Former Bucknell assistant coach and longtime Lewisburg boys soccer coach Pete Ellis returned to the Bison sidelines in 2007 as a volunteer assistant coach and is now in his ninth year in that role.
After prowling the Bucknell sidelines as an assistant from 1984-87, Ellis moved just down the road to Lewisburg Area High School, where he became a health and physical education teacher, a post he still holds, and boys soccer coach. In his 19 years at the helm of the Green Dragons, Ellis compiled a sparkling 261-125-37 record, including 23-3-0 in his final season in 2006.
A two-time Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association State Coach of the Year and a four-time Susquehanna Valley Conference Coach of the Year, Ellis led Lewisburg to unprecedented success over his final decade. The team won three Susquehanna Valley Conference titles, was a District IV finalist seven times, advanced to the PIAA playoffs eight times and won the 2000 Class A state championship during that span.
Since returning to Bucknell, in 2009 the team set program records for wins (17) and shutouts (12) in a season, captured the Patriot League regular-season title, defeated Lafayette and American to win the PL Tournament on its home field, and blanked Princeton 1-0 in the NCAA Tournament. As an encore, the 2010 Bison won the Patriot League crown as the No. 4 seed, knocking off host Colgate and American in the tournament. A 1-0 overtime loss to home standing Penn ended the team's run of NCAA first-round success. Ellis’ main function with the team is to assist Coach Nash with player development and match analysis.
The Bison have succeeded both on the field and in the classroom with 2010 graduate Conor O'Brien becoming Bucknell's first All-American in 33 years as well as a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, given to the national player of the year. Since 2007 two players, O'Brien and Mayowa Alli '14, have gone on to play professional soccer after graduating from Bucknell. Academically the Bison have also succeeded with Academic All-Americans Chris Hennings in 2008, Patrick Selwood in 2009 and two-time honoree Joe Meyer (2012, 2013). Additionally, the Bison have earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award every year during Ellis’ time with the Bison.
Coach Ellis is a 1978 graduate of Wethersfield (Conn.) High School, where his 1975 team captured the LL State Championship, and a 1983 graduate of East Stroudsburg University, where he played for the Warriors’ soccer team from 1978-1980. Coach Ellis is also active with the Bison Soccer Camps as an assistant director and coach. Each year the Bison Soccer Camps have held a team camp and elite camp on campus and have reached out to the local communities and now offer several camps in locales throughout the Susquehanna Valley. Ellis also has coached over the years at the Lock Haven University Team Camp and various youth camps throughout Pennsylvania. He is an active member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and past president of the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association.
A resident of Lewisburg, Ellis is a second-generation college coach. His father, Richard Ellis, was the women’s softball coach at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. His daughter Roslynn is now a third-generation college coach, as she is the assistant field hockey coach at Temple after previous stints at Louisville, Massachusetts, Appalachian State and Wake Forest.