2011 Men's Soccer
Head Coach Rick Nussbaum
Contact information for Coach Nussbaum
Office phone: 419-358-3010
Patrick (Rick) Nussbaum is in his second year as head coach of both the men's and women's soccer programs after serving as an assistant for the five years prior to taking over the reins.
"As an assistant coach for five seasons, Rick developed strong relationships with our student athletes and recruits. He believes in the mission of Bluffton University and he wants to be part of moving our athletics program to a new level," said Phill Talavinia, athletics director.
"It is a pleasure to announce Rick's appointment as head coach. In his interim role, Rick's leadership this past season yielded positive results both on and off the field," Talavinia said. "We are excited for Rick to draw from his past head coaching successes as he develops strong soccer programs at Bluffton."
In his only season as interim head coach, Nussbaum led the women's team to its best-ever record in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (4-4-1) and a 7-9-2 mark overall. The men's team posted a 2-7 record in the conference and was 4-13 overall in 2010.
Nussbaum, who holds a master of business administration degree from the university, replaces Steve Smucker, who resigned after seven seasons as head men's and women's coach.
Nussbaum has previous head coaching experience as the men's coach at Hesston College from 2000-01 and as boys' coach at Elkhart (Ind.) Memorial High School, where his teams compiled a 77-50-11 record from 1992-2000.
Currently, Nussbaum is youth boys director of coaching and board member for the Findlay (Ohio) Soccer Club.
A licensed soccer official, he has also been athletic director at Dayton Christian High School (2001-05); head coach of the Dayton Galaxies, a U-18 boys' soccer team (2003-04); and manager of the Elkhart Soccer Arena (1994-95).
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 Sydney.1992-94.
Assistant Coach Brandon Ponchak
Contact info for Coach Ponchak
Bluffton University welcomes Brandon Ponchak to the soccer coaching staff. Ponchak graduated from Asbury University in 2008 with a degree in Bible/Theology: Pre-Seminary and just recently finished a Master's degree in Educational Policy and Administration from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Coach Ponchak is coming from a men's and women's soccer graduate assistantship with Dakota Wesleyan University where he coached from 2009-2011. He has coached at the high school and middle school levels with Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. He has numerous club coaching endeavors with Dakota Blue Soccer Club (Mitchell, SD) and Bluegrass Soccer Club (Versailles, KY). Coach Ponchak has also been on staff with a USLPro team, the Charlotte Eagles, where he was a camp coach and camp director. Coach Ponchak's camp experience ranges from camps in Boston to Dallas, as well as being an administrator/organizer with CLASS A Soccer (classasoccer.com).
Other coaching credentials include National and Advanced National Diplomas with the NSCAA, Level I and II Goalkeeping Diplomas with the NSCAA, and "E" and "D" Licenses with the USSF. Coach Ponchak is also a Grade 8 referee.
Brandon Ponchak is a native of McConnelsville, Ohio, where he graduated from Morgan High School in 2003. He will reside in the Bluffton-area with his wife, Kellie.
Assistant Coach Chris White
The Beavers welcome Chris White to the soccer coaching staff for the 2011 season. White graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1993 with a degree in biology. He continued his education with a Master's degree in marine biology from Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and a Master of Ministry Leadership from Rockbridge Seminary in Springfield, Mo.
Coach White joins the staff with many years of experience at the club level including stints with Cooper City Cobras Soccer Club (Cooper City, Fla.), Harrison Twp. (Mich.) and Cory-Rawson Soccer Club (Rawson, Ohio) as well as Junior College experience at Columbus State (Ohio). His coaching credentials include certifications from NSCAA and NFHS and he is a Grade 8 referee.