The winner of the Alexander Arellano Memorial Trophy, awarded to the top coach in the NPSL, is RVA FC head coach Grover Gibson. The former professional player helped lead RVA FC to a national title in their first season in the NPSL.

That’s right, an expansion team won the NPSL National Championship. This is completely unheard of in the world of sports.

RVA FC had a talented squad of college superstars and former pros and Gibson brought them all together.  The result was a 6-0-2 record in the Mid-Atlantic as the Richmond side ran off with the conference title before taking the postseason by storm.  RVA beat Jacksonville United, Chattanooga FC, the Erie Admirals, and the Sonoma County Sol to claim some major hardware and punch their ticket to the U.S. Open Cup.  All four opponents were veteran sides that have been part of the league for years.   

Gibson, who serves as both owner and head coach, played 12 years as a pro in Germany. He made 225 appearances in Germany’s Second and Third Divisions, scoring 18 goals.  Gibson is also a former member of the U.S. Youth National Team. 

A special feature on the true meaning of this award will appear on the league website on Sunday. It is an inspiring story of a young man that left behind an incredible legacy, one that is in the hearts and minds of many here in the NPSL.     

Photo Credit: Pam Moody/ISNSoccer.com