Website Manager

Meet Our Coaches

Meet Our Staff

We are here to provide you and your family with the best youth soccer experience possible! We are proud to bring you a group of highly accomplished coaches and administrators. Read the bios below to learn more about your coach and other leaders in our community.

Rob Marinaro

Director of Coaching
Coach -  Boys

Phone: 330-622-7600
Office: 330-672-8425

Email: [email protected]

One of the longest-tenured coaches in the Mid-American Conference, Rob Marinaro has been part of the Kent State’s women’s soccer staff since the program’s inception in 1997 and recently completed his 22nd season as head coach of the Golden Flashes.

The three-time MAC Coach of the Year has the second-most wins in conference history and owns a 200-165-52 record, including a 121-91-29 mark in league play. Marinaro has led Kent State to one MAC Tournament championship, three MAC regular season titles and three MAC East Division crowns during his tenure. Additionally, he has overseen the development of two All-Americans, 12 All-Region honorees and 39 All-MAC selections. In 2018, Marinaro captured the 200th win in school history and earned his 200th win at the helm of the program against Bowling Green in 2022.

The success does not end on the field for Marinaro’s teams, as the women’s soccer team regularly posts one of Kent State Athletics’ highest term grade-point averages. The Flashes have been among the nation’s elite academically as noted by 10 NSCAA Team Academic Awards since 2007, which included a national Top-20 GPA for four consecutive seasons from 2009-12. Marinaro’s student-athletes have earned three CoSIDA Academic All-American honors, 24 MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete honors and over 130 Academic All-MAC honors.

In 2021, Marinaro's Flashes returned to some of their best form, ending the season with a 13-5-3 record. They only lost one game in regular season MAC play. Eventually, the Flashes made it all the way to the MAC Championship. Their overtime performances were huge in their success, as they ended the season undefeated in overtime. Over the course of the season, the Flashes outscored their opponents 44-30. Forwards Cameron Shendenhelm and Karly Hellstrom made the All-MAC First Team, as did defender Tianna Harris. Harris was also named MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Freshman Flashes also stood out, as midfielders Siena Stambolich and Alisa Arthur and defender Grace Barresi were all named to the All-MAC Freshman Team. 

The 2020 season was moved to the spring of 2021 and was limited to a 10-game schedule of only MAC opponents. Three of those games were canceled. The Flashes went 2-1 in their remaining three home games. 

In 2019, the Flashes outshot their opponents and forced them into 117 saves over the course of the season. Three Flashes were recognized with All-MAC distinctions: midfielder Vital Kats (first team), forward Cameron Shedenhelm (second team) and defender Grace Wolber (freshman team). Kats was brilliant from midfield for the Flashes scoring 8 and assisting 8. Shedenhelm showed great all-around forward play, scoring 6 and assisting 6. 

The 2018 season saw the Golden Flashes reach the 10-win mark and qualify for the MAC Tournament for the eighth consecutive season and is the only MAC women’s soccer program to accomplish both feats during that stretch.

Under Marinaro's leadership, the 2017 team captured the program's third MAC regular season championship with a 9-2 league record and hosted the MAC Tournament’s final weekend for the second year in a row. Paige Culver was named a United Soccer Coaches All-American and MAC Defensive Player of the Year as the leader of a backline that matched the program record with 11 shutouts. Midfielder Vital Kats was the third Flash to earn MAC Freshman of the Year honors.

The historic 2016 campaign included Kent State’s first NCAA Tournament appearance and program record 15 victories, which included a 13-match unbeaten streak. The Flashes posted an 8-1-2 conference record to win the MAC East Division crown and captured the program’s first MAC Tournament Championship with a 1-0 victory over Northern Illinois inside of Dix Stadium. Two-time MAC Offensive Player of the Year Jenna Hellstrom was named Kent State’s first ever NSCAA All-American after totaling a program record 38 points. Hellstrom headlined a record five All-MAC selections for the Flashes.

Kent State began its double-digit victory streak in 2011 with a MAC East title, marking the team’s first conference trophy since back-to-back first-place finishes in 2003 and 2004.

After being promoted to head coach Jan. 1, 2001, Marinaro quickly moved Kent State to the top of the MAC, winning back-to-back MAC regular season championships in 2003 and 2004 when the program posted a combined 23-9-8 record. The Flashes posted a record-setting 11 shutouts in 2003 and earned a share of the MAC crown in 2004 by jumping from fourth place into a tie for first in the season’s final weekend.

As an assistant coach on Colleen Marcum’s staff for the program’s first four years, Marinaro helped the Golden Flashes rebound from a difficult inaugural season to go a 31-24-2 over the next three years. His primary duties as an assistant included working with the goalkeepers and defense, as well as scouting and recruiting.

A goalkeeper by trade, Marinaro spent five seasons (1993-97) playing with various teams in the National Professional Soccer League, finishing his professional career with the Cleveland Crunch. He also played for the Harrisburg Heat, Buffalo Blizzard and Chicago Power. He was selected to the NPSL All-Rookie Team in 1994 and was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors as a member of the Power. Marinaro first played professionally with the Toronto Blizzard of the American Professional Soccer League from 1992-93. His brother Hector, currently the men’s soccer coach at John Carroll University, is the all-time leader in points and goals in Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) history.

In addition, Marinaro served as a coach for the Ohio State North team for the Olympic Development Program and was a member of the ODP Region II staff. He also worked at the Cleveland Crunch Summer Camps in 1995 and 1996. Currently, he is the director of coaching for the Stow Soccer Club.

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Marinaro received his master’s degree in sports administration from Kent State in the summer of 2001. He graduated from Clemson University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in language and international trade and was a member of the Tigers’ 1987 national championship team.

Marinaro currently holds a United States Soccer Federation National “B” Coaching License.

He resides in Stow with his wife, Michele, and their son, Michael.


Abby Richter

Coach: Girls                         

Phone: 330-904-0867

Email: [email protected]

With the start of the 2012 campaign, Abby Richter is in her seventh season with the Kent State staff after rejoining the program as an assistant coach in April 2008. Richter, who previously served on the Golden Flashes staff as a graduate assistant under head coach Rob Marinaro from 2003-04, returned to Kent State after spending the previous two seasons at Ball State University.

Richter also brings expertise as a collegiate goalkeeper. In 2010, Richter added to her soccer accreditation when she received an Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

Along with her work at Kent State, Richter has also coached elite soccer players internationally. In 2013, Richter will serve as the head coach for the United States Women’s Open team at the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel. It will mark the third time Richter will be on the coaching staff for the United States.

Richter’s collegiate coaching career includes stops at Ball State, Iowa and Earlham College; she also served as an assistant varsity coach at Southwest High School in Green Bay, Wis.

A 2001 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Richter earned a bachelor’s degree in broad field social science and history. She received her master’s degree in sports and recreational management from Kent State in 2005.

During her collegiate playing career, Richter (then Rabinovitz) starred on the field at UW-Stevens Point as a goalkeeper and four-year starter guiding the team to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and a 44-0 conference record. As a senior, she led the Pointers to the NCAA Division III Final Four and was a First Team Central Region All-America selection.

Richter obtained a NSCAA Goalkeeping Level One diploma and received her USSF D License. She has been a NSCAA member since 2002.

Richter and her husband Jeremy reside in Stow with their daughter, Grace.
Copyright © 2024 Stow Soccer Club  |  Privacy Policy |  Terms of Use  |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In