TAMPA — The FC Tampa Bay soccer club has hired former Tampa Bay Rowdies player/coach Ricky Hill to be its next head coach.
Hill replaces Paul Dalglish, who was fired with two games remaining in the team's inaugural season.
"Ricky has the right mix of experience and knowledge of our league to lead this club," team president Andrew Nestor said in a news release. "He has played at the highest levels in Europe and America and also has been a successful coach in America and abroad. Ricky has been awarded coaching accolades in several leagues, having managed some of the world's top players today.
"Ricky is a part of Tampa Bay soccer history and tradition, and we are proud to welcome him back."
The British-born Hill, 51, had a 17-year professional playing career, mostly with Luton Town FC in England from 1976-89, scoring 54 goals for the Hatters. He also was a member of Luton's second-division championship in 1981.
Hill came to the Rowdies in 1991 and was a player and coach for two seasons. The team was runnerup in the American Soccer League both years and in 1992, Hill was named the league's coach of the year as well as an ASL All-Star.
Hill returned to England to manage Luton Hill in 2000, but his term lasted just 21 games after the team started 2-11-8. Hill coached the U-19 Sheffield Wednesday and U-17 Tottenham Hotspur teams, managing several current English Premier League players.
Most recently, Hill was appointed technical director of CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh in the Trinidad & Tobago Professional Football League.
FC Tampa Bay, which finished its first season 7-12-11, started the USSF Division 2 season 5-1-3, but won just two games after May 29, including an 11-game winless stretch.