Alumni Magazine

SPR-SUM 2017

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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SPRING 2017 \ PIERCE 25 director had grown with all the sports added. But he was not destined to have just one position at the University. "Bruce is a father figure, a mentor to me," says Marco Koolman, now head men's soccer coach at the College of the Holy Cross. "My fondest memory was taking the men's soccer team to the national championship," Koolman recalled. "The women's team had won five national championships. In 2005 we went to the championship and fell short. Then in 2007 we won. The first person I ran to was Bruce because, after the players, this win was for him. He stood behind us, and he stood for us." "Bruce was the best boss I ever had," says Mark Krikorian, now women's soccer coach at Florida State. "What started as a professional relationship became a friendship that has lasted 27 years. Bruce and then- president Walter Peterson recognized a direct correlation between growing the school and athletic success." Kirsh's role was growing as well. "In 1995 the new president, George Hagerty, came on, and within weeks he told me he wanted me to take on a greater role. I was named assistant to the president with responsibility for buildings and grounds, campus safety and recreation." That role eventually became vice president. "Because Bruce was a student-athlete and a coach, he understands both sides of sports and can really bridge the gap between coaches, players and academics," says Hannah Runge '18, Health Science major and volleyball player. "I am most proud of how the growth of athletics has fit into the growth of the University," says Kirsh. "Faculty and staff have embraced it, not just students. For years, the student-athletes have had higher GPAs and higher graduation rates than the student population as a whole. I can look anyone in the eye and say we have done this the right way, that athletics are a core pillar of the institution." "Bruce Kirsh took our school athletically from dirt, literally from dirt, and built it up to one of the most competitive schools in D -II," says John Massaro, '18, a Criminal Justice major who is on the varsity men's lacrosse team. "It is an amazing legacy. And beyond sports, he makes us hold ourselves responsible for our actions inside the classroom and out." Because Bruce was a student-athlete and a coach, he understands both sides of sports and can really bridge the gap between coaches, players and academics. HANNAH RUNGE, '18 " " Bruce with Chris Herren, former Boston Celtics basketball player

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