Richard Owens is entering his third season as the head coach of the West Virginia Wesleyan women’s soccer team.
Prior to the start of the 2018 season at WVWC, Owens was the assistant coach for the Jefferson (formerly Philadelphia University) Rams women’s soccer team from 2014 until 2017. In their 2017 campaign, the Rams finished 9-9 (8-4 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference), with freshman Sarah Patrignani being named to the All-CACC Second Team and a total of 13 Rams —a league-high— named to the CACC All-Academic Team.
The 2016 campaign saw another season of qualifying for the CACC playoffs, while having four student-athletes selected to the All-CACC team. The Rams increased their offensive scoring output by 17 goals compared to 2015, while only allowing eight goals against in all conference games. They finished with an 8-3-1 record in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
In 2015, the Rams had a 10-9-3 campaign that was capped by the team’s second-straight CACC championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament second round. Senior forward Carla Chmielewski scored a team-high eight goals and was named to the All-CACC First Team, Division II CCA Second Team, and the NSCAA/Continental Tire Third Team. McKenna Burns was tabbed for the All-CACC first team, while Courtney Shaw earned a place on the All-CACC Second Team.
The 2014 season was one of the best seasons in Jefferson history with a 14-7-1 record—the fourth-best win total in program history—claiming the CACC regular season and tournament titles, and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. Senior defender Hannah Palese was selected as the CACC Defender of the Year, and earned Daktronics/Division II CCA All-East Region Second Team and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire Third team Recognition. Junior goalkeeper Courtney Shaw was tabbed for the Daktronics/Division II CCA Second Team and the NSCAA/Continental Tire Second Team, while junior midfielder Carla Chmielewski was named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire Third Team. Five players earned All-CACC recognition.
In addition to coaching at Jefferson, Owens was a full-time Coach with the South Jersey Elite Barons/Rush Soccer Academy, as well as the Director of the Speed and Agility Program for all 67 teams. He has coached girl’s teams in various age groups with his teams being invited to some of the nation’s highest rated tournaments. His teams have won championships at Jefferson Cup, Bethesda, CASL, MSSL College Showcases, NJ State Cups and Regional EDP Open Cups, with his 2000 SJEB/Rush Academy team finishing the 2018 campaign ranked fifth in the nation.
Prior to joining Jefferson, Owens was an assistant coach at Rosemont College. The Rosemont team finished 9-7-3 overall and ranked 5th in the conference out of 12, making the CSAC (Colonial States Athletic Conference) playoffs and having four student-athletes named to the All-CSAC Team.
In 2011, Richard started the Atlantic County Institute of Technology’s first varsity soccer program and coached the first ACIT boys soccer team. He created the school’s first booster club program and raised money to purchase various soccer gear and equipment. In the two years as a varsity program that Owens was involved, the ACIT Redhawks finished third in the league, made it to the quarterfinals of the NJ Group 2 State Playoffs as well as the NJTAC Quarterfinals with an overall record of 21-19-2.
Prior to coaching high school soccer, he was assistant coach at Lyndon State College for five years. His tenure at Lyndon included four straight NAIA Mayflower playoff appearances and several postseason appearances.
At Kean University (formerly Kean College of New Jersey), Owens was a goalkeeper on the Men’s 1992 NCAA Division III National Championship team and was inducted into the Kean College College Hall of Fame with the 1992 team.
A graduate of Oakcrest High School in Mays Landing, N.J., he is a member of the Oakcrest High School Athletic Hall of Fame and still holds numerous records.