Bowling Green State hires Nate Kopunek as assistant coach
“I want to thank Coach Nichols for this great opportunity to join the BGSU men’s soccer program and continue my coaching career,” said Kopunek. “Throughout the interview process, I have heard nothing but great things about Eric and the men’s soccer program.
“After coming on campus and meeting the staff and team, I can feel there is something special happening here. I can’t wait to get to Bowling Green and get started as a Falcon! Lastly, I would like to thank all the coaches that have mentored me along the way.”
In his lone season with Georgia Southern, Kopunek helped the Eagles advance to the championship match of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. GSU went 7-7-3 overall and 2-1-1 in conference play, tying for second in the league standings.
The Eagles ended the season ranked 75th in the RPI after being ranked as high as 69th, the best ranking in program history, during the year. Senior Javier Carbonell was named the Sun Belt’s Offensive Player of the Year while sharing league Player-of-the-Year honors.
“Nate has developed an effective set of tools, having worked for three well-respected college coaches,” said Nichols. “At the foundation of what Nate brings is character and we are excited to welcome him to our family.”
Kopunek joined the Eagles from Yale University where he served as the team’s Director of Operations and Player Personnel. He helped the Bulldogs to a third-place finish in the Ivy League in 2017, the program’s best finish since the 2005 season. Yale saw four players named to the All-Ivy League Team, and the men’s soccer Bulldogs also earned an NCAA APR Public Recognition award.
Prior to Yale, Kopunek spent four seasons at George Mason University, helping the Patriots to a No. 12 national ranking and a final RPI of 33 in 2014. George Mason featured one All-American and three All-Region performers in his time there, and the Patriots also had players signed by both the New England Revolution and the Philadelphia Union of MLS.
Kopunek also has extensive club experience, coaching on the AC Connecticut Juniors staff as well as Maryland United FC, the Baltimore Bays Chelsea USSF Development Academy and the Fewster FC club. He also assisted with DC United game-day operations beginning in 2007.
A native of Annapolis, Md., Kopunek is a 2014 graduate of Towson University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in legal studies. He also holds a USSF National D License, a United Soccer Coaches Goalkeeping Level 1 Diploma and a United Soccer Coaches Special Topics Diploma: The Art of the Assistant.
BGSU ended the 2018 season with an overall record of 6-7-4, and the Falcons posted a 2-1-2 mark in MAC play. BG, picked to place fifth in the six-team conference, finished second and earned a first-round bye for the league tourney. The Falcons have finished second in the league twice in the last three seasons. BG went 5-1-2 over the final eight contests of the regular season, including a six-match unbeaten streak, the program’s longest since 1997.