight seasons, a stretch during which time C-N would go 28-9-5 in league play, including a league title in 2015.
Moodie was named the CaptainU National Coach of the Year after guiding the Eagles’ men’s squad to the NCAA championship match in 2013 as they finished the year with a 16-6-1 mark. Carson-Newman defeated three ranked teams in the tournament, including No. 4 Rollins, before falling to No. 2 Southern New Hampshire in the title game.
Ross Frame, who scored 20 goals with 11 assists, earned South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year honors, in addition to first-team all-region and second-team all-America distinction from Daktronics and first-team all-region and third team all-America recognition from the NSCAA. He was one of six Eagles voted to the all-SAC teams. Daktronics voted Frame as its region player of the year.
In 2015, Moodie was named the SAC Coach of the Year while two individuals received all-region recognition and nine were honored by the league. The Eagles ended up 9-2 in the conference and 15-3-2 overall while sharing the regular-season crown.
Sindre Welo added to his 2013 all-region awards with first-team nods from the NSCAA and D2CCA, and was tabbed second and third team all-American by the NSCAA and D2CCA, respectively.
A four-year letterwinner at Carson-Newman from 2002-05, Moodie ranks among the program all-time leaders with 73 total appearances and 59 starts. During his final three seasons of competition, the Eagles put together a 49-10-6 record in all matches while going 19-1-1 in the South Atlantic Conference, claiming three straight regular-season championships, three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths and the 2005 league tournament title.
In his sophomore campaign, the Eagles went 6-1-1 in the SAC and earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament after advancing to the tournament championship game. C-N reached the national quarterfinals that season — the furthest any men’s soccer team had advanced at that point — after getting past No. 1 USC Spartanburg and UNC Pembroke on penalties, before falling to eventual national champion Lynn.
The following season, Carson-Newman went unbeaten in the conference for the first time in school history for its second consecutive regular-season title, then reached the national quarterfinals for the second time in three seasons in 2005 after an unblemished 7-0 mark in the SAC and an 18-2-2 record overall. The Eagles won 13 straight matches in Moodie’s final campaign, and swept the regular season and tournament titles.
As a senior, Moodie was named first-team all-region and all-conference.
His professional career included time with the Cincinnati Kings and Columbus Crew in 2007.
Moodie currently has NSCAA national and advanced national diplomas and a Premier license, as well as an NSCAA Advanced National Goalkeeping diploma.
A 2006 C-N graduate with a degree in business management, Moodie served as a graduate assistant with the program for two seasons before earning his master’s degree from the school in education in 2008. He was the head boys’ and girls’ soccer coach at Morristown East (Tenn.) High School before returning to his alma mater as head men’s coach in 2011.
Moodie and his wife, Jess, have two children, Caragyn and Trystan.