HARRISBURG -- Harrisburg City Islanders defender Dustin Bixler has announced his retirement.
Bixler, a graduate of Red Land High School, retires as the City Islanders' all-time leader in minutes played (10,708) and second in appearances (122).
"The Harrisburg City Islanders has been my summer family for the last eight years," said Bixler in a statement released by the team. "Unfortunately, being a player can not last forever and hanging up my boots may be the hardest decision I have ever had to make so far.
"I have had some great experiences and also some I wish I could forget but as I retire I cannot thank the front office, coaching staff, players, and of course the fans for all the great times we have had together over the last eight years."
Bixler helped Harrisburg win the 2007 USL-2 Championship and was named MVP of the title match. He also received an honorable mention nod as one of USL's 15 Most Influential USL-2 players of the last decade.
Bixler attended Lock Haven University and began his professional career with Harrisburg in 2005. He currently is the head coach of the boys' varsity soccer team at Cedar Crest High School and continues to coach with the Falcon Futbol Club U12 and U16 squads.
"Dustin has been a mainstay in the back for us since his rookie year in 2005," said Harrisburg head coach Bill Becher in a statement. "He had an incredible career with the Islanders including three all-league selections and in 2007 was named the championship game MVP. He was instrumental to our success the past eight years and we appreciate the professionalism he brought every day.
"I wish Dustin all the best as he moves forward, and will always remember his contributions to the Islanders."
Some information used in this story was provided by the Harrisburg City Islanders.