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Rutkowski Resigns as Gents Soccer Coach, Symczak Named Interim Head Coach
Rutkowski Resigns as Gents Soccer Coach, Symczak Named Interim Head Coach
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

SHREVEPORT, La. – Centenary College Gents Men’s Soccer Head Coach Emmett Rutkowski announced his resignation Wednesday, August 3.

Kyle Symczak, Rutkowski’s assistant for both the 2014 and 2015 seasons, assumes the role of Interim Head Coach.

“It is always tough to lose such a talented coach, but I want to thank Emmett for all of his hard work and dedication to Centenary men’s soccer the past two seasons and wish him well in his new position,” said Director of Athletics and Wellness Dr. Bob Bunnell. “I am pleased that Kyle agreed to stay and accept the interim coaching position at Centenary. He has been instrumental in the recruiting and development of the Gents soccer team the past two seasons. I look forward to what he can accomplish on the pitch in 2016.”

Under Rutkowski, the Gents saw immediate improvement on the field. In the season prior to his arrival, the Gents allowed 59 goals and finished the 2013 season 2-17. In his first season, the Gents allowed 20 fewer goals with four shutouts and improved to 4-12-3. Centenary doubled its Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference win total this past season, including the program’s first win against Southwestern and a 1-0 win against Schreiner in overtime on senior day.

This past summer, Rutkowski served as an assistant coach with the Shreveport Rafters FC. In the inaugural season of the team, he helped the Rafters qualify for the playoffs and compile a stellar home record of 7-1-1.

Symczak also participated as a practice player for the Rafters.

In his two seasons as the only assistant at Centenary, Symczak worked in all facets of the program. He was a vital part of the day-to-day operations such as team travel and workouts with individual players as well as with recruiting. Under his tutelage, Gents goalkeeper Rylan Whan ranked in the top two in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and in the top-35 in the nation in saves per game each of the past two seasons. Centenary’s save percentage the past two seasons has increased by more than 50 points.

Symczak played a huge part in the recruitment of 17 newcomers for the 2016 season, including the addition of local athletes Hardy Hall and Christian Lindsey (Captain Shreve High School) as well as Gabe Rodriguez (Airline High School). 

Prior to joining the Gents soccer coaching staff, Symczak earned a degree in Business Administration from Lynchburg College in 2013. The Woodbridge, Virginia, native was a four-year member of the Hornets men’s soccer team from 2008-2011, including serving as the captain his senior season. In his career, Symczak appeared in 88 games and has eight goals (three game winning) with four assists and 20 points. In 2010, he helped unranked Lynchburg reach the NCAA Division III title game. The Fighting Hornets lost a heartbreaker in overtime to #3 Messiah, 2-1.

Rutkowski will rejoin the coaching staff at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, as assistant soccer coach. Prior to his arrival in Shreveport, he spent the 2013 season on the Bears coaching staff as recruiting coordinator. At Mercer, Rutkowski coached the current seniors and was the main recruiter of the current juniors and sophomores.

The Gents begin the 2016 campaign September 1 when they visit Belhaven for a 3:30 p.m. scheduled start.