Bullen nows adds a head coaching job to his year-round playing regimen
Brooklyn Native Named Head Coach of Mary Help of Christians Academy
Newark, N.J. (Thursday, May 7, 2009) – Regularly acknowledged for his leadership qualities, New Jersey Ironmen and Newark Ironbound Express defender Oral Bullen now has a stage to display those attributes to younger players of the game. This past week, Bullen was officially announced as the head coach of the middle and high school soccer programs at Mary Help of Christians Academy.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Bullen stated. “I’ve been a coach and conducted training in the past, but this is my first chance to serve as a head coach. I look to provide these young players with the experiences and knowledge I have attained over the years as both a coach and a professional player, and I hope to bring a high level of stability to the academy in terms of the game of soccer.”
A member of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, Mary Help of Christians Academy is located in North Haledon, New Jersey. The school was started in 1924 and has seen significant expansion since opening their doors 85 years ago. Mary Help of Christians Academy was originally created as an orphanage elementary school and first developed a high school in the 1940’s. The academy is a Catholic college-prep school that focuses on the education of young women from many diverse backgrounds, and Bullen will assume the role of head coach of both the high school and middle school soccer teams for the Blue Jays. The high school team has been in existence for a number of years, but next fall marks the first season of play for the middle school program.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Bullen is the ultimate portrayal of overcoming obstacles to achieve your dreams. During his time at MLK High School in Manhattan, he was a winner of three championships in four seasons and also captained the team during both his junior and senior years. He was twice named to the All-New York City First Team and received the honor of being selected the New York City Player of the Year in 2001.
After graduating from MLK High School, Bullen went on to become one of the top scorers in school history when he played college soccer at the University of Massachusetts. He served as captain of the Minutemen during both his junior and senior seasons and finished his collegiate career with 54 points in 75 games. His 21 goals and 12 assists placed him just outside the UMass all-time top 10 points list. The two-time All-Atlantic 10 Conference selection helped lead the Minutemen to two A-10 tournament berths, and he was also honored as an NSCAA/adidas All-New England Second Team selection following his junior year.
Bullen first played in the professional ranks as a member of the Portland Timbers in 2006. He registered a pair of goals and an assist for the USL-1 side, once earning Team of the Week accolades. He took his game indoors for the first time in 2006 for the Milwaukee Wave, tallying seven points (two goals, three assists) and five blocks in 18 matches. He followed up that performance with another accomplished year in Milwaukee, recording eight points (goal, six assists) and 21 blocks, showing his durability by missing only a single contest.
This past year, Bullen returned to the metropolitan area after signing with the Ironmen. He displayed the true grit of an ironman, playing in every match of the 2008-09 XSL season and notching eight points on a three pointer, pair of two-pointers and an assist. He is currently spending the summer suiting up for the Newark Ironbound Express Soccer Club of the USL Premier Development League.