One of the most successful coaches in the history of a program known for producing championship-caliber teams, Richard Vardy has been the head men's soccer coach at Berry College since the 2002 season.
Vardy led the 2014 team to a 13-7-1 record, an SAA Tournament title and to the second round of NCAA Championships. Following the season, he was named the SAA's Coach of the Year for the second time in three years. Overall, he has a 178-66-17 (.714 win percentage) record leading Berry College.
In 2012, Berry's first season in the new Southern Athletic Association, the team went 14-3-2 and 5-1-1 in conference. The Vikings tied for the regular-season crown and won the inaugural SAA Tournament championship.
Vardy led the Vikings to one of the best records in school history in 2010, guiding Berry to a 15-1-1 overall mark. His team was 12-2-4 in 2009, Berry's first year as a provisional member of NCAA Division III.
The previous season, Vardy's team was a goal away from claiming the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament title. The Vikings finished the year 12-7-1 and recorded a 6-2 win over a Bethel (Tenn.) team that won the NAIA National Championship.
Vardy led the 2007 team a sweep of both the SSAC regular season and tournament titles, finishing the year ranked No. 9 in the NAIA National Poll.
In a program that has been referred to as the “Cradle of Coaches,” Vardy is surpassing the results of several former Berry College coaches who have gone on to become some of the top leaders in the sport.
Vardy's teams posted back-to-back semifinal appearances in the NAIA National Tournament and team record victory totals in 2003 and 2004, as Vardy has continually taken the Vikings to heights never before seen.
That’s pretty heavy stuff when you consider Berry has produced coaches who have gone on to lead nationally-known programs such as Bob Warming at Penn State (and formerly Creighton and St. Louis), Bret Simon at Stanford (and formerly Creighton) and Kurt Swanbeck at the United States Military Academy.
In just his third season as a head coach, Vardy led Berry to a 23-4-0 overall record in 2004. The Vikings won the Southern States Athletic Conference regular season crown, as well as the NAIA Region XIII Tournament championship. Vardy was honored as the Coach of the Year in Region XIII and the National Soccer Coaches Association Southeast Regional Coach of the Year.
That came on the heels of a 2003 season in which Vardy guided Berry to a 21-2-1 record, TranSouth Athletic Conference and NAIA Region XI titles and the team’s first appearance in the semifinals of the National Tournament. Vardy’s squad was ranked second in the final NAIA national poll, and its win total was the most in school history until the 2004 team surpassed the mark.
Prior to becoming the Vikings’ head coach, Vardy spent four years as an assistant at Berry under former head coach Kurt Swanbeck.
Vardy played four years of soccer at Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina from 1991 to 1995, and he was named an NCAA Division II All-American in 1993. He served as an assistant coach at Lenoir-Rhyne for one season before coming to Berry.
Vardy, a native of York, England, earned his bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Lenoir-Rhyne. He holds a master's degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy, and also a USSF "A" coaching license.