Dave Cusano begins his second season as head men's and women's track & field coach at Wheaton in 2012-13.
In his first year at the helm of both programs, Cusano led the women's team to a second place finish at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Outdoor Track & Field championships while the men placed fourth overall. Cusano also coached 12 student-athletes to All-America honors throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons combined.
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).
Kathrine (Wallace) Bright ’05 begins her second season as assistant men’s and women’s track & field coach in 2012-13.
A member of four NCAA National Championship teams at Wheaton, Bright returns to Norton after spending the last three years as an assistant track & field coach at fellow New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) school MIT, where she worked primarily with the horizontal and vertical jumping groups.
“I’m really excited to return to my alma mater to coach the track & field teams,” said Bright, who helped the Engineers capture the NEWMAC Men’s and Women’s Championships in each of her three seasons at MIT. “Hopefully, I can assist in leading them to several NEWMAC Championships and more NCAA Championships.”
In addition to the Engineers success against conference foes, Bright helped guide the men to the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division III New England Indoor Championships, and the women to the 2011 Division III New England Women’s Outdoor Championship. She also coached the NCAA Division III New England Field Event Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009, and 2010, and the 2011 NCAA Division III Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Long Jump Champion.
“Kathrine is a terrific addition to the track & field staff. Her expertise and education makes her one of the best coaches in the country,” said Cusano. “Having her back home at Wheaton will allow the program to take huge strides forward in developing our student-athletes both academically and athletically. Kathrine's familiarity with Wheaton will help all facets of the program move forward at a remarkable rate.”
The 2010 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Division III Indoor Track & Field Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year, Bright helped the Lyons capture the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Division III Indoor and Outdoor Championships. During that time, Bright earned 2003 All-America honors in the high jump (outdoor) and again in 2005 as a member of Wheaton’s 4x400 meter relay team (indoor). She was a five-time NEWMAC All-Conference selection in the high jump (2002-04), 4x400M relay (2004), and triple jump (2005).
"It is an honor to welcome Kathrine back to Wheaton as our assistant track & field coach,” said Sutyak. “Her experiences the last three seasons at MIT, along with being an All-America student-athlete and member of four national championship teams here at Wheaton, will serve our current student-athletes well and provide a solid foundation for our program. Kathrine and head coach Dave Cusano will continue our proud track & field tradition here at Wheaton."
Bright is USA Track & Field (USATF) Level II certified as both a jumps coach and a combined events coach. In 2010, she was invited to attend the USATF Emerging Elite Coaches Camp and later became a member of the NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy (December, 2010). She began her coaching career as an assistant track & field coach at Connecticut College (2005-06) before accepting a part-time coaching position at Wheaton in 2006, where she remained until joining the staff at MIT. Last September, Bright began working as a physical education instructor at MIT.
Bright received her bachelor of arts from Wheaton in 2005 after majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. In 2010, she went on to earn her master’s degree in education from Boston University, where she concentrated on coaching principles and sports psychology. Bright will assume her new role at Wheaton at November 1.
Kim Spence begins her ninth
season as an assistant coach at Wheaton in 2012. A valuable
asset to the cross country program since her arrival in 2004,
Spence's responsibilities include both instruction and
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 competition.
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.