Men’s soccer coach Bill Denniston retires after 23 seasons

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By Austin Bechtold, Assistant Sports Editor

This week kicks off the beginning of the school year for RMU students, but today it marks the end of an era for Robert Morris men’s soccer.

Longtime coach Bill Denniston has announced his retirement from the program after leading the Colonials for 23 seasons.

Denniston told RMU Athletics, “It’s been a pleasure and honor to serve the student-athletes for the men’s soccer program at Robert Morris. As I move into the next chapter of my life, I look forward to seeing how the program continues its progression as it enters a new era.”

After being named head coach on March 19, 1997, Denniston led Robert Morris to the 2001 Northeast Conference (NEC) regular-season title and the 2005 NEC Tournament championship, advancing the Colonials to the NCAA Tournament in the process. as well as being named the 2001 NEC Coach of the Year.

Denniston was one of the longest tenured coaches in Robert Morris history. His 23 years on the sidelines of the men’s soccer program rivals the stints of legendary football coach Joe Walton, John Kowalski, who coached both the men’s and women’s programs, and former softball coach Craig Coleman.

Before stepping foot on the soccer fields at Robert Morris, Denniston coached at Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia. All three years at D-II Alderson Broaddus brought positive results between the lines, with his teams consistently being ranked in the Top-20 nationally. Before his coaching days, Denniston was a star player at D-II Bethany College, being named an All-American three times and as the captain of the squad in 1982.

Denniston coached some incredible talents during his 23 seasons at Robert Morris, including forward Neco Brett and midfielder Devon Williams.

Brett played for the Colonials from 2012-2015 and was named NEC Player of the Year his last three seasons at RMU, becoming the first athlete in conference history to ever win the title three times. He went on to be the 40th overall pick in the 2019 MLS draft and later spent two seasons with the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

Williams also found success in the USL, contributing to championships for the New York Red Bulls II in 2016 and Louisville City FC in 2017 and 2018.

Last season the Colonials finished the 2019 season with a 4-11-2 overall record and 3-5-1 line in-conference, which was RMU’s final year in the NEC.

Robert Morris will begin to search for the next head coach of men’s soccer, tasked with coaching a program that has not seen a change in leadership since the previous century.