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Brad Ruzzo

Brad Ruzzo

A tireless worker who is a constant advocate of the game, Ruzzo stepped up his involvement in soccer in the southeast region. Upon his arrival at Mercer he founded and currently directs the Mercer Boys Soccer Academy, which is the organization that organizes and directs all Mercer men’s soccer camp activities. Ruzzo also began to work with the Region III Olympic Development Program as a staff member for premier players.

Ruzzo came to Mercer from one of the Missouri Valley Conference’s elite programs, Bradley University. He spent the past eight seasons as the Braves’ associate head coach.

While at Bradley, Ruzzo and the Braves went to the NCAA Tournament four times, captured three Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championships and won the State Farm MVC Tournament title in 2007 while compiling a 101-54-25 (.631) record. The 2007 squad enjoyed the best postseason run in the program’s history, bowing out in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. In 2003, Ruzzo claimed the title as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches by College Soccer News.

Ruzzo’s tenure at Bradley saw many student-athletes earn positive recognition. The Braves produced eight All-Americans, six Major League Soccer SuperDraft selections, 37 All-MVC selections, two MVC Defensive Players of the Year, two MVC Freshmen of the Year and one MVC Player of the Year. During the same period, Ruzzo assisted Bradley in developing eight ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and NSCAA Scholar All-Americans, 11 CoSIDA District V and NSCAA Region Scholar-Athletes and 25 Valley Scholar Athletes.

Ruzzo also held the position of co-director for the Central Illinois Soccer Academy, which worked with more than 1,200 youth players throughout the year. In addition to his responsibilities as co-director, Ruzzo also served as the event coordinator for the program’s annual Chicagoland Golf Outing and a head coach for CISA’s U-17, U-18, U-19, and U-23 club teams since 2003.

Prior to joining the staff at Bradley, Ruzzo starred at the University of Cincinnati, where he was a four-year letter-winner as a defenseman for the Bearcats. He started 77 games from 1995 to 1998 and earned a second-team All-Conference USA selection in 1998. As a senior, he served as the team captain, was chosen team MVP and led Cincinnati to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. In 1998, he helped the Bearcat defense pitch six shutouts and held opponents to a 0.89 goals-against average.

Having just completed his fifth season at Mercer, it is apparent head coach Brad Ruzzo has instilled a new energy and enthusiasm back into the Bears men’s soccer program with his ability to motivate, teach and recruit at the highest level. A man with a proven track record of success, Ruzzo has a clear vision for building a championship program at Mercer based on integrity, character and hard work.