WILMINGTON — Cory Bucur will take over the Wilmington College men’s soccer program, replacing Alex Van der Sluijs who went to Div. I Wright State University.
“I’d like to thank President Trevor Bates, Bill Wilson and Stacey Conley for allowing me the opportunity to be the next men’s soccer head coach at Wilmington College,” said Bucur. “I strongly believe I can continue the great work that coach (Bu) Lewis and coach Van der Sluijs have done at WC to give these student athletes the best experience they can have, and fight towards winning that first Ohio Athletic Conference championship since 2004.”
Bucur comes to Wilmington from Defiance College where he has been the head men’s soccer coach the last three seasons and is the program’s winningest coach by percentage. Last season, Bucur was the architect of Defiance’s best season in more than a decade. The Yellow Jackets, who finished 11-11-1 overall, beat Transylvania University for the first time in program history, and in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, upset Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for the first time in program history 1-0 to advance to the title game.
There, Defiance battled Hanover College to a scoreless draw and came within a penalty kick of making the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament for the first time. Three of Bucur’s seven All-HCAC honorees during his tenure were awarded after that run.
“I would also like to thank all of Defiance College including Derek Woodley, our players and coaches and my support system within the college and outside,” said Bucur. “Coach Woodley and Defiance took a chance on a first-time head coach, and I did everything in my power to give our guys the best collegiate soccer experience on and off the field that I could. We accomplished a lot in my time there. I can’t wait to bring that same passion and energy to Wilmington to help this group of young men accomplish the achievements that they have set out for themselves and more!”
Prior to Defiance, Bucur spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Lake Erie College. He began as a graduate assistant coach and went on to serve as interim head coach for a period of time and then to a full-time assistant coach with a primary responsibility of goalkeepers coach. Bucur coordinated fundraising efforts, served as the primary contact for alumni relations and was responsible for the team’s social media content. While at Lake Erie, he also worked in the office of admissions.
Bucur also has experience coaching at the club level as he’s worked with the Toledo Celtics the last three years and Ambassadors FC three years prior. As a player, Bucur served as a team captain for the Storm for two seasons, garnered All-GLIAC honors and received multiple academic awards including: NSCAA Scholar All-East Region and All-GLIAC Academic Team. He earned two degrees from Lake Erie – a Bachelor’s in Adolescent/Young Adult Education & Language Arts in 2015 and a master’s of Business Administration in 2017.
He begins his Wilmington tenure on June 1.