PITTSBURGH – On Monday, Aug. 25, University of Pittsburgh men’s soccer head coach Joe Luxbacher announced the addition of Ryan Hulings as an assistant coach with an emphasis on working with goalkeepers.
“Ryan is going to be a solid addition to the staff,” said Luxbacher. “He has experience playing at a high level with the (Pittsburgh) Riverhounds. He knows the commitment, effort, talent and desire to play at that level.”
Hulings fills the void for a new goalkeepers coach following the departure of Hunter Gilstrap, who is heading to India on a professional contract. Last year, Hulings was an assistant coach with both the men’s and women’s soccer programs at his alma mater, Division III Baldwin Wallace, where he served as the head men’s goalkeeper coach and assistant women’s goalkeeper coach, Hulings was also an assistant coach with the men’s junior varsity squad.
“It’s an honor for me as a young coach to be working with a coach like Joe (Luxbacher) because he’s done so much in the collegiate field, even as a player,” said Hulings. “So it’s only going to help me out as a coach and I look forward to learning as much as I can, especially about Pitt soccer. He’s been here for so many years so obviously he knows what he is talking about and has done a good job. I look forward to continuing my coaching career with Joe.”
Prior to accepting a coaching position at Baldwin Wallace, Hulings began his stint as a goalkeeper with the Riverhounds, a local professional team that competes in the United Soccer League. Hulings got his start with the team in February 2013 as not only a player at the pro and Premier Development League (PDL) levels, but also in administrative and coaching roles.
As an administration assistant intern from February 2013 to August 2013, he assisted in implementation procedures with the professional and youth camps, while also creating coaching plans. Beginning this past May, Hulings started his tenure as the Goalkeeper Director for the Riverhounds Development Academy, which seeks to train Pittsburgh’s most elite youth soccer players through the creation of a multi-faceted platform under the Riverhounds professional team.
“Playing with the Riverhounds was a big factor (in joining the Pitt staff),” said Hulings. “I still get to play professionally and get to coach at a Division I school. I came from a smaller Division III school, so it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do – get to a high level of coaching collegiately, especially in the ACC.”
Luxbacher credits Hulings’ connection with the Riverhounds as a reason he expects a smooth transition with the coaching change.
“He coached at Baldwin Wallace and also with the Riverhounds Goalkeeper Academy – and that’s where he worked closely with Hunter, our former goalkeeper coach. So Ryan knows what we’re about here at Pitt. He actually knows our goalkeeper (Dan Lynd) because they were playing down there with the PDL team. He’s a quality player, a quality guy and has experiencing coaching.”
Hulings was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at Baldwin Wallace from 2009-2012. He played in 59 games, starting 53 of them and compiled a 31-16-8 record with 14 shutouts during his four-year career. His goals against average (GAA) never rose above 1.11 in a single-season and he left the program with a 1.10 GAA and .784 save percentage all-time. In his junior season, Hulings led the Yellow Jackets to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth and the season before, Hulings earned his only Ohio Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Player of the Week award.
Hulings graduated from Baldwin Wallace in 2014 with a bachelor of arts in sport management and a minor in public relations.