Stu Riddle has been hired as the men’s soccer head coach at the University at Buffalo, UB Director of Athletics Danny White announced on Wednesday. Riddle comes to Buffalo from Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan where, in four seasons, he revitalized the Broncos’ men’s soccer program.
Riddle restored WMU to one of the finest in the Mid-American Conference and Great Lakes Region during his tenure, making back-to-back appearances in the MAC Championship game in 2010 and 2011. Riddle led the Broncos to winning seasons in two of his four years, something that had only been done twice in the 15 seasons prior to his hiring.
In four seasons, Riddle went 33-36-9, had 10 all-conference selections, eight all-tournament team selections, six Academic All-MAC honorees and produced an individual NCAA statistical champion in goals per game. The 2012 Bronco squad (11-6-2) carried a 3.45 team Grade Point Average which was the second highest in NCAA Division I men’s soccer and fourth amongst all divisions combined.
“Stu Riddle built a MAC championship contender at Western Michigan and I am confident that, with the resources we have at UB, he can take our program to new heights,” White said. ”We are excited to welcome the addition of the Riddle family to lead our men’s soccer program. Stu’s proven leadership will undoubtedly help us as we passionately pursue the vast potential of UB Athletics.”
Prior to joining the Broncos, Riddle helped guide Fairfield University to a 2008 NCAA Tournament appearance after defeating previously unbeaten and No. 6 nationally ranked Loyola to win the 2008 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament championship.
“I am very excited to join the University at Buffalo athletic family,” Riddle said. “The vision for success and development within the University and positive energy in the athletic department is infectious and I can’t wait to begin this journey.”
In 2008 Riddle also accepted the challenge of developing the Kalamazoo Outrage soccer program with its first season of competition coming that summer. The Outrage finished its inaugural campaign with a 10-7-1 record, beating perennial Premier Development League (PDL) powerhouses the Michigan Bucks and Chicago Fire in the PDL playoffs before losing to eventual national champion Thunder Bay Chill in the last eight of the competition.
Riddle spent two seasons as an assistant soccer coach at the University of Evansville, beginning with the 2005 campaign. In his second year with the Purple Aces the team posted a 9-8-0 record, only the program’s third winning season since 1997.
Riddle’s coaching resume also includes time as head coach for the Kalamazoo Kingdom PDL in 2006 where former LA Galaxy MLS midfielder Josh Tudela and 2006 National High School Player of the Year current Portland Timbers and U.S. National Team midfielder Eric Alexander spent a season playing under Riddle’s tutelage.
As a player, Riddle played collegiately at Coastal Carolina University where he was twice named team MVP and was an All-Big South Conference team member in 1997 and 1998. Riddle signed with New Zealand’s first-ever professional soccer team the Football Kingz in 1999 where he played with Oceania Player of the Century Wynton Rufer and with current San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) Assistant Coach Jason Batty.
Riddle went on to play professionally in England with Oxford City, Scotland with Greenock Morton and in Australia with Altona Magic. While at Greenock Morton, Riddle was coached by European Cup winner and former Liverpool and Scotland national team star Peter Cormack. He also played in the United States with the Des Moines Menace and West Michigan Edge in the PDL. As a youth player Riddle played alongside Washington head coach Jamie Clark for Western Suburbs FC as a guest player in New Zealand’s national under-19 tournament in which he was one of three nominations for Player of the Tournament.
Riddle made his international debut for the New Zealand Olympic All Whites in January 1996, appearing in a 2-0 victory over the Solomon Islands. He went on to play in four national team games under current University of Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark, highlighted by an appearance in a 1-0 victory over arch rivals Australia in Adelaide.
Riddle was born in Luton, England, but raised in Wellington, New Zealand. On Aug. 16, 2011, he was sworn in as a naturalized U.S. citizen during an oath ceremony in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Riddle graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Coastal Carolina University and a Master of Science in Public Administration from the University of Evansville. He and his wife, Jessica, reside in Kalamazoo. The couple has two daughters, Rylee Noelle (born March 16, 2010) and Nora Jane (7/31/12).
“I would like to thank Danny White for presenting me with this terrific opportunity and Kathy Twist, Sharon Sanford and the rest of the support staff for their ultimate professionalism during this process,” Riddle said.
Riddle replaces David Hesch who served as interim head coach for the past two seasons.