Cornel Drăgușin (26 March 1926 – 10 October 2021) was a Romanian football manager who coached the national teams of Iraq, Syria and Romania. He was director of the Romanian FA coaching school from 1990 to 2002, until being replaced by Mircea Rădulescu.
|Date of birth||26 March 1926|
|Place of birth||Bucharest, Romania|
|Date of death||10 October 2021(aged 95)|
|1950–1953||Steaua București (youth)|
|1953–1956||Progresul București (youth)|
|1969–1970||Steaua București (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Drăgușin had a short stint as football player, and eventually became a coach at the age of 25. He served as a youth coach with Steaua Bucharest from 1950 to 1953. He then managed the youth team of Progresul Bucuresti, where he won the national youth championship in 1954, before moving up to the reserves and finally the A team, with whom he was runner-up in the Romanian Cup during the 1957–58 season. After two years, he was named assistant coach being part of the Progresul squad that won the Romanian Cup in 1960.
In 1962, the Iraq Football Association opted for a foreign coach from the Eastern Bloc, and appointed the Romanian manager as head coach of the Iraq national team. He was the first foreign coach of Iraq and at the beginning of his period there, he was supervised by colonel Abdul Salam Arif who later became the country's president.
After his return from Iraq in 1963, Drăgușin joined Progresul again with coach Dincă Schileru for the 1963–64 season, before taking charge of the Syrian national team in 1965. Upon his return, the Romanian FA appointed Drăgușin as manager of the Romania under–23 side for a tournament in Central Africa. In 1967, he returned to Progresul for a third spell until 1969, before moving to Steaua Bucharest as assistant manager.
In 1969, he spent nearly two months visiting some of the top English clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. On his return, he wrote a book, În patria fotbalului – In Football's Homeland released in 1970.
In November 1970, he was recruited by the Romanian Football Federation, for whom he worked until 2002. During that time, he coached the Romanian national team, the Under–23, Under–21 sides and the Olympic team. Between 1986 and 1990, he was assistant coach to the Romanian national team, which qualified for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
Drăgușin was director of the Romanian FA coaching school from 1990 to 2002, a period during which some of best players in Romania obtained their coaching licenses including Dan Petrescu, Gheorghe Hagi, Ilie Dumitrescu, Ioan Andone, Ioan Sabău, Mircea Rednic, Gavril Balint and Dorinel Munteanu.
- UEFA Magazine – Cornel Dragusin, a quiet hero – 1 March 2005, No. 35 , Page 21.
- "Poveşti din alte timpuri. Cornel Drăguşin a antrenat în Irak şi Siria: "Colonelul care mă păzea a ajuns preşedintele ţării!"" [Stories from other times. Cornel Dragusin trained in Iraq and Syria: "The colonel who was guarding me has become the president of the country!"] (in Romanian). Adevarul.ro. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
- Cornel Drăgușin at WorldFootball.net