Coach Rike Retires After 41 Years of Coaching

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Coach Jim Rike, 2016

Coach Jim Rike, 2016

Coach Jim Rike, Head Girls’ Soccer coach, will be retiring this year after 41 years of coaching football, wrestling, and soccer at various schools.

Rike began coaching the Robinson girls’ soccer team in 1981. He has led Robinson to 11 district titles, nine region titles and five state championships. Rike has coached teams which ranked nationally in the top 20 eight different times. The Washington Post has named Rike as All-Met Coach of the Year two times. By the end of this season, Coach Rike reached 530 high school soccer wins.

After graduating from Woodson in 1970, he returned five years later to assistant coach at Woodson, but that was just for a year. From there, he went and coached football, wrestling and soccer at Falls Church High School. Then he found his home at Robinson coaching football for 11 years, wrestling for 13 years and soccer for 35 years. In those years of coaching, Mr. Rike spent 33 years as teacher, and five as a long term substitute.

A reason Mr. Rike has had so much success in coaching as well as producing amazing players might be because of the qualities he looks for in players such as, coachability, athleticism, and competitive sprints. After finding the right players, Rike encourages his players on and off the field. Rike said, “Academics are just as important as sports. Great grades can open doors for you that just being a “great” athlete never will. Soccer is, after all, still a game. Have fun and enjoy the moment.”

Rike says that student athletes face “pressure from local clubs that feed our program, not to play high school soccer as they want kids to start specializing in one sport too early.”

What will Rike miss about coaching? “I will miss the level of contact I have with athletes and coaches, and the thrill of competition.” His favorite part of coaching is helping his players get into the colleges of their choice and becoming successful adults.

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Coach Rike and his final Robinson Girls’ Soccer team, 2016