LA PLATA, Md. – Coach Richard Landis has joined the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) as head coach of the women’s soccer program.
Landis brings 35 years of playing experience along with more than 18 years of coaching experience. His career includes serving as a volunteer assistant coach at Washington Adventist University in 2020, coaching with the youth and academy programs at two professional clubs (Real Maryland FC and Washington Spirit), coaching with a Girls Academy League club (U17 and U19), and coaching several other premier-level women in competitive leagues in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas.
He said his coaching journey has taught him that “a successful team has players who are accountable to themselves, each other, and the school or program they represent.”
“That said,” he continued, “I have come to understand that the players must be involved in developing the team culture – they set the norms and standards and even sometimes the decision-making. The second lesson I learned is that my job, as head coach, is to support and care for the athletic, academic, and psychological side of my players and team. In those roles, it is my job to teach soccer and facilitate the development of a supportive and competitive environment where growth is possible. I see competition as the key ingredient here.”
Landis added he was glad to join the CSM Hawks because he believes in community colleges.
“In CSM, I see an academically focused, high-ranked educational institution where the previous coaching staff has laid the groundwork for a successful college women’s soccer program,” he said. “This excited me for several reasons. One, this opportunity is a perfect match with my coaching philosophy around empowering young women and working at a community college; and secondly, and most importantly, CSM is poised right now, with the proper direction, to become one of the top Division II junior college women’s soccer programs in the country.”
Landis is already setting goals he wants to achieve with the women’s program.
“In the first year, I want to establish a program that focuses on culture building and competition – and of course, have a winning record,” he shared. “From there, my three-year plan is to compete for regional and national titles at CSM. I want the CSM women’s soccer program to be known for student-athletes who are serious about their academics and athletics, and may also want an opportunity to continue to play college sports and receive their four-year degree elsewhere. I strongly believe if we get it right, our program will not only be recognized for our wins, athletic excellence, titles, and awards, but also by how much our players love our program and talk about our program and how we at CSM have created a special culture.”
Many of Landis’ previous soccer athletes went on to win numerous accolades and awards, including U.S. women’s national team members, Maryland regional and olympic development program players, a two-time Maryland High School Player of the Year, All-State and All-Conference selections (Capital Gazette and Washington Post), and several NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III student-athletes. Landis holds a U.S. Soccer “C” license, a United Soccer Coaches (USC) Advanced National Diploma, and is currently pursuing his Premier Diploma with USC.
Landis played club soccer with the Arlington Soccer Association in his youth. He attended Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, from 1976-1980, playing on the men’s soccer team all four years. He was named captain of the team his senior year when they won the league title. The Washington Post named Landis to their All-Met team his senior year at two different positions – center midfield and center fullback. He graduated from Washington-Lee with 10 varsity letters in soccer, crew, and track. Landis also attended the University of Virginia from 1980-84 where he formed a club soccer team that he played with all four years; he earned his BA in psychology. Landis received his master’s degree in social work from Catholic University of America. He has been working in the behavioral health government consulting industry for 25 years.
The new CSM coach resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife. He has three older children, two of whom played competitive club soccer and were recruited to play in college.