LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Rob Cushman was recently named the head coach of the Occidental football program and brings more than two decades of coaching experience to his new position.
Cushman comes to Oxy from the University of Minnesota, Morris, a nationally ranked public liberal arts college, where 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 (Ill.), Eastern Oregon and Feather River Community College.
"We vetted dozens of coaches during our national search," Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics 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 (Ill.), 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 (CCIW). 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."
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 (Ore.).
-- Release courtesy of Occidental Sports Information --