Robert Cummings begins his third year as the head coach of the Missouri S&T men's soccer program and has his sights on getting the Miners back into the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament after S&T made a three-game improvement in 2019.
Cummings, who had 10 years of experience as a head coach at the collegiate level, took over as head coach at S&T in August 2018 as the ninth head coach in the history of the program dating back to 1979. He had previous head coaching experience that includes a six-year stint at California State University, Monterey Bay and two years as the head coach at Saint Joseph's College, a former member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, in the early 2000s.
The Miners finished the 2018 season with a record of 3-13, with one of the victories coming over defending GLVC champion Rockhurst. Last fall, the Miners bumped off GLVC Tournament participant Illinois Springfield as part of a 5-10-2 campaign and recorded four wins and two ties in conference play.
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.