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Nate Kopunek

Head Men's Soccer Coach

Nate Kopunek was named Head Coach for the University of Detroit Mercy men’s soccer program on March 6, 2023.
During Kopunek’s four-year tenure at Bowling Green, the Falcons compiled an overall record of 37-23-10 with a 13-10-5 mark in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play. BGSU advanced to the championship match of the MAC Tournament in his first year on staff in 2019, captured the program’s first outright MAC regular-season title in 2020-21 and earned a berth in back-to-back NCAA Championship Tournaments in 2020-21 and 2021.
Under Kopunek’s guidance, BGSU had four student-athletes earn All-MAC honors including Brendan Graves who was named Mid-American Conference co-Goalkeeper of the Year along with Joey Akpunonu and Sergi Martinez who joined Graves on the All-MAC First Team season with Alberto Anaya earning All-MAC Second Team honors following the 2022 season.
Akpunonu also became the first MLS SuperDraft first-round pick in BGSU program history as he was selected by FC Cincinnati with the 22nd overall pick.
The 2021 Fall campaign saw the Falcons post an overall record of 11-6-3 earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. 10 of BGSU's 20 matches were played against teams that advanced to the national tournament and were also against teams that finished in the top-50 of the final RPI rankings.
BGSU went to Louisville for the first round of the 2021 NCAA Championships and came away with a 1-0 victory over the Cardinals which marked the program's first national tournament victory since the 1997 season. Additionally, the Falcons also won six true road matches for just the third time since the 1997 campaign.
BG ended the 2021 season ranked 30th in the final College Soccer News poll for the second consecutive season and ranked 27th (second team listed among 'receiving votes') in the final United Soccer Coaches poll.
Zach Buescher and Jacob Erlandson were named to the All-MAC First Team, while Alberto Anaya and Joey Akpunonu earned all-league second-team accolades. Anaya was named the MAC Freshman of the Year. Erlandson went on to be named to the United Soccer Coaches All-North Region First Team, with Buescher earning second-team honors and Anaya third-team accolades. Erlandson was invited to the MLS College Showcase, and was drafted by the Columbus Crew in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft.
No fewer than seven Falcons earned honors from the OCSA, with Anaya, Buescher and Erlandson all named to the All-Ohio First Team and Akpunonu and Jensen Lukacsko earning second-team honors. Lukacsko, Michael Montemurri and Kale Nichols were named to the Academic All-Ohio Team, and Eric Nichols, as mentioned earlier, was the OCSA's Coach of the Year.
Montemurri and Kale Nichols each were named to the Academic All-District Team, selected by CoSIDA, and Montemurri went on to earn Academic All-America honors.
Additionally, a total of eight Falcons were named to the Academic All-MAC Team. That list of honorees included Akpunonu, Lukacsko, Montemurri, Kale Nichols, Kyle Cusimano, Abdi Faqi, Logan Kowalczyk and Carter Womack.
Anaya was named to a pair of national all-freshman teams, being chosen to both the College Soccer News All-Freshman Second Team and the Top-Drawer Soccer 'Freshman Best XI' Second Team.
During the 2020-21 campaign, Kopunek was named to the United Soccer Coaches North Region Staff of the Year after BGSU captured the program’s first outright MAC regular-season title since 1996 and participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997 with a school-record six players named to the All-MAC Team. The 2020-21 team ended the season ranked 30th in the final College Soccer News poll and finished third in the final United Soccer Coaches North Region poll.
The 2019 season saw the Falcons win 13 contests, the highest total in five years and only the second double-digit victory total since 1998. The Brown and Orange kept 11 clean sheets, recording a double-figure shutout total for the first time since the 1998 campaign.
BG advanced to the MAC Tournament's championship match for the first time in five years. Along the way, the Falcons downed Northern Illinois at home in the quarterfinal round, then defeated Akron on the Zips' home field in the semifinals. The latter match marked BGSU's first victory over the Zips since 2002, and was the program's first road win since 1997.
The 2019 Falcons more than doubled the win total from the previous season and won four total matches against MAC foes for the first time since 2003 while landing a school-record six players on the All-MAC Team (a total equaled in 2020-21), as Anthony Mwembia and Robin made the first team, while Chris Brennan, Buescher, Charlie Maciejewski and Chris Sullivan all were named to the second team. Mwembia and Robin went on to be named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Region Team as well.
Prior to Bowling Green, Kopunek served as an Assistant Coach at Georgia Southern. In his lone season with the Eagles, Kopunek helped the team 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 overall league Player-of-the-Year honors.
Kopunek joined Georgia Southern after serving as the Director of Operations and Player Personnel at Yale University where 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, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in legal studies. He also holds a USSF National C License, United Soccer Coaches Sports Performance Diploma, and a United Soccer Coaches Goalkeeping Level 1 Diploma.