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Coaching Jul 14, 2021

Longtime Washington coach Jeff Rowland joins Notre Dame staff

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame McFarland Family Head Men’s Soccer Coach Chad Riley has announced Jeff Rowland as an addition to his coaching staff. Rowland joins the Notre Dame program as an assistant coach and will begin work immediately.

Rowland joins Mike Graczyk on Riley’s staff, who was hired in the summer of 2020. Graczyk and Rowland were teammates in college at the University of New Mexico. Both played a pivotal role in leading the Lobos to the NCAA Championship match.

“I couldn’t be more excited for our team, the addition of Jeff to our staff makes a great staff even better,” said Riley. “Mike and Jeff will help create a wonderful environment for our students to grow as people, students and soccer players.”

Rowland comes to Notre Dame from the University of Washington after spending 10 years on the Huskies’ coaching staff. Rowland joined the Washington coaching staff as an assistant on March 1, 2011, and was elevated to the position of Associate Head Coach prior to the 2018 season. He was previously an assistant coach at Creighton University in 2010.

Rowland has been a part of eight NCAA Tournament teams at UW in his ten seasons, including all three Husky teams that have advance to the quarterfinals in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies have posted a 128-50-20 record in nine seasons with Rowland on the staff–an impressive .697 winning percentage.

With the Blue Jays, Rowland helped lead the team to a 13-5-2 record and a Missouri Valley Conference title. Creighton finished the season ranked in the top 20 and reached the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. Jamie Clark, Rowland and the rest of the Creighton staff were named the 2010 Missouri Valley Coaching Staff of the year.

Before Creighton he served as a volunteer assistant coach at Harvard under Clark. Rowland’s connection with Clark began as a player at New Mexico, as his playing career coincided with Clark’s four-year coaching stint in Albuquerque.

Rowland played a major role in helping keep Harvard’s attack ranked among the best in the NCAA that season. Harvard ranked 34th in the nation with 1.68 goals per game, led by All-American Andre Akpan. Akpan, who finished his career as Harvard’s all-time leading scorer, ranked 13th in the NCAA in goals per game and 15th in points per game for the Crimson. Harvard went 14-4-1 overall and captured the Ivy League title in 2009, before advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in his only season on the sidelines in Boston.

Rowland is one of the most decorated men’s soccer student-athletes in New Mexico history. As a senior in 2005, Rowland, who began his career as a walk-on, finished as the runner-up for the MAC Hermann Trophy. A forward, he was a two-time NSCAA First-Team All-American and two-time CoSIDA Academic First-Team All-American for the Lobos. His goal in the 94th minute of the NCAA Quarterfinals sent the Lobos to the College Cup in his senior season, where they would finish as the national runners-up.

During his junior season he was tabbed the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Co-Player of the Year after setting a school record with 45 points, including a school-record tying 19 goals. He owns the school record with 101 shots in a season, ranks second in school history in career shots (239), career goals (45) and third in career points (104). The Lobos posted a record of 61-16-8 (.765), won three conference titles and appeared in three NCAA Tournaments during his career.

Following his collegiate career, he was drafted by Real Salt Lake as the second pick of the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft, playing two seasons for the club. He also played professionally for FC Dallas (MLS) and the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL) before knee injuries cut short his playing career.

An Albuquerque native, Rowland graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from New Mexico in 2006.

He and his wife, Katelyn, are the parents of Delaney and Ryan.

Graczyk joined the Riley’s staff prior to the 2020-21 season. Graczyk has 12 years of coaching experience at professional, DI and club levels to the Irish after stints with New Mexico United (USL), New Mexico, Stanford and Harvard.

Before arriving at Notre Dame, Graczyk served as the director of goalkeeping with New Mexico United in the USL.

Graczyk spent five years at his alma mater, New Mexico, before making the jump to New Mexico United. Graczyk was an associate head coach for the Lobos. The former goalkeeper played a key role in bringing in New Mexico’s 2016 Top 5 ranked recruiting class (TopDrawerSoccer.com).

Prior to his time at New Mexico, Graczyk spent the previous three seasons as a member of Stanford Cardinal coaching staff. The Cardinal underwent a five-win improvement in Graczyk’s short time in Palo Alto. Stanford advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season before falling to PAC-12 rival Washington.

The Albuquerque native was a member of the Lobo Soccer program from 2003 to 2007 and has cemented himself in the New Mexico record books. Graczyk is in second place in program history in career appearances (66), career wins (44) and career goals against average (0.68). He holds the UNM goalkeeping record in career shutouts (30), wins in a season (18) and shutouts in a season (13). Graczyk was the starting goalkeeper for the 2005 season that saw the Lobos advance all the way to the national championship match.

He earned NSCAA Academic All-District and Academic All-MPSF honors during his career as well. After his senior season in 2007, Graczyk was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the MLS Draft. He spent time with the Rapids, FC Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Graczyk was the Albuquerque Tribune Player of the Year and the Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year in 2002 after propelling La Cueva High School to a state championship. He was a First Team All-State selection with a state-best 0.41 goals allowed average for the Bears.

He and his wife, Sydney, are parents of a daughter, Audrey.

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