Mercer University

Mercer Athletics
1400 Coleman Ave Macon, GA 31207
Division 1 Georgia Southeast
Private Small National competitor


Email coach

Brad Ruzzo

Hired at Mercer: June 24, 2008

Ruzzo at a Glance:

Coached Trevor Martineau to being named SoCon Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, becoming the first freshman since 1977 to win SoCon Player of the Year

Coached Will Bagrou to the 2017 & 2018 SoCon Male Athlete of the Year

Guided Bagrou to the 2018 MLS Combine as well as being selected in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft

2018 and 2014 Southern Conference Coach of the Year

2014 College Sports Madness SoCon Coach of the Year

2012 Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year

Two-time MVC Coaching Staff of the Year (2006, 2007)

2003 College Soccer News – One of the nation’s top assistants

USSF “A” License

Collegiate Coaching Experience:

2008-Present – Mercer University

Head Coach

2000-07 – Bradley University

Associate Head Coach

1999-00 – Xavier University

Assistant Coach

Coaching Accolades at Mercer:

115-97-26 overall record (.538 %)

40-19-4 in SoCon regular season play

7-2-4 in SoCon Tournament play

106-75-19 overall record since 2010 (.575 win %)

Highest winning percentage in program history among coaches who have coached 20-or-more matches

Winningest Coach in Mercer history with 115 wins. He passed Tom Melville (107 wins) for the most wins on Oct. 1, 2019 with a 2-1 victory over Winthrop.

2019, 2017 & 2016 NCAA Tournament appearance

2019, 2017 & 2016 SoCon Tournament Championship

2018 & 2014 SoCon Regular Season Championship

Five SoCon titles in just six years in the league

2018 & 2014 SoCon Coach of the Year (including 2014 College Sports Madness Coach of the Year)

2012 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year

Six conference championship appearances (ASUN: 2009, 2012; SoCon: 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019)

Mercer ranks No. 30 out of all NCAA Division I institutions based on wins since 2010

Mercer ranks No. 12 out of all private NCAA Division I institutions based on wins since 2010

In 2018, guided Mercer to an 8-0 true-road record, leading the NCAA in true road wins

Set program-record of 14 wins en route to winning 2014 SoCon regular season championship in Mercer’s first season in the league

Tied the program record with 14 wins en route to winning the 2019 SoCon tournament championship

Received votes by NSCAA for National Ranking in 2014, 2016 and 2018

Mentored 69 All-Conference players (27 All-Conference First Team selections), 13 NSCAA/USC All-Region selections & one NSCAA All-American

Earned 11 consecutive NSCAA/USC Team Academic awards and still counting

Coached Jake Mezei, JR DeRose and George Iakovidis to claiming the SoCon Pinnacle Award

Two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, three Atlantic Sun Scholar Athletes of the Year, seven NSCAA All-Region Scholar Athlete selections

Ashani Samuels named to 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Second Team

Will Betts named to 2012 Capital One Academic All-America First Team

Guided 2016 NSCAA All-American, SoCon Player of the Year and MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist Will Bagrou

Bagrou was also named a 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List candidate

Bagrou finished with 37 career goals, 16 assists and 90 points.

Bagrou is a four-time All-SoCon First Team selection & former SoCon Freshman of the Year and SoCon Player of the Year

Mentored Jeremy Booth in claiming two SoCon Tournament MVP Awards, a spot on the College Soccer News Team of the Week and a goals against average of 0.98 which ranks first in program history.

Coached JR DeRose to the 2019 Southern Conference Tournament MVP honors.

Mentored 2014 SoCon Goalkeeper of the Year and current Orland City SC goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh

Guided 2012 A-Sun Defender of the Year Josh Shutter

Other Coaching Experience:

2008-Present – Mercer Boys Soccer Academy

Founder & Director

2011-13 – Olympic Development Program

Georgia state head coach

2010 – Olympic Development Program

Region III Staff Member

2000-07 – Central Illinois Soccer Academy


Past Coaching Accolades:

Bradley University

Named one of the “Top Division I Assistant Coaches” by College Soccer News (2003)

The Braves posted an overall record of 101-53-23 (.636) during Ruzzo’s tenure

2007 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 appearance

Four NCAA Tournament appearances (2000, 2002, 2005, 2007)

2007 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Tournament Championship

Three consecutive MVC Regular Season Championships (2005, 2006, 2007)

Two consecutive MVC Coaching Staff of the Year honors (2006, 2007)

Ranked as highly as No. 8 in the national Top 25 poll (2007)

Ascended to No. 1 in the NSCAA Midwest Regional Rankings (2007)

Helped program to eight of its 10 winningest seasons all-time

Set program record for single-season wins (16) in 2007

Mentored six All-Americans, five MLS players, six MLS Super Draft selections, three A-League players, 38 All-MVC selections, one MVC Player of the Year, two MVC Defensive Players of the Year & two MVC Freshmen of the Year

Guided four Academic All-Americans, 11 ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA District V & NSCAA All-Region scholar-athletes & 26 MVC scholar-athletes

Helped seal two Top 15 recruiting classes by College Soccer News (2001, 2002)

Served as the Chair of the NSCAA Midwest All-Region/All-America selections committee

Xavier University

Served as staff’s No. 1 assistant

Assisted in the growth of three Holland Amateur League & United States A-League players

Was responsible for developing & scheduling training sessions in conjunction with head coach; maintained off-season training & conditioning program

Was involved with recruiting, scouting, planning of team travel, budgeting, academic monitoring, among other administrative duties

Central Illinois Soccer Academy (CISA)

Responsible for development and training of advanced players ages 17-23

Oversaw 10 tournament championships with an overall 102-45-30 record

Program was designed to meet the needs of advanced senior-aged players, allowing them to continue training, developing and competing in a highly competitive, collegiate atmosphere

Mercer Bears in the Pros:

Active Players:

Greg Ranjitsingh – Louisville City FC (USFL)

Conner Antley – Tormenta FC (USL League One)

Former Professional Players:

Carl-Oscar Andersson – New York Cosmos (NASL), Falkenbergs FF (SPDA)

National Team Participation:

Ian Cameron – U-16, U-17, U-18 Scotland National Team

Richie Edmonson – U-20 Jamaican National Team

Arkenson Neckles – Grenada Men’s National Team

Ashani Samuels – U-20 Jamaican National Team

Ehjayson Henry – U-20 Saint Kitts National Team

Greg Ranjitsingh – Senior & U-20 Trinidad & Tobago National Team

Coaching Certifications & Memberships:

United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National “A” License

National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Member

U.S. Soccer Member


University of Cincinnati, 1999 (B.A., Economics)

Collegiate Playing Experience:

1995-98 – University of Cincinnati

Started 77 career matches

1998 All-Conference USA Second Team selection

1998 Team Captain

1998 NCAA Tournament appearance (first in program history)

1997 Team MVP

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Email coach

Jarred Brookins

Hired at Mercer: 2018

Coaching Experience:

2018-Pres. – Mercer University

Assistant Soccer Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

Bears have achieved a 26-11-2 overall record in his two seasons assisting Head Coach, Brad Ruzzo

Helped lead the Bears to their fifth NCAA Tournament Appearance and third Southern Conference Tournament Championship in 2019 as well as a Southern Conference Regular Season Championship in 2018

Coached 16 All-Conference Award winners

Six First Team All-SoCon selections

Four Second Team All-SoCon selections

Four SoCon All-Freshman Team selections

2018 SoCon Freshman of the Year: Trevor Martineau

2018 SoCon Player of the Year: Trevor Martineau

Was a member of the Bears’ Coaching Staff that was named 2018 SoCon Coaching Staff of the Year

Mentored Trevor Martineau who scored 14 goals and added 10 assists to place him fourth and second respectfully in the single-season record book

Guided the Bears to double-digit wins in consecutive years, fifth time in six years for the program

In 2019, the Bears won 14 games, which tied the program record for wins

Mercer has scored 40 goals in consecutive seasons and recorded 40 assists in 2018, both program highs

Went 8-0-0 on the road in 2018, the best mark in NCAA Division I

Saw Trevor Martineau earn United Soccer coaches All-South Region honors the past two seasons

2015-18 – Vestavia Hills Soccer Club

College Liaison and Boy’s Staff Coach

Created and solely operated the College Preparatory Program where his responsibilities included: managing information posted to the website and social media accounts, educating parents and players starting in eighth grade about the college recruiting process, advising high-school aged players as they go through recruiting and acting as liaison between players and college coaches

Served as head coach for the U18 Boys State Championship team in 2017 and led the U19 team to a second-place finish in SRPL and a top finish in the State League Championship

U18 team reached the Region III quarterfinals before falling to the reigning champions FC Dallas Premier

2013-15 – Vestavia Hills Soccer Club

Boy’s Staff Coach

Head coach for eight competitive boys’ teams and the assistant coach for four teams in two years

Head coach of U19 Boys State Champions (2014)

Assistant coach of U18 State Champions (2014, 2015)

2012-13 – Vestavia Hills High School

Varsity Assistant Coach

Vestavia Hills won its first state title since 1995, finishing 29-1-1 overall

Still holds Alabama state records from that season, including most shutouts (24), most consecutive shutouts (9) and fewest goals allowed in a season (7)

Top Coaching Achievements:

USYS U18 National League fourth place finish, becoming first Alabama boys’ team to ever qualify

Claimed seven USYS Youth Soccer State Championships from 2014-18

AHSAA 6A State Title in 2013

Led Vestavia Hills in finishing 2013 ranked No. 7 in the nation

Playing Experience:

Birmingham-Southern College – 2009-12

Team Captain (2012), leading the team to an undefeated record in Southern Athletic Association regular season play

Athletic Honor Roll (2010-12)


Birmingham-Southern College, 2013 (Bachelor of Science in Biology)

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