Dave Cusano begins his third season at the helm of the Wheaton men's and women's indoor and outdoor track & field programs. Cusano has coached 31 All-Americans and one NCAA National Champion combined between both programs.
On the women’s side, Cusano has led Wheaton to four national placements and a pair of top-10 finishes in just two years. Cusano has earned two New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Coach of the Year honors guiding the women's squad to a pair of back-to-back runner-up finishes at the conference championships. On the men's side, Cusano has coached five All-Americans and led the Lyons to a fourth place finish at the 2012 NEWMAC Championships, their highest placement since 2010. In total, Wheaton has posted 43 NEWMAC All-Conference performances under Cusano in just two years.
Cusano comes to Wheaton following seven years as an assistant track & field coach at the University of Maine. During that span, Cusano coached 30 America East champions, 11 NCAA Regional qualifiers, two New England champions, and two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) champions. In 2009, Cusano was named UMaine Coach of the Year while America East bestowed its ‘Coaching Staff of the Year’ award on the track & field staff from Orono.
"I'm extremely humbled and excited about the opportunity to be the head track & field coach at Wheaton,” said Cusano, who is Level 1 certified by USA Track & Field (USATF) and a member of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). “I'd like to thank all of Wheaton's administration, faculty, and staff for their professional interactions through this process. Although it will be hard to leave Maine, I am excited to be a part of the great combination of academics and athletics at Wheaton. I plan on working diligently toward the highest levels of success both academically and athletically, and I'm proud to be a member of the Lyon family.”
Working in a dual role as a coach and an instructor in the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department in Orono, Cusano was responsible for creating a detailed yearly training and lifting program for sprints, hurdles, and jumps while also serving as recruiting coordinator and the director of the UMaine Summer Track Camp.
"It is a pleasure to welcome Dave to Wheaton and begin a new era for our men's and women's track & field programs,” said Sutyak. “We are elated that he will be bringing his many talents to Norton and look forward to working with him in continuing our longstanding success on the regional and national levels of Division III track & field."
During his time at Maine, Cusano also worked as the strength and conditioning coach for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Husson University and as an NFL Combine and professional athlete trainer. He has trained a total of 11 current or former NFL players.
"Dave's teaching and coaching experience at the University of Maine, coupled with his high energy and wide range of experiences as a student-athlete, will mesh well with our students and staff. We are excited for him to get started,” added Sutyak.
Cusano earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise physiology from Maine in 2004 and 2008, respectively. He was a four-year student-athlete in both track & field and football for the Black Bears, earning nine all-conference selections in track & field while helping the football team to a pair of Atlantic 10 conference championships (2001-02). An all-conference and All-New England selection as a defensive back in 2001 and 2002, Cusano is a three-time recipient of the Walt Abbott Defensive Player of the Year Award (2000-02) and was a finalist for both the UMaine Athlete of the Year (2003) and UMaine Spirit Achievement Award (2004).
Upon graduation, Cusano went on to spend one year as a member of the United States bobsleigh team (2004) and another playing professional football for the Dresden Monarchs in Germany (2005). In 2013, Cusano served as a guest speaker at the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Convention discussing the triple jump among other track & field related topics.
Kim Spence '04, who also serves as head coach for the men's and women's cross country programs, begins her 11th season overall as a coach at Wheaton and fourth overall as a member of the track & field staff.
A USA Track & Field (USATF) Level I certified coach, Spence also served as a Wheaton track & field assistant during the 2004-05 school year and has worked with the track & field program at Mansfield High School since the spring of 2005. She currently teaches at nearby Norton Middle School after previously serving as both the program director and gym director at The Little Gym in Cranston, Rhode Island, where she instructed gymnastics and sports skills classes for children between four months and 12 years old from July 2004 until September 2006.
As a four-year member of the indoor
and outdoor track & field teams at Wheaton, and a cross country
runner her senior year, Spence helped the Lyons win six
NCAA track & field championships. A two-year captain for
each track & field squad, she earned All-America honors in
the indoor 4x400-meter relay and the outdoor 3,000-meter
steeplechase as a senior after drawing honors as a sophomore for
the indoor 800-meter run. Spence qualified seven times for New
England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)
All-Conference honors. In cross country, she was an all-region
and all-conference runner during her lone season of
A four-time academic all-conference honoree, including three times in track & field, Spence earned Dean's List citations and a Wheaton Scholar-Athlete award and was named a Wheaton Balfour Scholar. She also received the college's Claudia Friese Special Recognition Award her senior year, due largely in part to her behind-the-scenes dedication to the program and her spearheading all of the track & field teams' fundraising efforts.
Spence graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton in 2004 after majoring in American history and minoring in both art history and studio art. Spence went on to receive her master's degree in education with a concentration in curriculum and design from Fitchburg State University.
Karl Mader '12 begins his first season as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's cross country teams and track & field programs in 2013-14.
Mader returns to campus after graduating from the college in just three years, receiving his bachelor's degree in international relations and economics with a minor in statistics. During his three years at Wheaton, Mader received Rotary Scholar, Trustee Scholar and Merit Scholar honors.
On the oval, Mader claimed All-America honors as a member of the track & field program in 2012 helping the Lyons to an eighth place finish in the 4x400-meter relay at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Mader also served as a captain of the men's track & field team that season and the men's cross country program in 2011.
A USATF Level 1 certified coach, Mader is currently the co-head cross country coach at Gann Academy in Waltham, Mass. in addition to his coaching duties at Wheaton. Mader aided the squad in claiming the 2012 MBIL conference championship and also produced four of the top five MBIL All-Stars in the league last season.
Mader is still active in athletics as he recently qualified for the USA National Triathlon circuit in 2013. Outside of coaching, Mader also works in the sales operations department at BigBelly Solar, Inc.