ROCHESTER, New York -- Cumberland County native and hall of fame soccer coach Bob Lilley will not return to coach the Rochester Rhinos.
The decision was Lilley's, according to the team. "Although a very difficult decision, at this point in my life I want to put more focus on my family," Lilley said in a statement. Lilley's contract was due to expire at the end of 2011.
He failed to elaborate on his decision when contacted by Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle
"It's hard to explain. They wanted me back, but this is personal and I don't have a desire to coach somewhere else," said Lilley, 45, who is single and from Carlisle. "If I was coaching next year, it'd be in Rochester. There is no doubt in any way, shape or form about that."
Lilley finishes his stint in Rochester with a 28-16-10 record and a USSF D2 PRO League Regular Season Title and USL PRO National Division Title. "I have the utmost respect for Bob, both as a coach and as a dear friend," added Pat Ercoli, Rhinos President & COO, in a statement. "We are sorry to see him leave but realize his decision to put his family first is important to him. We are going to miss him and we wish him well in his future endeavors."
Prior to Rochester, Lilley made stops in Hershey, Montreal and Vancouver; where he established himself as one of the top coaches in the league.
Lilley's first USL coaching experience was with Hershey in 1997, when he led the Wildcats to the playoffs in each of his first five years with the organization. He won a Northern Conference and three Atlantic Division titles with Hershey. Lilley was named the A-League Coach of the Year after his rookie season in 1997.
In 2002 Lilley was appointed head coach of the Montreal Impact.
He became the ninth coach selected to the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame.