ROLLA, Mo. – Robert Cummings, who has 10 years of experience as a head coach at the collegiate level, has been selected as the new head men's soccer coach at Missouri S&T.
Cummings is taking over for Gabe Hall, who left the position to pursue other interests and is the ninth head coach in the history of the program dating back to 1979. While his previous head coaching experience is a six-year stint at California State University, Monterey Bay, he has ties to the Great Lakes Valley Conference as he spent two years as the head coach at Saint Joseph's College in the early 2000s.
"I am very excited to return back to the GLVC, which I feel is one of the top conferences in NCAA Division II and see many familiar faces coaching at the other universities," Cummings said. "I am also very excited to have the opportunity to coach at Missouri S&T, where year in and year out the university is among the top academic institutions across the nation with a soccer program that has top student-athletes as a part of it.
"I would also like to thank director of athletics Mark Mullin and everyone else that was a part of the search committee; from the get go, I felt very welcomed throughout the interview process and love the family environment within the athletic program," Cummings added.
"I am extremely excited to have Rob and his family joining us. Rob is a motivated, experienced, and personable individual who will make an immediate positive impact on our men's soccer program," Mullin said. "I know he will also make it a priority to become a positive influence on our campus and local communities. We are fortunate to have him as part of our Miner family and we are anxious for him to get started."
During his six seasons at Cal State Monterey Bay, Cummings guided the program to its first national rankings, as the Otters were ranked as high as 25th during the 2013 season and again two seasons later. The 2013 season was his most successful at the school, as CSUMB went 11-5-1 – including a record nine wins in the California Collegiate Athletic Association -- and improved its record by eight wins over the previous year that season.
In his tenure, the Otters had players – 11 in all -- named to the All-CCAA team in each of the six seasons he served as head coach. His teams also performed well in the classroom as the squad has been the recipient of the United Soccer Coaches (then known as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America) team academic award and have had several players named to the CCAA's all-academic team.
Prior to taking the position at CSUMB, Cummings served as the associate head coach at Midwestern State in Texas for four seasons. While he was at MSU, the Mustangs won four Lone Star Conference championships and advanced to the NCAA Division II semifinal round in 2007 and 2010.
Midwestern State recorded a record of 69-9-7 during those four years, including a mark of 19-1-2 in 2010 where the loss came in the national semifinals. The Mustangs were ranked among the top five in the nation at the end of two of the four seasons and in 2008, MSU spent three weeks as the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II.
Cummings began his head coaching career at Saint Joseph's (Ind.) in 2003, where he headed both the men's and women's programs, and guided the men's team to its first national ranking in school history during the 2003 season as it set a school record with 51 goals scored. Meanwhile, the women's team made the GLVC Tournament in both seasons, including a season in which it recorded 10 shutouts.
In 2005, Cummings moved on to Bethel College in Tennessee, where he guided the Wildcats to a 26-12-4 record over two seasons and was named as the regional coach of the year in 2006; he was also a finalist for NAIA national coach of the year. The team earned its first-ever top ranking in the region in 2006 and had three first-team all-region selections and honorable mention All-America picks at the NAIA level.
Cummings played collegiately at John Wood Community College in Quincy, Ill., and at Lindenwood University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Spanish. He went on to earn a Master's degree in international business and marketing from Rockhurst University, where he assisted the women's soccer program for four seasons and helped the Hawks garner a 41-29-2 record during that span. Two players he coached earned All-America honors and another was named as an Academic All-America recipient.