- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Maryland has been good to Germany-native Richard Moller.
Since arriving to Maryland in 1995 from Germany, Moller’s life has taken shape.
He arrived at Towson University and left their men’s soccer program holding the program’s all-time record of most goals scored in a single season (21) and most points in a single season (45).
He also began his professional playing career in Maryland. He also met his wife, Katrina, in Maryland.
But as Moller’s coaching career has taken him to Illinois and to New York and away from Maryland, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Seahawks women’s soccer head coaching job has brought him back to what he calls his home state.
Moller took over the head coaching position on July 1.
He takes over for Brianne Weaver, a 2000 St. Mary’s College graduate who left to become head coach at NCAA Division III Bowdoin College (Maine).
Weaver, who posted a six-year record of 48-45-13 (26-15-6 CAC), led St. Mary's to three Capital Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Championship Tournament finals in 2006, 2008, and 2011 in six seasons, collecting the school's first-ever CAC championship crown in 2008 and earning CAC Coach of the Year honors that same year.
“I am very, very excited,” Moller said. “When I first stepped foot on campus, everything just felt amazing. The campus itself, the environment, the culture, the people, the players, it was just love at first sight. I am very thrilled about everything.”
This is the third head coaching job for Moller, who began his head-coaching career at Western Illinois. Most recently, since 2006, Moller had been the head coach at Vassar College in New York.
But a job opening up in the state where much of his life has taken shape was too perfect to pass up.
“Personally and professionally, this is the perfect fit for us,” Moller admitted.
It was not simply his heart for the state that brought him back.
“All the people were very friendly, it was a friendly environment and everyone was on the same page,” Moller said of the campus. “Everybody is supportive of one another and everyone is happy when someone else is successful. To me that support and togetherness amongst the students, faculty and staff makes me believe that anyone coaching in that environment can be highly successful.”
Moller’s first order of business upon accepting the position has been to reach out to current players on the team in attempts of building relationships with his new cast of players. He has one goal in mind as he forges the new bonds.
“It has just been about furthering my relationship with the players via phone calls and getting to know each and every player more in depth so we can all get on the same page,” Moller added on his first mission. “Everyone is excited individually about the season, but we want to get excited as a team.”
Also on Moller’s to-do list is forming a winning atmosphere for his players and team to thrive in.
“I want to create an environment for the players to compete daily and get better daily, whether it is physically, technically or tactically,” Moller said. “I want to make sure that the process is in place so we can fulfill our goals that we set for ourselves.”
Moller’s brief professional career includes playing for D.C. United-affiliated Maryland Mania and also for Baltimore Blast in indoor soccer.
However, only two years into his pro career, a decision had to be made on continuing his playing career, which would have been in Germany, or continuing his at-the-time, newly-forming coaching career. He chose the latter.
Now, the new Seahawks women’s soccer head man is able to pass his professional knowledge to college players.
“The instinct that I inherited as a player at that level helps me to coach with instinct under pressure and in certain moments,” Moller added.
When asked about his soccer philosophy, Moller admitted that the concept of youth soccer defense is actually what could work best.
“When you watch 6-year-olds play defense, everyone gets behind the ball,” Moller said. “Everyone chases the ball and it’s actually, believe it or not, almost perfect defense. When you play defense, it has to be dynamic and everyone has to get behind the ball.
“When you win the ball, however, I am a big believer in quick positioning, spreading out high and wide and really being a dynamic team on offense.”
Now that Moller, his wife and son, Maverick, are back where it all started, he finished with, “I’m back home.”