Richard Nuttall, a former professional soccer player in England and a former member of the Long Island Rough Riders, is entering his 30th season as Hofstra University Head Men’s Soccer Coach in 2018. Nuttall has guided the Pride to a 265-231-64 record in transforming the program into one of the most competitive in the Northeast.
Nuttall, who is the winningest coach in program history, has led his team to a Colonial Athletic Association Tournament appearance in seven of the past eight seasons. He has led Hofstra to a a .500 record or better in eight of the past nine years, including six straight campaigns.
The Pride advanced to the CAA Championship tournament for the sixth straight season in 2017, finishing the regular season with just one conference loss for the second consecutive year.
In 2016, he earned his second straight CAA Coach of the Year honor, leading the Pride to its second consecutive CAA regular-season championship, earning the right to host the conference tournament and receiving a bye into the semifinals. Including Nuttall’s Coach of the Year honor, Hofstra took home three of the four major conference awards for the first time in program history, with Harri Hawkins earning Defensive Player of the Year and Luke Brown being tabbed as the Rookie of the Year. Six other members of the Pride earned postseason accolades from the CAA, with Hofstra earning a 7-1 record in conference, its best CAA winning percentage since joining the league. Hofstra finished the 2016 season at 9-8-1, after playing one of the most difficult nonconference schedules in program history.
Following the 2016 season, Joseph Holland capped off a spectacular collegiate career under Nuttall by being selected 10th overall in the Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft by the Houston Dynamo, becoming the first Hofstra alumnus to be taken in the SuperDraft and the second to play in MLS, joining Gary Flood. Holland was named Big Apple Soccer Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, earned his third straight First-Team All-CAA honor and was tabbed as a Senior CLASS First-Team All-American.
Nuttall was also named CAA Coach of the Year in 2015 after leading the Pride to both regular-season and tournament conference championships and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the program’s first Tournament appearance since 2006. Hofstra hosted Lehigh in the first round, toppling the Mountain Hawks, 2-1, in overtime to advance to the second round, where the Pride fell to Georgetown. Hofstra finished the season 14-8, tying for the most wins in Division I program history.
Under Nuttall’s tutelage, Joseph Holland had a stellar 2015 season, bringing in a long list of accolades. After being named CAA Player of the Year, Holland was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America First-Team Regional All-American before earning second-team All-America honors and becoming the fourth player in program history—and third under Nuttall (Shaun Foster, Michael Todd)—to be recognized. Holland was also a second-team Eastern College Athletic Conference All-Star and the Big Apple Soccer Player of the Year. Harri Hawkins joined Holland as a second-team ECAC All-Star in 2015 and on the All-CAA First Team.
In 2014, three Hofstra players were first-team All-CAA selections, including forward Maid Memic, who finished his career one of just five players in program history to score 30 goals. Chris Griebsch earned 2013 CAA Player of the Year honors while also setting Hofstra’s career assist record. Griebsch was the second player to win the league’s Player of the Year award under Nuttall, joining Michael Todd, who accomplished the feat in 2006.
Nuttall picked up his 200th career win in dramatic fashion, as Hofstra defeated VCU 2-1 in the 2010 Colonial Athletic Association semifinals on a penalty kick with five seconds left in regulation. That victory enabled Hofstra to reach the CAA title game for the fourth time in the last seven years. Hofstra would make its fifth appearance in the CAA championship game in 2012 before falling to Northeastern in double overtime.
In 2006, Nuttall led Hofstra to its third consecutive CAA championship and NCAA Division I Tournament berth, making Hofstra one of only three schools in the nation with three straight conference titles from 2004-06 (joining Western Illinois and New Mexico). The Pride finished the 2006 campaign with a 12-6-3 record, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-0 home win over Providence in front of 1,450 fans at Hofstra Soccer Stadium.
The Pride finished the 2005 season with a 14-5-3 record, tying for the most wins in school history at the Division I level, while also earning its highest ranking in school history at No. 13 in the final NSCAA poll. Hofstra earned its CAA championship with a 1-0 win over No. 7 Old Dominion in the championship game, the highest ranked team that the Pride has ever defeated. Nuttall was one of eight coaches to earn Regional Coach of the Year honors from the NSCAA.
During the 2004 campaign, Nuttall guided the Pride to one of their most memorable seasons in school history. After an up-and-down regular season, Hofstra rallied to win the Colonial Athletic Association championship with a dramatic postseason run, outscoring their three opponents (all of which were nationally ranked) by a combined 4-0. Hofstra then went on to receive its first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berth and defeated nationally-ranked Seton Hall 2-1 in the opening round, before finally seeing its run finally end with a loss at third-seeded Maryland. That loss snapped a six-game win streak, with five of those six wins coming against teams that were nationally ranked.
The 1997 campaign saw Nuttall lead the Flying Dutchmen to a 14-4-3 record, including a 9-0 mark in America East play. The team was the top seed in the postseason tournament, but lost a close game to defending champion Boston University in the finals. Despite that loss, Hofstra was still considered for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Nuttall was named Division I Coach of the Year in Region II by the NSCAA.
In 1999, Nuttall led Hofstra to an early season national ranking, before finishing with a 9-9 record. 2000 saw Nuttall lead the Pride back to the America East Championship game, a 2-1 overtime loss to Vermont, and an 11-6-3 overall record. In 2001, Hofstra's last season in the America East Conference, Nuttall led his team to a 9-9-1 record and a berth in the America East Tournament for the fourth time in five years.
Prior to Nuttall’s arrival in Hempstead, the soccer program had posted five losing seasons in nine years, including a 3-9-6 season in 1988. Nuttall's teams have finished .500 or better in 19 of his seasons at the helm, including a streak of seven straight at one point – a remarkable feat considering that Hofstra has been in three conferences (East Coast, America East, CAA) during that time, each more competitive than the last. In addition, Hofstra soccer players have flourished under Nuttall’s guidance, as several are either playing professionally or are members of their respective national teams.
Nuttall, a native of South Yorkshire, England, played with Leeds United and Stoke City of the English Football League. He graduated from the Carnegie School (College) of Physical Education in West Yorkshire in 1984. It was during this time that Nuttall received his Football Association coaching certificates.
Nuttall, who moved to Long Island permanently in 1988 after spending summers in the United States since 1983, taught physical education at North Shore High School. He is also a partner in the highly successful Pro Excel summer soccer camp on Long Island and is active in working with many Long Island communities.
Nuttall and his wife, Christine, reside in New Hyde Park, New York, with their three children, Jack, Caroline, and Grace. Jack is currently a sophomore on the Hofstra men’s soccer team.