James Kusak, who for the past two years has served as the full-time graduate assistant coach for the men's & women's soccer programs at Spalding, has officially been named as the next Head Men's Soccer Coach at Bluffton University.
Bluffton, an NCAA Division III school and member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC), is located in northwest Ohio. The Beavers went winless last season, posting a 0-15-2 overall record, which included a 0-7-2 record in the HCAC.
"First, I'd like to thank Athletic Director Roger Burkman for allowing me the opportunity to pursue my Master's degree while coaching with the men's and women's soccer teams at Spalding," Kusak remarked. "I would also like to thank both Adam Boyer (Head Men's Coach) and Shilo Rayburn (Head Women's Coach), who helped mentor and guide me along in my two years here. Finally, thanks to all of the players on both teams. My experiences coaching at Spalding have been incredible and I look forward to following the success of both programs moving forward," he finished.
For the last two years, Kusak has worked with both the men's and women's soccer programs at Spalding, helping both teams earn their first-ever postseason berths in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). The 2014 men's team posted a 12-6-1 overall record, reaching the SLIAC Tournament semifinals, while the 2015 women's team went 10-5-2 overall, also reaching the SLIAC Tournament semifinals. During that time, Kusak coached 18 All-Conference selections, five NSCAA All-Region selections, and a two-time SLIAC Offensive Player of the Year. He also helped the Men's team to the nation's 2nd best scoring offense in 2014.
"A big congratulations to James as he takes this next step in his coaching career," Head Men's Coach Adam Boyer remarked. "When James accepted this position at Spalding two years ago, it was with the intentions of him landing a head coaching job as he finished his degree. Today, we give James a ton of credit for reaching his goal and say a huge thank you for the impact he has had on our two programs. James is a great coach, a great friend, and a great person - we will miss him at Spalding, but look forward to seeing his success at Bluffton," he finished.
Prior to his time at Spalding, Kusak served as the assistant men's coach at his alma mater, Centre College, from 2012-2014, and also served as the men's and women's assistant coach at Hendrix College from 2011-2012. Both Centre and Hendrix are members of the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) of NCAA Division III.
While at Centre, Kusak helped the Colonels to the 2013 SAA Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Round of 32 after knocking off the defending national champions in their opening game. James also coached one Academic All-American and one All-American while at Centre.
At Hendrix, Kusak helped both the men's and women's teams to successful seasons, while guiding the Warriors women's team to the postseason for the first time in program history. At Hendrix, Kusak coached one Academic All-American and helped one of his seniors earn a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
A 2010 graduate of Centre, Kusak was a team captain, All-Conference selection, and Academic All-Conference member with the Colonels. The center midfielder posted an impressive 55-17-4 record as a player, helping Centre to three second-place finishes in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC).
A native of Louisville, Kusak has spent time coaching with several clubs, including directing the U9 Academy at Central Kentucky Soccer Club (CKSC) and leading the Louisville Soccer Alliance (LSA) U23 Men's team. Kusak holds his NSCAA National Diploma. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Centre College and will be finishing his Masters of Business Communication degree from Spalding University this spring.
Kusak becomes the second assistant coach under Boyer to land a head coaching job after leaving Spalding. Will Van Nostrand, who served as the assistant men's and women's coach from 2012-2014, is the current head men's coach at Brescia University. Van Nostrand also spent time as the head men's coach at Iowa Wesleyan University and as the assistant men's coach at Anderson University (SC).
"It's important that we help our assistants stay in college coaching and accomplish their goals of becoming a head coach," Boyer remarked. "We look forward to the arrival of our new graduate assistant this fall and beginning the process over again," he finished.
STORY COURTESY OF SPALDING UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE