By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN Tim Oswald has appeared in the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship tournament as a player and as an assistant coach.
Now Oswald is hoping to return to the post-season tournament in another capacity after being hired as the new head coach of the Rutgers University-Camden men’s soccer program. Oswald takes over the Scarlet Raptors from Greg Ogden, who resigned in November after leading Rutgers-Camden to the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship game and a 15-5-1 mark in his sixth season with the program. Ogden went 68-39-14 in his six years with the Rutgers-Camden men.
“Anytime you have opportunity to take over a program that went to the NJAC final the previous year, you have to be excited,” Oswald said. “There’s still a solid nucleus which remains from the ’05 team that was nationally-ranked at one point last year.
“Rutgers-Camden is a great academic institution with a diverse range of degree programs to accommodate the ideal student-athlete. Their state-of-the-art FieldTurf facility, coupled with their recent program success, should help draw some of the top young talent in the surrounding Pennsylvania and New Jersey areas. We hope to remain competitive and to strive for consistent regional and national recognition in one of the most difficult conferences in the country.”
Oswald was a quality athlete during his playing days. He earned All-Catholic honors and added All-Area recognition from the Northeast Times in 1996 to cap his soccer career at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia.
Oswald continued his soccer career as a midfielder/forward at Elizabethtown College, where the Blue Jays earned national rankings during all four of his years, including Top 5 rankings during his junior and senior seasons. The Blue Jays played in three straight MAC championship games, winning the 1999 title and earning a trip to the NCAA tournament. During his senior year he earned conference Player of the Week, First-Team All-Conference and All-Academic MAC honors. In 53 career games, he notched 15 goals, 18 assists and 48 points at Elizabethtown.
Oswald received his B.S. in Elementary Education from Elizabethtown in 2001 and his Master’s in School Counseling from Widener in 2003.
Oswald spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Arcadia University, helping the Scarlet Knights achieve national Top 25 rankings each year. Arcadia reached the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference championship game all three years, winning the PAC title in 2004 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Prior to coaching at Arcadia, Oswald spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons assisting at Widener University. In his second season at Widener, the Pioneers achieved the highest NSCAA regional ranking in the history of the program and earned their second-ever ECAC post-season berth.
“I had the opportunity to learn from two phenomenal mentors, Tom Carlin (Arcadia’s head coach) and Skip Roderick (Elizabethtown’s head coach),” Oswald said. “It is my goal to implement some of the same influential pieces at Rutgers-Camden which have made both Elizabethtown and Arcadia model Division III soccer programs.”
Oswald owns his NSCAA National Diploma, which he passed with distinction. On the club level, Oswald has recently become an ODP U-14 assistant coach with EPYSA, a U-11 head coach with FC Bucks and the U-17 head coach of FC Philadelphia United. He also has served as a co-head coach, along with Carlin, of the PSC Coppa-Bucks club team which won two EPYSA state championships and was nationally-ranked in the Top 25 in both 2004 and 2005.
“We are excited to have Tim on board,” said Rutgers-Camden Director of Athletics Jeff Dean. “He brings experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to our program. He is attentive to detail, and will insure that our student athletes are successful on and off the field.”
Oswald, who lives in West Deptford with his fiancée Denise, works as a guidance counselor at Ridley (PA) Middle School.