NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College Department of Athletics and Recreation mourns the loss of head men's soccer coach Matt Cushing, who passed away Monday, August 28.
Cushing spent 23 seasons at the helm of the Lyons men's soccer program, taking over the program in 1994. In his time at Wheaton, he compiled a 328-113-43 overall record and 83-24-11 New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) record. In addition, he served as the head men's lacrosse coach from 1995-1997, leading the Lyons to a 25-17 record and an appearance in its first ever Pilgrim League Championship game in 1996.
"Words cannot accurately express the sorrow the entire Wheaton College community feels in mourning the loss of Coach Cushing and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children, and the entire family," stated Director of Athletics, John Sutyak. "Matt was someone that this entire department looked up to for leadership and advice. As the athletic director, I leaned on Matt as one of the 'captains' of our department and he was always able to be a positive influence on our staff, inside and out of the department of athletics. He has meant so much to the hundreds of alumni he coached, and staff members he worked with. We will miss him, but certainly never forget him."
Under Cushing's leadership, Wheaton men's soccer has qualified for postseason play in all 23 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. During his time, the Lyons earned 14 All-American honors, had eight players named NEWMAC Player of the Year and five athletes earn NEWMAC Rookie of the Year honors.
Cushing was named New England Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (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.
A 1988 University of Massachusetts-Amherst graduate with a bachelor's degree in sports 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.
He is survived by his wife, Jessica, and four children Connor, Charlie, Grace, and Emma.
There will be a public wake at Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home in Sandwich, Mass., on Thursday, August 31 from 3-7 p.m.
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