Gillespie announces retirement


Marty Gordon

File photo/Bryant Altizer
Radford girls soccer coach Darryl Gillespie (center) poses with two of his senior players from this past season, Mary Elliott (left) and Breann Flynn.

Radford High School will be looking for a new girls’ soccer coach at the end of the 2018 spring season. Current coach Darryl Gillespie has announced next spring will be his last year as head coach.

“It is time to turn the program over to one of the young gun coaches. I am sure they will replace me with one of my assistant coaches. They both played in college and are Radford girls that played on the first two teams of the Radford Soccer Club that I helped start in 2000 and one is a teacher at the high school,” he said Friday.

Gillespie has been the head coach for six years after serving as the school’s first junior varsity team and was an assistant for the varsity squad for seven years.

“I love soccer, I love coaching girls and I love Radford High School,” he said as he made the decision public.

In 2007, the girls team and the boys team both won Radford’s first state championship in soccer. His son, Seth, was on the boys’ team, and his daughter, Alex, was on the girls’ team.

Gillespie also had the opportunity to coach his two stepdaughters, Carly and Lindsey.

He said the run has been great and will take lots of memories with him off the field.

Under Gillespie, the Lady Bobcats have been regional champs four times, made it the state semi-finals three times, and have been a state runner up.

Gillespie, who is an accountant by trade, admits he will miss coaching and the players themselves.

“It is my escape from the business world. My step son Tate will be in high school soon and plays baseball. Not coaching will allow me to follow his games. You never know they may need a bat boy or someone to mow the field,” he joked.

It is not known when the school will advertise the opening.