Matt Cushing
Matt Cushing
Title: Former Head Coach
Tenure: 1994-2017

Matt Cushing spent 23 seasons at the helm of the Wheaton men's soccer program (1994-2017) until his passing on Aug. 28, 2017. Since his arrival in Norton in 1994, Cushing has compiled one of the highest winning percentages among active NCAA Division III coaches in the country at .735 (328-113-43).

In 2016, Wheaton advanced to the NEWMAC Tournament and climbed their way to the championship game where they took on Springfield College in the final round after defeating rival, Babson College, in the semifinals.

In 2015, the Lyons went 11-8 overall and 5-2 in conference competition with a seven-game win streak. Wheaton qualified for the NEWMAC Tournament and battled Babson College in the semifinals round.

The Lyons advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and made their tenth appearance overall in program history in 2014, all under Cushing's guidance. Wheaton produced a 17-4-2 record overall and a 6-0-1 mark in league play to claim its eighth regular season championship. The Blue and White also compiled a program-best six New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference selections and tied a program-high for NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selections with three total this past season. Nationally, Wheaton ranked as high as No. 14 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll and No. 16 in the poll throughout the course of the year.

In 2013, the men's soccer team captured its eighth NEWMAC championship in program history en route to advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time. The Lyons had three student-athletes named to the NEWMAC All-Conference team, one student-athlete named to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District Team and two student-athletes earn NEWMAC Academic All-Conference accolades.

The year prior, Wheaton posted a 9-7-4 record overall and 2-2-2 mark in NEWMAC play. The Lyons had four players named to the NEWMAC All-Conference team and one player chosen to the NSCAA All-New England squad. Wheaton also earned a spot in the NEWMAC Tournament bowing out in the quarterfinal round.

Under Cushing's leadership, Wheaton has qualified for postseason play in all 21 seasons, including an NCAA Tournament national semifinal finish in 2003, a national quarterfinal placement in 2001 and an additional eight NCAA bids. The Lyons also captured the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament title in 1998 and the NEWMAC Tournament championship eight times.

Cushing was named regional coach of the year by the NSCAA in 2001, and coach of the year by the Eastern Massachusetts Soccer Coaches Association (EMSCA) in 2000, NEWMAC in 1998 and 2001, and New England Intercollegiate Soccer League (NEISL) in 1997 and 2001. He is the coaching director at the Crusaders United Soccer Club in Plymouth and has also coached the U17 Olympic Development team in Massachusetts.

A former scout for Major League Soccer's (MLS) New York Red Bulls, Cushing has groomed six Wheaton players for professional competition.

Most recently, Luke Finkelstein '15 signed a professional contract to play with Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan FC of Israel and former assistant coach James Greenslit '06 played for the reserve squad of the MLS' New England Revolution and in the United Soccer Leagues (USL).

Dan Antoniuk '03, meanwhile, was recently with the San Diego Sockers of the North American Soccer League (NASL). Oscar Medina '97 and Jim Manganello '99 spent time with the Cape Cod Crusaders of the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL), while Jeremy Long '99 played for the A-League's Boston Bulldogs. Manganello was selected by the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the 1999 MLS College Draft. Cushing's players have also earned 14 All-America honors, 43 All-New England selections and eight NEWMAC Player of the Year accolades.

In addition to coaching, Cushing was the national chair for the NSCAA Division III rankings committee. He served as the regional chair of the rankings committee and as the vice president of the NEISL, an organization that recognized him with the NEISL Service Award in 2002. Cushing also handled regional chair duties for the Division III ratings board for three years while serving on the NCAA Tournament selection committee for four years.

In 1994, Cushing earned a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) national "B" license. He received a national diploma from the NSCAA in 1992, followed by an advanced national diploma in 1993.

Prior to coming to Wheaton, Cushing was the assistant coach at Division I power Rutgers University, which advanced to the 1993 NCAA Tournament after capturing the Atlantic 10 Conference title. He also spent the previous two years on the coaching staff at Lafayette College.

A 1988 University of Massachusetts-Amherst graduate with a bachelor's degree in sport management, Cushing was a captain on the 1986 and 1987 Minutemen teams. He is a former Parade Magazine high school All-America honoree and was inducted into the Duxbury (Mass.) High School Hall of Fame in 2008. Cushing led Duxbury to four consecutive state championships. 

Season Overall Conference Highlights
1994 14-4-3 n/a ECAC Tournament
1995 13-4-2 n/a ECAC Tournament
1996 15-3-3 n/a ECAC Tournament
1997 14-4-1 n/a NCAA Tournament
1998 18-4-1 5-0-1 ECAC Champions, NEWMAC Champions
1999 12-6-1 4-2-0 ECAC Tournament
2000 17-3-1 4-2-0 NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions
2001 21-2-0 6-0-0 NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions
2002 15-5-0 5-1-0 NEWMAC Tournament
2003 19-3-2 5-1-0 NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions
2004 17-4-2 5-1-0 NCAA Tournament
2005 13-5-2 5-0-1 NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions
2006 12-5-4 5-1-0 NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions
2007 14-6-3 4-1-1 NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions
2008 10-5-4 1-3-2 NEWMAC Tournament
2009 18-4-1 5-1-0 NEWMAC Tournament
2010 11-6-3 3-2-1 NEWMAC Tournament
2011 9-8-2 4-2-0 NEWMAC Tournament
2012 9-7-4 2-2-2 NEWMAC Tournament
2013 17-6-0 6-1-0 NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions
2014 17-4-2 6-0-1   NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Regular Season Champions
2015 11-8 5-2 NEWMAC Tournament
2016 12-7-2 3-2-2 NEWMAC Tournament
Totals 328-113-43 83-24-11   23 Seasons