Cusano takes over Wheaton programs
Former four-star student athlete was assistant at Maine
NORTON, Mass. - Wheaton College (Mass.) Interim Director of Athletics John Sutyak has announced the hiring of Dave Cusano as head men’s and women’s track & field coach. Cusano replaces Paul Souza, who resigned in May after 17 seasons and eight national championships at the helm of the programs.
"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."
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.
"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.
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.
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).
Wheaton is a selective national liberal arts college with 1,550 students drawn from every state and nearly 70 countries.The college distinctive liberal arts curriculum emphasizes the connections among the academic disciplines in the arts and sciences and between scholarship and contemporary concerns - through internships, jobs and volunteer service - to help students make the connection between theory and practice. Since 2000, more than 130 Wheaton students have won prestigious scholarship awards, including three Rhodes, nine Truman and more than 150 Fulbright scholarships.