Former Pack player Schweitzer Named Coach of RailHawks
CARY, N.C. - The Carolina RailHawks introduced former N.C. State star Scott Schweitzer as the team’s first head coach Wednesday. Schweitzer will lead the United Soccer Leagues First Division franchise in their inaugural season kicking off in April 2007.
The Rahway, N.J., native played college soccer at North Carolina State University, where he led the Wolfpack to an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1990. A two-time All-American, Schweitzer earned Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors in 1992 and made the conference's 50th anniversary men's soccer team in 2002.
Schweitzer, 35, previously an assistant coach for the Raleigh Elite of the USL Premier Development League, enjoyed a 13-year professional career, including eight seasons with the Rochester Raging Rhinos of the USL First Division.
“I am eager to be working alongside Chris Economides again, this time as a head coach, after spending seven seasons working with him as a player in Rochester,” Schweitzer said. “My leadership experience as a player will serve me well as a coach in building a successful team here in Cary with the Carolina RailHawks.”
His professional soccer career kicked off in France, where he played for Brest and Guingamp. Schweitzer's USL career started in 1996 with the Greensboro-based Carolina Dynamo. He then left the Dynamo in 1998 to join the Rochester Raging Rhinos, the team he would become most closely identified with for his playing career.
Schweitzer led the Rhinos to three USL-1 championships and a U.S. Open Cup victory in 1999 during his seven-year stint with the team. Twice named USL-1 Defender of the Year, Schweitzer racked up four straight league first-team honors from 1998 to 2001. Schweitzer played one season for the USL First Division Syracuse Salty Dogs in 2004 before returning to Rochester for one final season in 2005. He then retired and returned to the Triangle area to coach at the Next Level Academy in Morrisville. He currently resides in Apex with his wife, Kirsten.
Schweitzer also suited up eight seasons for the indoor soccer Cleveland Crunch of the National Professional Soccer League. In his time with the Crunch, Schweitzer won two NPSL titles, earned All-Star honors four times and took home Rookie of the Year in 1995.
"The RailHawks are excited to have someone of Scott's caliber as our head coach," said Chris Economides, president and general manager of the Carolina RailHawks. "During my years in Rochester, I saw first-hand that Scott is a leader on the soccer field as a player. I have no doubt that he will be just as successful on the sidelines as a head coach."
About the Carolina RailHawks
The Carolina RailHawks are a United Soccer League expansion team that will enter the USL First Division in April 2007. The squad will play 14 regular season home games and four additional home playoff and exhibition games each year, with all home games played at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Under Rochester Rhinos co-owner and USL Hall of Fame inductee Chris Economides, the RailHawks organization was formed in October 2005 and awarded the USL franchise in January 2006.