The guy behind the guy, behind the guy. Kevin Bacher is an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team and goalkeeper coach.
So who is this guy exactly?
Bacher went to Syracuse University and was a four year starting goalkeeper for the Orangemen. His accolades include a team captaincy his senior year in 2000, the team MVP award both junior and senior year, preseason Big East goalkeeper of the year (2000), All-Big East (2000), and All-Northeast Regional first team.
“[Bacher] is someone I trust… I don’t hover over him, he just does his own thing and he gets results,” said head coach Bryan Scales.
Results of the shutout and win varieties are evidence of Bacher’s abilities as Cornell is off to quick a 2-1-1 start behind the stellar play of its junior goalkeeper, Doug Allan.
“I personally have three shutouts so far this year, while I had three and a half last year,” Allan noted.
When not on the sidelines, he has been making saves at the semi-professional level in both 1997 and 1999. Not only has he coached for the olympic development program, he played on that team beforehand in 1993, 1995, and 1996. Scales added the experienced Bacher to the coaching staff this past August to help with the goalkeepers specifically, but also to aid in recruiting and scouting.
“I look for intensity, someone who is into the game and is a good athlete… giving me something to work with,” said Bacher of the qualities he looks for when he is out recruiting and scouting for fresh talent among the high school ranks.
It is no surprise to hear about how Bacher himself played. He described his style as, “aggressive and competitive by nature… whether that be playing cards or basketball.”
When asked where he would like to sit if he were watching a professional match, say in Old Trafford for a English Premier League contest, Bacher responded, “behind the goal, so I could see the goalie’s positioning and the way he calls the game. Maybe up high to see the formations of the team.”
A theme of focused intensity is beginning to formulate.
When asked who he would cheer for if Syracuse and Cornell were playing each other in a heated lacrosse contest he said, “I would root for Cornell. I am a Cornell guy now.”
“I won’t wash my socks if on a winning streak. The white socks become black,” said Bacher.
While playing at Syracuse he managed to find the time to coach the goalkeepers at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse. Enhancing his resume further is the title of head goalkeeper coach for the 2001 Eastern New York State Olympic Development Team.
Coming out from Syracuse with all of his talent and knowledge naturally afforded Bacher opportunities, but he chose to come to Cornell instead of playing professionally. He also nixed a graduate assistant position at Hofstra.
“My freshman year in college, combined with all of the camps that I worked at aided my decision to go into coaching,” Bacher said of his career choice.
The style is motivational, its effects are positive.
“He makes it his mission to have us in tune with every play in every game. Encouragement, constant criticism, positive reinforcement and patience. He wants us to keep our minds focused and sharp not only for this game, but for the whole season,” said Allan. “He tells us to, ‘Get the next save… You are not going to like being out here sometimes, but put some faith in me and it’ll pay off.'”
“He has expertise in the areas of goaltending and the players respect him and can relate to him,” Scales said of Bacher’s coaching. “He works them hard, but knows when to back off.”
Allan continued by adding, “We are lucky to have someone like him… he creates goalkeeper specific workouts… last year we did not have a goalkeeper coach and at times it showed on the field. We are much sharper this year.”
Archived article by Donald Lee