WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (PURDUE SPORTS) – Richard Moodie has been named head coach of the Purdue soccer team by Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Bobinski on Tuesday.
An innovator in data, sports science and technology, Moodie comes to Purdue from South Alabama and will be the third head coach in the program’s 27-year history. He won seven conference titles at South Alabama – three regular-season and four postseason – and coached his athletes to 19 individual Sun Belt postseason awards and 44 all-conference accolades in addition to being named the conference coach of the year twice, in 2019 and 2023.
“We are thrilled to welcome Richard Moodie as our head coach for Purdue Soccer,” Bobinski said. “Since embarking on his coaching career, Richard has strived for and achieved excellence at every opportunity. His impressive record of success, especially during his time at South Alabama, has been characterized by a consistent ability to play an exciting and strategic brand of soccer. South Alabama regularly ranked among the nation’s elite in goal scoring, including finishing second across all of Division I for the 2021 season. We look forward to Richard’s leadership of our soccer program and welcome him, his wife, Jess, and children, Caragyn and Trystan, to West Lafayette.”
A native of Stenhousemuir, Scotland, Moodie coached his alma mater, Carson-Newman, from 2011-16, leading the men’s team from 2011-16 and the women from 2012-16 before taking the reigns at South Alabama in 2017. He boasts a 198-118-35 (.614) career record, with a 139-74-26 (.636) mark leading the C-N and USA women’s programs and a 91-36-19 (.688) record at the Division I level in seven seasons at USA.
Moodie’s coaching tenure at Carson-Newman included multiple NCAA Division II tournament appearances with both programs and a national runner-up finish in 2013. He coached several conference player of the year and All-America honorees and was recognized with Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors. Moodie, who has coached 12 players that went on to have professional playing careers, played professionally himself, including in the MLS with the Columbus Crew, before he began his coaching career.
“Thank you to Mike Bobinski, Senior Associate Athletics Director Ed Howat and the entire search committee for giving me this opportunity at Purdue,” Moodie said. “I am very excited to start this new adventure with the Boilermakers. I enjoyed my time at South Alabama and am thankful for all of the players who I had the honor of coaching and Athletics Director Joel Erdmann for helping us have so much success. I am now ready to get Purdue Soccer back on the map and give it an identity that it deserves, and can’t wait to get started.”
Moodie brings a data-driven and goal-oriented approach to his teams, with analytics, technology and innovation playing a part in training and student-athlete development. His teams were one of the first to wear GPS trackers and utilize that information during training and games. Moodie’s programs also are on the forefront of sleep science and its impact on on-field performance.
Moodie’s seven-year tenure at South Alabama began with a sweep of the Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament titles and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017. Another championship sweep, and an NCAA berth, followed in 2019. That began a stretch of three consecutive Sun Belt Tournament crowns and NCAA bids, as Moodie guided the Jaguars to two more tournament titles and NCAA appearances in 2020 and 2021. The 2023 season saw Moodie and South Alabama win another regular-season Sun Belt championship.
In 2023, South Alabama posted a 16-1-3 record with an 8-0-2 mark in Sun Belt play to win the conference. Moodie was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year, while the Jaguars also earned the league’s Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards. A 15-0-3 mark in the regular season was the first unbeaten year in program history, as USA outscored its opponents 50-7.
The 2022 season saw USA once again collect Sun Belt Player, Offensive Player, Newcomer and Freshman of the Year accolades. Moodie guided his squad to an 11-2-7 record overall and a 6-1-3 mark in conference play to finish second in the league. The Jaguars also were recognized with one Academic All-America recognition.
For the third consecutive season, 2021 ended in the NCAA Tournament after a Sun Belt tournament title. With the nation’s second-highest-scoring offense, the Jaguars posted a 12-5-3 record, 6-2-2 in the league under Moodie’s leadership. Individual honors included the Sun Belt Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, along with an All-Region selection and an Academic All-America honor.
USA won its second of three straight Sun Belt postseason crowns in the 2020-21 season. Moodie helped his team to a 14-9-1 overall mark, going 8-2-0 in conference play thanks to the No. 2-ranked offense in the country. The NCAA Tournament began with a win over Colorado, the program’s second-ever NCAA victory, to advance to the second round.
The three-year NCAA Tournament streak began in 2019, which also was South Alabama’s second Sun Belt championship sweep in three seasons under Moodie. He was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year and USA swept the postseason awards, winning the Player, Offensive Player, Defensive Player, Newcomer and Freshman of the Year accolades. A First Team All-Region honor punctuated the campaign as the Jaguars were 16-4-2, 8-1-1 in conference play.
A Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honor highlighted the 2018 season, which was Moodie’s second at South Alabama. The team posted an overall record of 8-9-2 and a 5-4-1 mark in league action. Three players were named to the All-Sun Belt Team.
Moodie’s first year at South Alabama was a memorable one, as he guided the team to two Sun Belt titles, the NCAA Tournament and several major postseason awards. USA collected Sun Belt Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year accolades, along with a pair of All-Region honors and an Academic All-America award. The Jaguars were 14-6-1, finishing the year with a 14-1-1 mark, with a 9-1-0 record in league play. The postseason saw South Alabama outscore its opponents 11-0 in the Sun Belt Tournament.
Moodie came to South Alabama from Carson-Newman, where he was the head coach of the Division II men’s team from 2011-16, going 59-44-9, and the women’s program from 2012-16, with a 48-38-7 record.
The Carson-Newman women went 17-4-1 in 2016 and registered a first-round win in the NCAA Tournament. The squad won the regular-season and postseason conference crowns and a school-record 10 players earned all-league accolades. Conference and Region Player of the Year honors came along with All-America distinction by the national leader in points per game. Moodie and his staff were named the Region Staff of the Year.
A year earlier, in 2015, the C-N women were 19-3-0 and went on to win the program’s first SAC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament win since 2009. Moodie was the Conference Coach of the Year and the team also earned Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and All-America accolades. The team advanced to the Sweet 16 after a 16-win improvement over the previous season.
While also leading the men’s program, Moodie guided his club to four consecutive seasons with a third-place finish or better in the league, with a conference title in 2015. He led the team to the NCAA title game in 2013 and was named the CaptainU National Coach of the Year. Moodie’s time with the men’s team also included a SAC Coach of the Year honor in 2015, a Player of the Year honor and several All-Region and All-America accolades.
Prior to his stint at Carson-Newman, Moodie was the head coach for the boys and girls teams at Morristown East High School in Tennessee from 2008-11. He was an assistant at C-N from 2006-07.
A four-year letterwinner at Carson-Newman from 2002-05, Moodie is among the program’s all-time leaders with 73 games played and 59 career starts. His teams totaled a 49-10-6 record in his last three seasons, with a 19-1-1 mark in SAC play. Moodie helped his team to three consecutive regular-season titles and three NCAA Tournament berths in as many years. The Eagles also won the 2005 tournament crown. The 2003 campaign ended in the national quarterfinals, the furthest the team had ever gotten at the time. The school’s first unbeaten conference season came in 2004, along with another conference title. In 2005, C-N made the national quarterfinals once again after a 7-0 SAC record and an 18-2-2 overall mark. Moodie was recognized on the All-Conference team and earned First Team All-Region honors.
Professionally, Moodie played with the Columbus Crew and Cincinnati Kings in 2007.
Moodie has an NSCAA Premier license, as well as an NSCAA Advanced National Goalkeeping diploma. He also holds a UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) A license.
Moodie graduated from Carson-Newman in 2006 with a degree in business management. He earned his masters degree from the school of education in 2008.
Moodie and his wife, Jess, have two children, Caragyn and Trystan.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Soccer Head Coach at the University of Alabama
“I’ve coached against Richard (South Alabama) several times over the past few years, and we can always count on it being a difficult game. Richard always has his team well prepared. They are organized, disciplined, and play with passion. Richard has been very successful at South Alabama in the Sun Belt, and I have no reason to think he won’t be successful anywhere else he goes.”
FIFA Strategic Advisor and Tactical Coach Analyst with the San Diego Wave (NWSL)
“I had the pleasure of being in the same UEFA A License cohort as Richard. I was really impressed by the level of detail and the clarity of his coaching which naturally stemmed from his sound knowledge of the game. It is clear Richard is a very forward thinking and detailed coach who I am sure would be an absolute asset to any team he coaches.”
President of Soccer Operations/General Manager of the Washington Spirit (NWSL)
“I am excited for Richard to start a new chapter at Purdue. His understanding of the game and ability to organize his team will lead them to great success. I look forward to watching them in the NCAA Tournament in the near future.”
Union Berlin and Greek Senior National Team
“I was thrilled to have had Richard Moodie as my coach! His coaching prowess was outstanding, and as a person, he was equally impressive. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been coached by such an outstanding individual.”
Leadership Coach & Team Architect at Donna Fishter Consulting
“Everything rises and falls on leadership, and Purdue Soccer is on the path towards greatness with Richard Moodie. Without a doubt his leadership will maximize the potential at Purdue. It is clear he believes people are the competitive advantage. Athletes become what I call “next level” under Richard’s leadership. Player development and personal development go hand in hand in his culture. There is never a stone left unturned with Richard Moodie. He brings all the pieces together that provide the best opportunity for success.”