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Bertsch makes impact at Xavier

By sabrina Brown
On September 19, 2012

Three years ago, Xavier made a coaching change that has undoubtedly
altered the course of men's soccer history for the Musketeers.
In December of 2009, Xavier hired head coach Andy Fleming to take over a faltering men's soccer program.
Two months later, Fleming hired Kris Bertsch of Syracuse University as an assistant coach, and Bertsch brought with him a mission.
Bertsch wanted to rally the support on campus for Xavier men's soccer, and he wanted to make sure the Musketeers were a team students wanted
to support.
"As a coaching
staff, we've come to learn how wonderful
this place [Xavier] is. You want to follow
suit with wonderful people. I want to make sure I coach the right guys that make coaching soccer
enjoyable," Bertsch said. "Winning is a by-product of doing things the right way. We have 26 wonderful guys in our locker room, and that's really
the key to what we're doing at Xavier."
Bertsch started a club on campus
known as the Xooligans, and through his promotion and enthusiasm,
the men's soccer team has broken attendance records season after season.
"My thought was that if you love your school, you should love supporting your school, whether you win or lose," Bertsch said. "Everything's in the students' hands. It's not about me. I may have started it, but they are the ones that make it an experience, a really fun one at that."
This past summer, Bertsch was promoted from assistant coach to associate
head coach.
"I don't really
value it to be that different. If I feel like I achieved something,
then I may start getting a little bit lazy. I keep doing the little things that I've been doing along the way," Bertsch said.
Bertsch played for four years at American University. While there, he discovered how much he truly
loved the game and decided he wanted to keep it as a pivotal part of his life.
He then went on to coach as an assistant at the University of Connecticut for four seasons. During each of those seasons, the program was ranked as first in the nation and saw numerous
players move up to play professionally. He then moved to Syracuse where he was the top assistant before coming to Xavier after only a few months.
Now in their third season at Xavier, this coaching duo has seen the best start in program history, an accomplishment that can be attributed to Fleming and Bertsch as much as the players they recruit.
"These coaches, if anything, care too much. You'll never have a program that fails when the coaches care too much," senior
forward Luke Spencer said. "Every day they bring energy that we need coming straight from class when we might be a little bit sluggish. They pick us up and motivate us."
As the Musketeers look to continue their loss-free season, one thing is clear: Bertsch's mission
has been a success. This Xavier men's soccer team is one to watch.

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