Nassif becomes head coach at Benedictine University, Plotkin returns to DePaul
The 2011 season is Rich Nassif's third season as an assistant coach on the Northwestern staff. He has taken a lead role in training the team's goalkeepers on a daily basis along with volunteer goalkeeper coach Ovidio Felcaro. Nassif has also been heavily involved in the team's player recruitment, scouting and film analysis, alumni relations, and fundraising efforts.
"Rich Nassif's growth in soccer is just an amazing story," Lenahan said. "He has gone from a walk-on who we have grabbed off campus, to captain of an Elite Eight team, to now an assistant coach at his alma mater. This has all happened because he is a very hard worker, extremely intelligent, well liked and respected by the team and his peers. His ability to train goalkeepers and his overall knowledge of Northwestern soccer and how we run our program made him a natural fit on our staff."
Prior to being promoted to an assistant coach, Nassif served as the team's director of operations for two years. His duties during that time included overseeing the program's youth camps and alumni and parent relations, as well as assisting with video and marketing efforts. The Wildcats have made five NCAA tournament appearances in the last six years while he has been a part of the squad, including reaching the quarterfinal round twice over the past four seasons.
Nassif has also worked with the Pegasus Soccer Club in Deerfield, Ill., the past four years.
"Northwestern Soccer holds a very special place in my heart," Nassif said. "I have had the unique pleasure of being involved with this program as a walk-on player, a senior captain, an alumnus and now as a coach. Northwestern Soccer has been in the making of a tremendous success story over the past six years becoming one of the elite national programs. Our goals as a staff include winning our first Big Ten title and offering the best possible college soccer experience for our players. With our coaching staff, the student-athletes in our program and the support of our Northwestern family, I know we can achieve these goals in the very near future."
Nassif has made an impressive climb to his current position in a relatively short period of time. He became a member of the soccer team when an injury left the squad with only one healthy goalkeeper. Jeff Mills, a former high school teammate of Nassif's, recommended that the coaching staff contact him to fill the void. Already admitted to Northwestern and planning to attend a few weeks later, Nassif joined the Wildcats late in the preseason. While receiving limited playing time in his four years, he was an instrumental part of the team and was named captain prior to his senior season.
A 2007 graduate of Northwestern, Nassif earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science. He is currently working toward his master's degree in sports administration. Nassif currently holds a National diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).