/seasons/2017/contrib/201708043gg9lu

Cushman named Occidental coach

More news about: Minnesota-Morris | Occidental


From Minnesota-Morris video


Rob Cushman has been named as Occidental's head football coach, bringing two decades of gridiron experience to Oxy's Kemp Stadium.

Cushman comes to Oxy from Minnesota-Morirs, he took a winless NCAA Division III program to a 4-6 record during his first season and then improved to 6-4 in 2016, going undefeated at home. He's also had head coaching stops at Augustana, Eastern Oregon and Feather River Community College.

"We vetted dozens of coaches during our national search," Occidental athetic director Jaime Hoffman said. "We knew we needed to find an inspirational leader with the knowledge and proven ability to maximize our talented but small roster. We also needed to find a persuasive recruiter to help build that roster. We feel we have been successful in accomplishing this tall task."

Prior to his time at Minnesota-Morris, Cushman spent seven years at Augustana, three as the defensive coordinator (2008-11) and four as the head coach (2011-14) in the nationally competitive College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. As the defensive coordinator, he coached the top-ranked defense in the conference and seventh-best in NCAA Division III in 2008. As the head coach, he led Augustana to three consecutive 5-5 seasons, including a third-place conference finish, produced five Academic All-Americans, a National Football Foundation Scholar, an NCAA Division III All-American and 22 all-conference players.

"I'm really thrilled to have the opportunity," Cushman said. "It's an honor to coach at such a quality academic institution that values the liberal arts and athletics. We're going to build the very best program we can and set ambitious goals for ourselves."

Minnesota-Morris opens camp in five days. The Cougars named Marty Hoffmann and Matthew Johnson as co-head coaches. "Hoffmann and Johnson are great choices to lead the Cougar football program in 2017," said Jason Herbers, director of athletics. "As Minnesota-Morris alums they are both invested in the ideals of Cougar football and will continue to guide our student-athletes in a positive direction."

Cushman takes over for Doug Semones, who retired late in July after four seasons with Oxy, with the task of rebuilding Oxy's storied program. The Tigers have won 20 SCIAC championships, but haven't been on top since 2008 and went 1-8 last season.

"There's a lot of ways to measure success and they do turn on the scoreboard, but we want our guys to have a great experience on field, to grow, and to learn value of hard work and teamwork," Cushman said. "The goal is for them to develop great relationships that they can be proud of -- and along the way we're going to block and tackle, too."

Cushman was the first head coach at Feather River College in Quincy from 2002-2007 where he built the program from scratch and went 34-21 overall. He was also the head coach at Division III Eastern Oregon from 1997-2001.

Cushman earned his bachelor's degree in communications at Puget Sound where he was a four-year letterman and two-year starter in football. He earned his master's degree at Cal State Chico and began his coaching career there as an assistant coach.

The Tigers are expecting 57 players when they report to camp on Aug. 14. Oxy opens the season on Sept. 9 at Puget Sound and plays its home opener on Sept. 16 against Pacific.

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D3football.com Top 25, preseason

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1 Mary Hardin-Baylor (24) 15-0 624
2 Mount Union (1) 14-1 599
3 St. John's 12-1 566
4 UW-Whitewater 12-1 555
5 North Central (Ill.) 10-2 482
6 Johns Hopkins 12-2 457
7 St. Thomas 8-2 414
8 Muhlenberg 11-2 405
9 Hardin-Simmons 9-2 397
10 Bethel 11-2 396  
11 Whitworth 10-1 336  
12 Linfield 7-2 291  
13 Brockport 11-1 230  
14 Delaware Valley 9-2 223  
15 Illinois Wesleyan 8-2 197  
16 Berry 10-2 190  
17 John Carroll 9-2 168  
18 Wittenberg 9-1 162  
19 RPI 10-2 152  
20 Centre 10-2 137  
21 Washington and Jefferson 9-2 132  
22 Wheaton (Ill.) 8-2 109  
23 Wabash 9-1 105  
24 Randolph-Macon 9-3 91  
25 St. Norbert 10-2 83

Others receiving votes: Trine 73; UW-La Crosse 71; Wartburg 61; Wesley 59; Washington U. 58; Montclair State 49; Alfred 48; Ithaca 42; UW-Oshkosh 40; Central 29; Case Western Reserve 25; Baldwin Wallace 20; Salisbury 15; Trinity (Texas) 10; Hope 10; Redlands 6; Marietta 3; Trinity (Conn.) 3, MIT 2.

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