Southwest Guilford High School is announcing the retirement of both Men’s Head Coach Chris Manley and Women’s Head Coach Rob Szitas.
These two incredible leaders have spent countless hours on the soccer pitch and in the classroom dedicated to mentoring, guiding and leading our student athletes. They both have had tremendous careers and the Cowboys are indebted to them for their services to our school and soccer community.
Coach Manley came to Southwest from Stokes County three years ago to teach Business and coach the men’s soccer team. In those three years, his guys went 40-16-9 playing a very competitive schedule and advancing to the playoffs in each of those three years. His team won the PT3A Conference Championship for the past two years. Coach Manley was PT3A COY in 19-20 and Regional COY for the past two seasons. One of his proudest accomplishments was his team’s NCHSAA Scholar Athlete Team Award in all of his three seasons.
Prior to coming to Southwest, Chris was a teacher, athletic director, and soccer coach at West Stokes HS. While never coaching men and women in the same school year, he had many accomplishments with both. In 18 seasons, his teams went 302-106-18 with 12 Conference Titles, 2 Western Regional Titles, and 1 State Championship. Individually, Manley has 14 CCOY, 6 RCOY, and 1 SCOY awards.
“I have been very blessed with a supportive family and great bosses throughout my career. Southwest has been an unbelievable place to teach and coach. Our AD and Administration have made this a wonderful place for everyone to succeed. Most of all, my students and players have been terrific. My players all come from great families and have done everything I’ve asked of them over the years. Their character and talent has allowed them to accomplish many great things on and off the field. Leaving these guys and the great support team around us was a difficult decision, but the right one for me personally at this point in my career. I am retiring, moving to Virginia to teach Marketing, and may even coach a little soccer.”
Coach Szitas leaves a 35 year teaching and coach career behind. Szitas, a graduate of Clarion University in 1985, got his first teaching and coaching job at Walter Williams High School coaching men’s team in 1986. Coach Szitas expanded the program by starting a women’s program at Williams in 1990. While at Williams HS, Coach Szitas led the Bulldogs in 2001 to the Men’s State 3A Championship game falling short to Hickory 4-3 in 2OT. Also in that year, he was named Head Coach of the NCCA East-West All-Star Games. While at Williams, Coach Szitas won 5 men’s and 2 women’s conference titles. In 2005, Coach Szitas took over the men’s soccer program at SWGHS winning conference titles in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2017. The Cowboys reached the Elite 8 in both 2006 losing to Lake Norman and 2012 losing to Hough in PK’s. After an one year stint as the Cowgirl’s Head Coach in 2013, Coach Szitas return to lead the women’s program in 2016. As the head coach of women’s program, he has won conference titles in 2018, 2019, and 2021. His record as the women’s coach at Southwest is 93-31-10. On April 22, 2021, Coach Szitas reached a remarkable milestone by achieving his 800 career win with a 1-0 victory over the Hornets of Western Guilford. Coach Szitas ends his 35 year coaching career with 15 Conference Titles, named 12 times by his peers as Conference Coach of the Year, NCSCA Regional Coach of the Year 11 times, and an impressive 801-321-55 career Hall of Fame record! “ It has been my distinct pleasure to have worked at two outstanding schools during my career, Walter M. Williams and Southwest Guilford. Both are first class when it comes to academics and athletics. All of the athletes that I have coached have been remarkable young men and women. They and their families have been of the highest character and have supported me throughout my career. I have also received great support from the administration from both schools, and it has been pleasure to be associated with such great institutions. I would like to thank my family, former players, parents, fellow coaches, and administrators for all of the support they have given me throughout my career.”
“We are so blessed and lucky to have two incredible role models for our student athletes. Both Chris and Rob have had stellar careers as coaches and educators. They are tremendous leaders and have had such a positive impact on so many students, coaches and teachers at our school. Their love for game of soccer and passion for coaching kids is like no other. Both have continued to establish the rich successful tradition of soccer at SW Guilford. Our school is going to miss these two coaches. They both will be difficult to replace.” Athletic Director- Brindon Christman