Plum grad Bucci adjusts to head coaching position at Pitt-Greensburg
Marc Bucci is no stranger to the Pitt-Greensburg men’s soccer team.
In the fall of 2017, the Plum graduate served as an assistant with the Bobcats under then coach Dan Keefe.
Bucci then spent last fall as an assistant an hour east at Pitt-Johnstown, his alma mater.
But when Keefe left Pitt-Greensburg to take an assistant coaching job at a college in Tennessee, Bucci jumped at the chance to lead a college program.
Bucci has had a couple of weeks to settle in since his hire as the new coach of the Bobcats, and he’s excited to get things going.
“It’s incredible to be around the guys I coached while I was the assistant here,” Bucci said. “It was a big differential when deciding to accept the position. There hasn’t been much time to relax with the process of getting acclimated to the campus, recruiting, hiring assistants and the team’s spring season. It’s been busy, but that’s a good thing.”
Bucci will get to coach players he was around when they were freshman or sophomores and others he helped recruit before he left the program.
“It is definitely helpful when thinking of ideas of a playing style for the spring and more importantly this fall,” he said.
Bucci said with a large number of players back for the upcoming season, a big 2019 recruiting class wasn’t necessarily needed. But the recruits who were committed under Keefe, Bucci said, have decided to remain committed to the program.
“We are very excited to have a coach of (Marc’s ) caliber to lead our men’s soccer program,” said Jeromy Yetter, Pitt-Greensburg’s director of athletics.
“Marc will bring the passion and pride back to the program and help elevate us to the next level. I know our student-athletes will be excited to work with him as their coach.”
The team is hoping to turn things around after finishing last fall 3-12-1 overall and 1-8 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. Bucci said there are good pieces back to make that happen.
“With the parity of most teams in the conference, it breeds opportunity to change our fortunes,” he said. “It’s just a matter of bringing the most out of each individual. I credit how I value relationships with my players to take them to new levels and also my passion for the sport I love.”
Bucci said he knew it was going to be tough to say goodbye to Pitt-Johnstown when he made his decision.
“I pride myself as a coach who genuinely cares for the person rather than just the soccer player which helps get the most out of the player when it comes time to work,” he said. “I made some great relationships with the Pitt-Johnstown players, as well as rekindling a relationship with my former coach, turned colleague, Eric Kinsey. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity he gave me to become the assistant.”
After an all-star career at Plum, Bucci was a four-year starter and three-year captain at midfield for the Mountain Cats and earned West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honorable mention honors in 2009 and ‘12.
Bucci also served as the head coach of the boys soccer team at Gateway in 2015 and ‘16 after spending the 2014 campaign as an assistant with the Gators. The 2016 Gateway squad qualified for the WPIAL playoffs, ending a nine-year postseason drought.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-856-7400 x8632, [email protected] or via Twitter .