OSHAWA, Ont. - The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) athletic department is proud to announce the hiring of Peyvand Mossavat as the inaugural head coach of the Ridgebacks women's soccer varsity program.

"I am very excited to be the first coach of the women's soccer program at UOIT," said Mossavat. "My time at Ryerson and York over the past eight years has allowed me the opportunities to build successful soccer programs at this level. I am confident that we can build a program that delivers excellence on and off the field and ensures academic success in the classroom. We will focus on enhancing the student-athlete's life experience at UOIT and in the greater Durham community."

Mossavat joins UOIT after eight years coaching with the Ryerson Rams and York Lions in the OUA. In six years with the Rams, he was the program's all-time leader in wins and was named the 2006-07 eastern conference coach of the year. Taking over a team that had ten wins in 18 years, Mossavat turned the Rams program around leading the team to back-to-back playoff appearances.

In eight years coaching in the OUA, his student-athletes won over 30 OUA/CIS awards. Fifteen of his athletes also won academic All-Canadian awards under his direction and vision for academic success.

Community involvement was also a top-priority for Mossavat as his team's organized a number of activities and workshops that raised funds that supported local women's shelters and food banks.

"Peyvand brings a wealth of experience to our brand new women's soccer program at UOIT," said UOIT athletic director Ken Babcock. "His strong leadership abilities and proven track record made him an ideal selection. He will quickly establish and build our women's soccer team into a winning program in the OUA."

Mossavat works at the National Training Centre of Ontario on the coaching staff of the women's U17 national team. He also the coach of the U15 girls provincial team. Locally, he is the Oshawa Turul soccer club head coach where he is responsible for coaching and player development at the grassroots level.

Mossavat has also been the technical advisor for the women's soccer program at the Vaughan Azzurri Soccer Club, previously the technical director for the North York Hearts and North Toronto Soccer Club and a district coach with the North York Soccer Association for nine seasons.

As a player, he was a member of the Canadian Olympic program and represented Canada in 1993 in the World University Games. Professionally, he was a five-time all-star in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.

The Ridgebacks will make their debut in 2012 in the OUA west division joining the Waterloo Warriors, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, Guelph Gryphons, Windsor Lancers, Brock Badgers, Western Mustangs, McMaster Marauders and York Lions. The Ridgebacks conference schedule will consist of 16 games.

Source: UOIT Athletics