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

Tony Falvino

Mercer Men's Soccer Head Coach Brad Ruzzo announced the hiring of Tony Falvino as the men's soccer assistant coach on July 15, 2021.

"I am excited to bring Tony on board with our program," remarked Ruzzo. "Tony has great energy, work ethic, and the coaching acumen to help elevate our program to new level. I have wanted to bring Tony on staff for a while and this was the perfect time to make him a Bear. He has been successful everywhere he has been and he will help progress our program forward. Tony is a great human being and will be a great mentor to our young men and we welcome his wife Amanda and daughter, Mia to Macon, Ga."

Falvino joins the Bears staff after spending the last six as the head coach at Greensboro College. Since taking over for the Pride, Falvino has compiled an overall record of 75-29-4 and a conference record of 49-10-3. He advanced to the conference semifinals or finals each season. He has claimed two USA South Regular Season Titles (2015 and 2018) as was named the USA South Coach of the Year in 2015.

"First, I would like to thank Coach Ruzzo for the opportunity to be a part of the Mercer University men's soccer program," Falvino said. "I am excited to get to work with him and the rest of the men's soccer staff. I look forward to contributing to the team's success. I would also like to thank everyone that has welcomed me and my family to the Bears community."

During his time at Greensboro College, Falvino has coached 28 USA South All-Conference Selections, six USA South All-Tournament Selections, two USA South Rookie of the Year selections, two USA South Player of the Year selections, one All-Region, and one All-American.

During a shortened 2020 season, Falvino and the Pride went 7-3 and claimed the USA South East Division after a 1-0 victory over William Peace.

Prior to Greensboro College, Falvino was an assistant coach at Davidson College since the 2012 season. Before joining the Wildcats staff, Falvino worked at Francis Marion University, Wingate University, and High Point University.

Falvino graduated from Greensboro College in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise and Sports Studies before receiving his Master's Degree in Sports Administration from Wingate University in 2010.

During his four years as a member of the Pride men's soccer team, Falvino earned All-Region honors while being named the USA South Athletic Conference Rookie of The Year in 2002 and the Conference Player of The Year in 2005. Falvino was also named a member of the USA South Athletic Conference Men's Soccer 50th Anniversary Team in 2013.

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Soccer in College gave me a good point of reference for perspective coaches, somewhere I could direct them to see all of my data, in a well-organized, efficient manner. It was a good tool for my recruiting efforts.
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