University of Saint Joseph Athletic Director Bill Cardarelli has announced the hiring of Paul Wright as the first-ever head men’s soccer coach as USJ is set to go coeducational beginning fall 2018. Joining the USJ staff in October 2017, Coach Wright will immediately begin recruiting and scheduling in preparation for the first-ever men’s soccer program to take the field next fall semester.
Prior to joining the Blue Jays, Wright most recently spent this past season as an assistant coach at NESCAC member Trinity College in Hartford. He was on a Trinity staff that saw one player earn All-NESCAC First Team honors as well as ten players who were named to the NESCAC All-Academic Team.
Wright brings a wealth of soccer knowledge and Connecticut recruiting connections with him to USJ. Before entering back into the college coaching realm with Trinity, he spent the 2016 season as the head men’s soccer coach down the road at the Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford. Wright was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Central Connecticut State University, from 2006 to 2012, and coached at Plainville High School and Maloney High School in Meriden prior to taking over the Kingswood-Oxford program.
In 2007, Wright helped Division I Central Connecticut State complete the most successful season in any sport in the university’s history, when the Blue Devils won the Northeast Conference (NEC) title and advanced to the NCAA Division I Sweet 16. In 2011, Wright helped CCSU tie for the NEC regular season championship with a 7-3 conference mark. Blue Devil student-athletes Yan Klukowski and David Tyrie were both named to the MAC Hermann Trophy (top college soccer player in the nation) Watch List under Wright’s tutelage in 2007, and the pair received National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Adidas All-Region honors three times each and All-NEC accolades in each of their four collegiate seasons.
Wright earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from CCSU in 1999 and was a two-time All-Mid-Continent Conference performer and All-New England honoree twice. He tied the NCAA single-game record for goals, scoring eight times against Maryland-Eastern Shore in 1995, and added an assist in the game to set a Blue Devil record with 17 points in one contest. Wright ranks second in the CCSU history record books for single-season goals with 23 in 1996 and is fourth in scoring with 50 points that season.
Following his playing career with the Blue Devils, Wright played for three seasons with the Western Massachusetts Pioneers of the USL D-3 Pro League, where he was a member of the 1999 championship team. He also played for the Philadelphia Kixx of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) in 2002, helping them reach the league finals. Wright also owns professional playing experience abroad with Real Balonpedica of the Spanish "Segunda B" league. He holds a USSF “B” license and received his USSF “A” license in 2011, and is currently the FSA 2002 boys head coach. Wright resides in West Hartford with his wife, Emily, and sons, Liam and Frederick.