November 24, 2010

Augustana promotes defensive coordinator

More news about: Augustana
Rob Cushman
Rob Cushman played at Lewis and Clark and has coached at Eastern Oregon and Ithaca.
Augustana athletics photo

Rob Cushman, the defensive coordinator for the past three seasons, has been named head football coach at Augustana, it was announced today. Cushman will replace Jim Barnes, who resigned Monday, Nov. 22, after posting a 79-34 overall record in 11 seasons.

Cushman was formerly a Division III head coach at Eastern Oregon, where he went 18-31 from 1997-2001.

“I am both humbled and honored to accept this position,” said Cushman who enjoyed three successful seasons of running the Vikings’ defense under Barnes. “Augustana has earned its status as one of the elite football programs in small college football and I have come to appreciate how much that means to the players, alumni and administration.”

Over the past three years, Cushman has fashioned the Viking defense into a sound unit. His 2008 unit allowed just 13.4 points per game, which was seventh in NCAA Division III in points allowed and finished first in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin in total defense. The 2009 team gave up 16.7 points per game and was second in the CCIW in total defense and the recently concluded 2010 season had the figures at 18.8 points per game and third in the league in total defense. The Vikings have compiled an overall record of 19-11 over the past three years while Cushman was in charge of the defense.

“We are ready to get started,” said Cushman of his approach to the third head coaching tenure of a football career that began in 1979. “I have to thank Jim for his confidence in hiring me as the defensive coordinator prior to the 2008 season and I wish him the best. It has been enjoyable working in the Augustana environment and we, as a coaching staff, are going to get after it in recruiting this winter and then move forward in preparation for next fall.”

Cushman has been a head coach twice before during his career. Following his stint at Eastern Oregon, he was tapped to begin the football program at Feather River Community College in Quincy, Calif. In his first season at Feather River, he guided the Golden Eagles to a 6-5 record and a berth in the CLO Bowl. He posted a 34-21 record in five seasons at Feather River and had his team in five straight bowl games. The best year for the Golden Eagles was a 9-2 mark in 2003.

He left Feather River after the 2006 season and spent one year as the special teams coordinator/defensive backs coach at Ithaca, helping the Bombers go 8-3 and earn a spot in the Division III playoffs.

“Rob Cushman is a great fit for us,” said Augustana director of athletics Mike Zapolski. “He has proven his skills as a coach and as a person who relates well with the student-athletes at Augustana as well as the staff and administration. He is an energetic person and we look forward to working with him.”

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