USL Moves: Leigh Cowlishaw steps down after 19 years as Richmond Kickers coach

Leigh Cowlishaw, the longest-tenured head coach in the USL, stepped down after 19 seasons in charge of the Richmond Kickers.

The Englishman coached his 560th and final match on Saturday in a 1-1 draw against the Charlotte Independence. He will remain with the Kickers as director of soccer.

David Bulow, who has been coaching within the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club and Richmond United U.S. Soccer Development Academy for eight years, will take over as head coach for the rest of the 2018 season.

“I am sincerely grateful to the Richmond Kickers board of directors for affording me the opportunity to step away from my coaching duties and focus solely on my director of soccer position,” said Cowlishaw.  “In recent years, the Kickers have experienced unprecedented growth and it has been my desire for some time to shift my attention to areas where I can have the biggest impact on the organization. I am looking forward to new challenges as we continue to strive to make the Kickers the No. 1 sports experience in Richmond.”

Cowlishaw, who starred at the University of Richmond, has been with the Kickers since their inaugural season in 1993, first as a player and then as head coach, beginning in 2000. He led the Kickers to the playoffs in 13 consecutive years (2004-2016) and won USL titles in 2006 and 2009.

“Leigh has been a wonderful ambassador for our club both on the field and in the community,” said Kickers president Rob Ukrop. “Since 1993, his vision and leadership have helped shape the Richmond Kickers into the model for soccer in the United States.  Leigh has had an incredible run as our first-team coach, and we look forward to honoring him later this season where our amazing fans can recognize Leigh's coaching achievements.”

Cowlishaw also won the U.S. Open Cup as a player in 1995 and coached the Kickers to four quarterfinal appearances (2001, 2004, 2007, 2011) and one semifinal appearance (2011).
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