Basacco Retires As Mustangs Men’s Soccer Head Coach

Rock Basacco retires as head coach of the Western Mustangs Men’s Soccer program


LONDON, Ont. – Rock Basacco, the long-time head coach of the Western Mustangs men’s soccer program, has decided to retire after 21 seasons at the helm.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my 21 years as head coach and five years as an assistant coach at Western,” said Basacco. “I have had the honour of coaching so many talented student-athletes at Western. The friendships that I have built with players and with my assistant coaches have been the rewards of being the head coach. Thank you Western University for allowing me to be a part of a great athletic tradition.”

“We’re so thankful for Rock and how he’s led our program over the past 21 years,” said Christine Stapleton, Western Director of Sport and Recreation Services. “Rock will always be an important member of the Mustangs family, and we wish him all the best as he steps away from his role as head coach.”

Basacco led the Mustangs to tremendous success during his tenure, making the OUA playoffs in each year of his career and capturing seven Ontario championships, as well as guiding the Mustangs to back-to-back National Championships in 1998 and 1999. Overall, Basacco led the purple and white to nine appearances at nationals, with Western capturing two bronze and one silver medal to go along with their two national titles.

Along with his coaching success for the Mustangs, Basacco represented Canada on two occasions at the FISU Summer Universiade. Basacco was part of Canada’s best-ever finish at the event with a fourth place finish at the 2007 Games in Bangkok, Thailand, and was also on staff for the team’s second best finish, with a seventh place result in 2013 in Kazan, Russia.

He also enjoyed a successful playing career for Western, earning Ontario All-Star honours in both 1976 and 1977. Basacco served as the Mustangs captain for three seasons, earning Team MVP honours in 1977 before winning one of Western’s prestigious Purple Blankets in 1978. He then became an assistant coach from 1983-86 and again in 1995 before taking over as head coach in 1996. Along with all of the awards garnered during his time as a student-athlete, Basacco was inducted into the W Club Hall of Fame in 2000.

The search for a new coach is currently underway with an announcement to be made in the coming months.

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