Coaching Staff

 

Josh Rife
Assistant Soccer Coach

Josh Rife joined the Mississippi State family in July 2018. With a decade of coaching experience to go along with his 11-year playing career, Rife brings a wealth of knowledge to the Bulldog staff. The Honolulu, Hawaii, native earned his Premier Diploma from the United Soccer Coaches Association in 2018.

In his first season in Starkville, Rife was a part of State's first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Working primarily with the Bulldogs' defenders, Rife helped MSU post some of the best defensive numbers in its history. While playing the nation's toughest schedule, the Bulldogs held opponents to just 11.6 shots per game, a program record, while allowing their lowest goal total (17) in a season.
 
Rife was previously at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where he served as the Flames’ assistant coach for two seasons (2016-17), before being promoted to the associate head coach role in March 2018. During his time with LU, he helped lead the Flames to back-to-back Big South Tournament semifinals, including a league title in 2016. The 2016 Flames also reached the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons.
 
Prior to his stop at LU, he served as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer League (USL). In 2015, the Riverhounds closed out the year tied for second in the league with 53 goals. Rife was also the head coach for the organization's U-23 developmental squad.
 
Prior to his time with the Riverhounds, Rife was the head coach for the Rochester Lancers (2013-14) of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), becoming the youngest head coach in league history. During his year-long stint, Rife handled the daily operations of the team and was in charge of overseeing the organization's camps and clinics.
 
In 2008, Rife was hired as an assistant men's soccer coach at NCAA Division II member Palm Beach Atlantic, where he helped guide the Sailfish to an NCCAA National Championship in 2010.
 
An accomplished soccer player on the professional indoor and outdoor circuit, Rife signed with the Philadelphia KiXX of the MISL on Nov. 4, 2005, and went on to be named to the 2006 All-MISL Rookie Team. On Oct. 19, 2006, the KiXX traded Rife to the Detroit Ignition of the Xtreme Soccer League (XSL). While with the Ignition, Rife was named the XSL Defensive Player of the Year. He led the XSL with 31 shot blocks as Detroit won the league championship.
 
After his time in the Motor City, Rife played professional indoor soccer with the Milwaukee Wave in the MISL. During the 2009-10 season, he was named second team All-MISL and MISL Defensive Player of Month in January and March. Rife led the MISL with 36 blocked shots and played all 20 games, scoring 11 goals and tallying 28 points.
 
Rife began his professional playing career in 2003 with the Charlotte Eagles of the USL Professional Division, where he also played alongside Gomez. Rife was instrumental in guiding the team to a USL2 Championship in 2005 and was voted USL2 Defender of the Year in 2006.
 
Following a 10-year run with the Eagles, Rife played 26 games with the USL's VSI Tampa Bay FC in 2013. After a year in which the team captain earned second team All-USL PRO honors, Rife retired from professional indoor and outdoor soccer.
 
In eight professional indoor seasons, he played in five finals.
 
Rife spent the first two years of his collegiate career at TCU (1998-99) before transferring to Indiana. Rife started 46 matches with the Hoosiers, becoming a two-time All-Big Ten Selection (2000-01) while earning first team NSCAA All-Region honors in 2001. Rife helped the team to two College Cups, a Big Ten Tournament championship in 2001 and the 2000 Big Ten regular-season championship.
 
Rife grew up in Denton, Texas, and attended Denton High School, where he was a four-year varsity starter. He played club soccer for the Texas Longhorns, a Dallas-based soccer club, from the age of nine until he was 18. At the age of 11, he toured Norway, Sweden and Denmark with a Venezuelan youth team and played in a series of tournaments where he garnered local and national attention.
 
Rife comes to Starkville with his wife, Christy, and two daughters, Maddison and Kilee. A former member of the Charlotte Lady Eagles and a 2008 UNC Wilmington Hall of Fame Inductee, Christy also served as an assistant at Gardner-Webb.

 

Nick Zimmerman
Assistant Coach

 

STARKVILLE – New head soccer coach James Armstrong finalized Mississippi State's coaching staff with the addition of Nick Zimmerman on Wednesday. Zimmerman comes to Starkville from Columbus State University where he served as an assistant coach since 2015.
 
"We are thrilled to welcome Nick to our staff," Armstrong said. "This hire shows real intent that Mississippi State soccer is serious about the future. He has an incredible soccer mind and a contagious passion for the game. He is a person of outstanding character with a tireless work ethic. There is no doubt that he will be a huge asset to us on the field and in our recruiting efforts."
 
During his tenure at Columbus State, Zimmerman helped build a top-three scoring offense in the nation. The Lady Cougars set a program record of 96 goals and led the nation with 4.0 goals per game in 2016. The following year, they improved to 4.05 goals per game.
 
His first season at CSU saw the Lady Cougars win the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament championships on their way to a NCAA Division II national championship appearance. The following year, CSU again won the Peach Belt championship and was a national semifinalist.
 
Most recently, the Lady Cougars won their fifth-straight PBC regular season championship, as well as a tournament championship. CSU went on to be Southeast Regional Champions, and the CSU coaching staff was named the Southeast Regional Staff of the Year.
 
Zimmerman helped coach 31 Peach Belt All-Conference award winners and 23 DII All-Region winners. Ten Lady Cougars earned DII All-American Awards and six won DII Scholar All-American Awards. Two players went on to win the Elite 90 Award given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA at each NCAA finals site. Most recently, he coached the Freshman of the Year in the Peach Belt Conference.
 
Zimmerman's coaching experience is extensive, as he has assisted Region II, US Soccer NTC, and ID2 US Club Soccer. He has served on staff at elite camps at the University of Virginia and Florida State University. He was the Georgia Girls' Olympic Development Program (ODP) 2000 Team's head coach and is the director of U-4 Tots Program.
 
As well as serving as a coaching course instructor for the U.S. Soccer Federation, Zimmerman held a spot on the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Ranking and Awards Board. He currently holds a USSF "B" License.
 
"I am so blessed and grateful to be joining the Mississippi State family," Zimmerman said. "I am beyond excited to be here and can't wait to meet the girls and get started. I want to thank John Cohen, Jared Benko, Jay Logan and the rest of the MSU family for providing me this incredible opportunity. I also want to thank Columbus State coach Jay Entlich for his mentorship and preparing me for the next step in my career."
 
Prior to his coaching career, Zimmerman was a four-year starter for James Madison University, where he earned All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rookie team recognition, two All-CAA selections, and one All-Region honor.
 
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology and sports management, he was drafted by the New York Red Bulls in the third round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He was then selected by the Philadelphia Union in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft.
 
"I also want to thank Coach James Armstrong for believing in me to join him and this incredible staff on this new journey," Zimmerman said. "He has a brilliant soccer mind, and I look forward to learning from him."
 
Zimmerman also played with Carolina Railhawks FC in the North American Soccer League (NASL), where he was named to the NASL Best XI 2012 and finished second in the league's Golden Boot race with 12 goals. He most recently signed with the Wilmington Hammerheads of the United Soccer League in 2015.
 
The Tampa, Florida, native also played on the U.S. U-15 National Team in 2001.

 

Geri Siudzinski
Coordinator of Soccer Operations

 

In preparation for the 2018 season, second-year head coach Tom Anagnost has named Geri Siudzinski as coordinator of soccer operations for the Mississippi State soccer program.

Siudzinski comes to Starkville after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at NCAA Division II Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. At AU, she became well-versed in recruiting prospective student-athletes and selling the unique features and benefits of the school's program and institution. In her two seasons, the Eagles compiled a 22-8-6 record and finished second in their league both years.

"We are very excited to add Geri to our soccer family," Anagnost said. "She is a great person, has very good leadership skills and is a role model for our student-athletes. She is hard-working and a go-getter, which is what we want from everyone in our program."

Aside from her work at Ashland, Siudzinski played a vital role in Ohio's club soccer scene. She served as a coach for Internationals Soccer Club in Medina from June 2017-January 2018 and coached Sylvania's Pacesetter Soccer Club from May 2014-June 2016. With both clubs, she generated, designed and implemented training sessions for each specific team while leading training sessions geared toward development and excellence of technique on the ball. Siudzinski also traveled, planned and coached specific teams throughout the season.


 

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