2009 Men's Soccer
2009 Men's Soccer Coaches
Head Coach Steve Smucker
Contact information for Coach Smucker
Office phone: 419-358-3010
Head coach Steve Smucker returns for his seventh season at Bluffton University where he will continue to build as talented freshmen classes look to bolster the soccer program in 2009. The men finished the 2008 campaign with an 8-8-1 record, including their first-ever victory over Transylvania, while the women went 6-10-1 a year ago.
Prior to coaching at Bluffton, Smucker taught physical education and coached boys soccer at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, located in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. In 2002, he led Dock to its first ever state soccer title, earning five separate Coach of the Year honors in the process, including recognition from the Pennsylvania State Soccer Coaches Association, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the Philadelphia Inquirer. During his tenure as the head coach at Christopher Dock, Smucker also led his team to six district titles in eight years, including the school's first district title in 1996, accruing a record of 118 wins, 67 losses and 12 ties.
An Ohio native and graduate of Central Christian High School, Kidron, OH, Smucker went on to earn all-conference honors as a player both at Hesston and Goshen. Smucker's education includes degrees from Hesston College (KS), Goshen College (IN), and Temple University (PA).
|He is also a fully licensed coach with the United States Soccer Federation and the
National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Smucker has extensive soccer clinician
experience and is also very involved in his church and community. He recently completed
and passed the 50-hour Premier Soccer Course presented by the National Soccer Coaches
Association of America. The Premier License is the pinnacle of the NSCAA's residential
Academy offerings and deals with coaching at the senior level (collegiate and professional).
Smucker resides in rural Pandora with his wife, Judy, and children, Tristan and Sophia.
Assistant Coach Rick Nussbaum
Contact information for Coach Nussbaum
Office phone: 419-358-3373
Bluffton University welcomes Rick Nussbaum back to the men's soccer team as an assistant coach for the coming fall. Rick Nussbaum, a Bluffton graduate (MBA '07) will again be joining the Beavers this fall as an assistant for the men's soccer team.Coach Nussbaum brings with him a wealth of soccer knowledge and experience. He coached at the collegiate level as an assistant for his alma mater (Goshen College '91) after graduating in 1991. After that he took the reins as a head coach at Elkhart Memorial High School in Indiana where he challenged his athletes and guided them to their first sectional championship in 1994.
Following a stint as the head coach at Hesston College in Kansas, Rick found himself back in the Great Lakes region as the athletics director at Dayton Christian High school. While at Dayton, Rick worked with the Dayton Galaxies as a club coach. In 2006 Coach Nussbaum and his family found their way to Bluffton where he served as an assistant to Coach Smucker and also pursued a graduate degree.Since that time he has been very active in the local soccer community, serving on boards in Findlay and in Bluffton. He has brought a high level of success to a new soccer club (Findlay Soccer Club), while in its second season, winning the OYSAN Northern Ohio State League with his talented U-17 team. "Rick is a highly passionate and talented teacher. He's also a good coach, friend, and mentor to the athletes that he works with and I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to coach with him again," quipped Coach Smucker.
|Nussbaum holds an Advanced National License from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as well as a Level II Goalkeeping Certificate. He currently resides in Bluffton with his wife Aphaphanh and his two children, Logan and Sidney.|
Assistant Coach Prem Thapa
|Back again for his third season is assistant Coach Prem Thapa. Prem competed on the men's soccer programs while a student at Hesston College ('93) and Goshen College ('95). After completing his degree, Prem stayed on at Goshen College and assisted the men's program. Thapa continued his coaching career while guiding the boys' soccer program at Lima Temple Christian from 2005 to 2007. Following his stint at Temple Christian, Coach Thapa joined the Bluffton staff as an assistant for the men's squad. Prem enjoys playing guitar and socializing with friends over a good soccer match. He is also very active in his home church as a worship leader and praise band member.|