Riley Butler, a former member of the National Premier Soccer League?s (NPSL) Jacksonville United FC, was hired as an assistant coach in July of 2014.
Butler completed his third season with the Highlanders, helping Radford to greater heights in 2016. For the second consecutive season, Radford finished with a 14-4-2 record, while capturing the Big South Regular Season and Tournament Championships. After collecting the third straight regular season title, Radford ended its 16-year absence as kings of the Big South, winning its first tournament championship since 2000 with a 1-0 decision over sixth seeded Longwood.
Punching its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season, Radford dropped a 2-1 decision to former Big South foe Coastal Carolina. Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Radford fought back, limiting the Chanticleers to only one shot in the second half.
During the past three seasons that Butler has helped, Radford put together one of its best defensive seasons in program history in 2016. The Highlanders led the Big South with 10 shutouts, yielding only 13 goals total and two in league play. Radford ranked ninth nationally with a 0.63 goals against average and 13th with a 0.50 shutout percentage. Finishing with a 0.824 save percentage to rank 10th nationally as a team, Aitor Pouseu Blanco ranked 13th nationally in the individual category. Pouseu Blanco also ranked 10th in the country with a 0.611 goals against average.
Butler played a major role in the 2016 honors as eight Highlanders earned All-Big South honors. Radford defensive backline of Jo Vetle Rimstad, Fraser Colmer and Bismark Amofah joined Pouseu Blanco on the first team. The trio also joined Pouseu Blanco on the All-Tournament team as Pouseu Blanco earned MVP honors.
Individually, Rimstad racked up several honors in the postseason. In addition to collecting Radford?s second consecutive Big South Defense Player of the Year award, Rimstad earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-South Region first team. The all-region honor was Rimstad?s first step to becoming Radford?s second NSCAA All-American in program history during the NCAA Division I era as Rimstad joined Olympian Dante Washington as the only two Highlanders to hold the honor. Adding to his NSCAA All-American third honor award, Rimstad was named to the NSCAA?s Scholar All-America First Team.
Rimstad capped off his already impressive postseason with hearing his named called in the 2017 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The D.C. United selected Rimstad with the 43rd overall pick in the draft. The five-time Big South Defensive Player of the Week honoree aided Radford to 31 shutouts in his career.
Colmer became the sixth Big South Men?s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of Year recipient in program history, including the second in last two years. Colmer earned a nod on the CoSIDA Academic All-America® first team, becoming only the third Highlander in program history to be named to the team. Colmer joined Rimstad on the NSCAA All-South Region squad with a third team nod.
The 2016 season saw the Highlanders receive its highest national ranking in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll with a ranking of 20th. Radford was ranked inside the Top 25 for three consecutive weeks during the season. The 2016 senior class capped of their careers with a 49-20-11 record over a four-year span, including a 24-4-5 record inside Cupp Stadium.
All of success of the 2016 season was built off the 2015 season in which the Highlanders finished with a 14-4-2 record, making their third NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Radford received its first NCAA at-large bid in program history on the strength of its No. 20 RPI. The Highlanders finished the Big South schedule with a 7-1-1 record, securing a share of their sixth conference regular-season championship.
In the NCAA First Round, Radford dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 match to Charlotte. The 49ers broke a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 84th minute. The NCAA tournament appearance marked the first appearance by the Highlanders since the 2000 season.
In 2015, as the Highlanders were one of the top offensive threats in the country. Radford led the Big South with 44 goals, ranking in the Top 20 nationally. Meanwhile, Radford's defense was just as impressive, only allowing four goals in Big South play?the lowest recorded in the league.
At the end of the season, six players earned All-Big South honors?five named to the first team, a program record. Daniel O?Keefe became the first Highlander to be named Big South Defensive Player of the Year, after anchoring the backline of a defense that finished with nine shutouts. Sivert Daehlie led the Highlanders and ranked second in the Big South with 13 goals. Daehlie ranked second nationally with seven game winning goals. He finished the season ranked inside the nation's Top-25 in goals, goals per game, points and points per game.
The Highlanders dominated the VaSID awards, sweeping all three major awards with five players earning all-state first team honors. Daehlie claimed the honor of becoming the first player to win both the Player and Rookie of the Year in VaSID All-State history. Furthermore, he was the Highlanders' first-ever player to be named VaSID Player of the Year.
Radford earned a national ranking as high as No. 20 during the 2014 campaign and won seven straight games at one point, which at that time was the longest winning streak in the nation. The team also posted an 11-game unbeaten streak, which is the longest single-season streak as a member of the Big South in school history.
In addition to his club coaching experience, Butler served as the assistant boys coach at Episcopal School of Jacksonville (2012-2014) and Fletcher High School (2008-12).
Following his collegiate career (2005-09) at Jacksonville University, Butler played three seasons for Jacksonville United and helped the squad to a NPSL Championship in 2010. A Division I Scholar-Athlete at JU, he played an integral part in the Dolphins? 2007 regular season Atlantic Sun Championship and JU?s 2008 A-Sun conference tournament title and second round appearance in that season?s NCAA College Cup.
A 2009 graduate of Jacksonville, Butler earned a B.A. in marketing and management from the Davis College of Business.
Assistant Men's Soccer Coach
Assistant Men's Soccer Coach