Wheaton (MA) coach Matt Cushing joins 300-win club
|Wheaton (Mass.) head coach Matt Cushing
Photo: Keith Nordstrom
Head coach Matt Cushing secured his 300th career victory when his No. 18 ranked Wheaton (Mass.) Lyons defeated Bridgewater State Wednesday evening by a 4-0 score. Cushing becomes the 43rd men's coach in Division III history to reach the 300-win milestone, having achieved the feat in his 21st season on the sidelines, all at Wheaton. His career record now stands at 300-96-40 (.734) which places him 15th among active Division III men's coaches in winning percentage in a virtual tie with St. Lawrence's Bob Durocher who passed the 300-win mark last season. The winning percentage also moves Cushing a whisker past just-retired Rowan head coach Dan Gilmore into 19th all-time in Division III.
Since Cushing's arrival in Norton, MA in 1994, the Lyons have not suffered a single losing season. They have claimed eight NEWMAC titles under his guidance and participated in five ECAC tournamens and nine NCAA tournaments. The Lyons' most successful four-year stretch with him in charge (2000-2003) culminated in a trip to the 2003 Final Four where they were ousted by eventual runner-up Drew on penalty kicks in the semifinal. The Lyons had broken Drew's all-divisions record 17-game shutout streak with the game's first goal two minutes from time, but conceded the equalizer half a minute later. The 2001 squad may have been even better, finishing with a program best 21-2-0 record and reaching the Elite 8 where they were beaten 2-1 by a potent Messiah side trying to defend its first national title on their home field.
Cushing has earned numerous awards and honors, the highest being the NSCAA New England Region Coach of the Year in 2001. He was also named coach of the year by the Eastern Massachusetts Soccer Coaches Association (EMSCA) in 2000 and by the New England Intercollegiate Soccer League (NEISL) in 1997 and 2001. The NEWMAC selected him as their coach of the year in 1998 and 2001. In addition to coaching, Cushing has served as both a regional and national ranking committee chair for the NSCAA. For four years as chair of the NCAA's New England Regional Advisory Committee he sat on the Division III Men’s Soccer Committee tasked with administrating the NCAA tournament, including making at-large tournament selections.