Elite 300 Soccer Academy
The University of Pennsylvania James C. Gentle Head Coach of Men’s Soccer, Rudy Fuller recently concluded his 19th season at the helm of the University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer program in 2016. In his tenure at Penn, Fuller has elevated the Quakers’ notoriety in the Ivy League and nationally. From renovating Rhodes Field to recruiting some of the best players in the country and stacking the Quakers’ schedule with NCAA contenders, Fuller’s club has established itself as one of the nation's elite soccer programs.
The 2016 season saw the Quakers finish 5-5-6, including a 3-3-1 mark in Ivy League play. Five different players earned All-Ivy recognition, including Alec Neumann and Matt Poplawski on the first team. Neumann became just the fourth player in Penn history to earn All-Ivy honors all four years.
The 2013 season saw Fuller's team do something no Penn club had done since 1972 -- win an outright Ivy League championship. Just one season after winning one League match, Penn went 5-1-1 in Ivy contests, including a 2-0 win at Harvard in the season's final weekend, to claim sole possession of the program's eighth Ivy League title and third under Fuller's charge.
Duke Lacroix was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, leading seven All-Ivy selections for the Quakers in 2013. Lacroix also earned NSCAA second-team All-Region honors.
In 2014, Fuller had four players named All-Ivy. Duke Lacroix was a first-team All-Ivy selection for the second year in a row, capping his career with four All-Ivy selections -- just the fourth player in progam history to do so. Lacroix was also named second-team All-Region for the second season in a row. At the conclusion of the 2015 season, Fuller saw Alec Neumann and Sam Wancowicz named All-Ivy.
Fuller had four players named All-Ivy in 2012, led by second-team selections Travis Cantrell and Duke Lacroix.
2011 saw Fuller become the fourth coach in program history to reach the 100-win mark as he did so in the season-opener at La Salle. Duke Lacroix was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year, while seniors Thomas Brandt and Christian Barreiro were named first-team All-Ivy to go with NSCAA All-Region honors. Senior defender Jake Levin was a second-team All-Ivy selection, becoming just the second player in program history to earn All-Ivy honors all four years. Following the campaign, Major League Soccer came calling to Penn as both Brandt (Philadelphia Union) and Barreiro (New York Red Bulls) were selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft.
In 2010, Fuller guided the Red and Blue to the NCAA Tournament following a 13-6-0 record and a 5-2-0 performance inside the Ivy League. The 13 wins tied the 2010 club with the 1971 and 1973 teams for second-most wins in a season and set a record for Fuller-lead teams. The Quakers won their first round game in the national tournament -- defeating Bucknell in overtime, 1-0, in front of a packed Rhodes Field -- before bowing out at the hands of Maryland in the second round. Defense was once again the hallmark of Fuller's club in 2010, with goalkeeper Ben Berg recording nine shotouts and the defensive corps holding opposing teams off the scoreboard for 549:40 of game play over parts of six consecutive matches. At the end of the season, three players were named first-team All-Ivy and seven total players received All-Ivy honors. Thomas Brandt was also named NSCAA first-team All-Region and an ECAC All-Star.
The 2008 season was reminiscent of Penn's golden age of soccer. The squad shattered both team and individual records and captured the school's seventh Ivy League title. Fuller's commitment to team defense was evident as the Red and Blue shut out opponents in the first 673:25 minutes of the season. Unbeaten through the first 10 games, Penn registered a program-best 11 shutouts on the season.
Fuller boasts five former players drafted to Major League Soccer. In 2009, midfielder Alex Grendi was taken by the Columbus Crew. Two years prior, goalkeeper Daniel Cepero was called to the New York Red Bulls. Fellow keeper Matthew Haefner was drafted by the Crew in 2004, with Brandt and Barriero earning selections in 2011.
In 2005, the Quakers finished 9-6-1, were ranked as high as No. 18 nationally and won the Philadelphia Soccer Seven (PS7) title with Fuller being named the PS7 Coach of the Year.
The Quakers have set the standard for soccer success in Philadelphia during Fuller's tenure. He has been named Philadelphia's Coach of the Year seven times as coach of the Quakers, his clubs earning six Team of the Year awards.
At the beginning of the decade, the program went from the basement of the Ivy League to champions in two seasons. The 2002 Penn squad finished with a 12-4-1 record, captured its first Ivy League championship in 22 years, earned its first NCAA Tournament bid in 25 years and its first NCAA Tournament win in 29 years.
Penn was ranked as high as 14th in the nation during the 2002 season and spent much of the year in the Top 25. Penn goalkeeper Haefner was named third-team NSCAA All-America, becoming Penn’s first All-America since 1984. Haefner also became Penn’s first men’s soccer player to be named Ivy League Player of the Year.
Following the season, Fuller was named the 2002 Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year by the NSCAA and 2002 Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year by the SEPSCA.
The Quakers set three program records in 2002 — shutouts in a season (10, a mark bested by the 2008 squad with 11), lowest goals-against average (0.45) and highest save percentage in a season (.923). The 2002 squad also allowed the second-fewest goals in the program’s history in a single season with seven. Haefner also set individual goalkeeping records that reflected the team marks from 2002.
In the category of individual honors, Fuller has coached 73 All-Ivy honorees, 16 NSCAA All-Mid Atlantic Region players and 26 PS7 All-Stars.
Fuller’s student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom during his tenure. Penn has found itself among the best and brightest and has been honored with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Team Academic Award for the past 17 seasons and the team's GPA has been in the top-10 nationwide the same span -- in 2000, they earned the highest GPA of any Division I men’s soccer program. In 2008, Omid Shokoufandeh was named a third team Academic All-America selection. He is the first Penn men's soccer student-athlete to earn that status. In 2010, Steven Schlaefer was named Academic All-District by CoSIDA
Penn is one of just 14 institutions—and the only Ivy League school—to have both its men’s and women’s soccer teams honored by the NSCAA for its academics, and it has happened 15 times.
Prior to Penn, Fuller played a major role as a student-athlete and coach in building a successful program at Georgetown University. While coaching at Georgetown, Fuller helped guide the Hoyas to the first two NCAA tournaments in their history and the NCAA Round of 16 in 1997.
Fuller has served on the staff of the Region I Olympic Development Program (ODP) and the Eastern Pennsylvania (EPa) ODP. In 2002, Fuller helped lead the EPa 1984 Boys ODP team to the National Championship, and his EPa 1987 Boys ODP team was a Region I ODP Championship finalist. Fuller has led six ODP teams to the Region I finals and has captured four titles. Prior to joining the Region I and Eastern Pennsylvania staffs, Fuller was a part of the Maryland ODP for 13 years, four as a player and nine as a coach.
Fuller served on the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee and was chair of the NCAA Division I Middle Atlantic Regional Advisory Committee. He also sat on the NSCAA/adidas College Ranking Committee for the Mid-Atlantic Region and is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Most recently, Fuller began serving as a scout for U.S. Soccer in the inaugural season of the Development Academy. In addition, he served as an assistant coach at the 2008 and 2009 U-15 National team camps.
Fuller, a USSF "A" Licensed coached, graduated from Georgetown with a bachelor of science in business administration in 1993 and earned his MBA degree at Villanova in 2003. He founded and currently serves as the director of the Elite 300 Soccer Academy.
Fuller and his wife, Kate; sons Reilly and Liam; and daughter Fiona reside in Philadelphia.
Keith Tabatznik, long time Head Coach of the Region 1 Olympic Development Program and scout for US SOCCER previously guided Georgetown University soccer to national prominence during 22 years as head coach. Finishing with 220 wins under his belt, Tabatznik is Georgetown’s all-time winningest soccer coach and ended amongst the top active collegiate coaches in wins.
Tabatznik has also been an analyst on Fox Soccer, The BIG TEN Network and NSCAATV as well as a guest commentator for Comcast sports and DC United pre and post game shows. Additionally, Tabatznik spends a lot of time traveling the country and the globe studying the training habits of top professional teams. He will bring these experiences to the staff and campers of the Elite 300 Academy. He was also the Assistant World Cup Coach for Bermuda during their attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
In 1994, Tabatznik was named the South Atlantic Region and BIG EAST Coach of the Year after leading the Hoyas to an incredible 18-4 record and the school’s first-ever berth in the NCAA Championship as well as its first BIG EAST Regular Season Title.
Tabatznik, holder of a USSF “A” Coaching License, has placed twelve former Hoyas in the professional ranks. He currently is a staff instructor for US Soccer state license and National “C” license courses.
In 2004 Tabatznik was appointed the Director of the Maryland Olympic Development program – a position he had held previously from 1989 to 1997. In two years Maryland became one of the elite ODP programs in the nation again – winning 1 National Championship as well as 3 regional championships and placing 34 players into the regional pools.
In addition to taking Hoya soccer and Maryland soccer to new heights, Tabatznik has been an integral part of taking U.S. soccer to its highest levels. He served three years as the U.S. National Amateur Team Head Coach and in 1997 was selected as the Region I and National Coach of the Year. In 1997, as head coach for the East Team in the U.S. Soccer Festival, Tabatznik led the East to the Gold Medal.
He is also honored as a member of the Virginia/DC Soccer Hall of Fame as well as the Friends School of Baltimore Athletic Hall of Fame.
Eric Wagner took over the Garnet soccer program at Swarthmore College in 2002, transforming the team in short order. In 13 seasons, Wagner's teams have posted a 159-73-32 record, and have had 16 postseason tournament appearances.
In 2013, Swarthmore captured its third ECAC championship and posted an undefeated home ledger of 9-0-3 at Clothier Field.
Named Centennial Conference Coach of the Year in 2012, Wagner led the Garnet to a 16-3-2 record to steer the squad to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five years.
In 2011, the Garnet won their second ECAC championship, defeating the top two seeds en route to the title. In 2010, Wagner's Garnet squad posted a 16-1-4 record, won the Centennial Conference Championship for the second time in three seasons (2010, 2008) and reached the NCAA Tournament for the third-consecutive season (2008-10). The 2010 season also saw the Garnet earn a No. 1 national ranking for the first time in program history.
During the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Wagner led the Garnet to back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. For his coaching efforts during the breakthrough 2008 season, Wagner was named the Centennial Conference and Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
In more than 25 years coaching at the college level, Wagner has earned a reputation for developing talented young soccer players and turning teams into nationally competitive programs. Emphasizing intelligent, creative attacking play, an honest work ethic, and hard-nosed, disciplined defending, Wagner's team had a +36 goal differential in '10, the best in program history. In the past 13 seasons, the Garnet have had 50 All-Centennial Conference players, 82 Academic All-Conference selections, 15 Regional All-Americans, five All-American selections (Peter Maxted '14, Morgan Langley '11, Micah Rose '12 (twice), Jeff Kushner '09) and two players sign professional soccer contracts (Morgan Langley '11 and Ladule Lako Lo Sarah '09). Wagner's Garnet squads have also earned multiple selections to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team and a department-best six Academic All-Americans, which includes Reuben Heyman-Kantor '06 (First Team), Rose, D’Annunzio, Maxted and Michael Superdock. The Garnet have had at least one Academic All-American in each of the past four seasons as well as the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Performer of the Year in each of the last three.
Wagner earned a B.A. from Connecticut College in '88, and an M.Ed. from Temple University in '07. He played four years of Division III soccer for the Camels, after which he served as the assistant coach of the women's team at his alma mater. He helped the Camels earn the school's first-ever ECAC Championship in 1988. He was assistant coach at Wheaton College (Mass.), Duke University, and at The University of Notre Dame. In 1993, he was selected as the first head coach of the new varsity soccer program at Southwestern University in Texas. In 1997, Wagner moved to St. Mary's College of Maryland, where he became the winningest coach in the college's history.
Wagner earned the Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, and has also coached baseball and tennis at the college level. He has been a staff coach in four states' Olympic Development Programs, and a member of the Region 1 ODP staff. Wagner's teams are always active in the community, with service projects, youth soccer clinics, and community outreach throughout the year.
Wagner's playing career includes four years of NCAA soccer, one year with the Heidelberger Sport Club in Germany, two seasons in Raleigh, N.C. ('92 State Champions), two years in Austin, Tex. and a year of semi-pro soccer in Hartford, Conn. His connections to Swarthmore College go back several years, as two of his sisters graduated from Swarthmore. Lise ('85, Political Science) and Karin ('90, Religion) are two of the Garnet's most dedicated fans. Wagner lives in Swarthmore with his wife, Leslee, and their sons, Camden and Nicholas.