Matt Cosinuke was hired as the head coach of the Eastern Kentucky University soccer program on January 3, 2019.
Cosinuke comes to EKU following five successful seasons as an assistant coach / recruiting coordinator at the University of Cincinnati (2014 to 2018). He helped lead the Bearcats to the 2015 American Athletic Conference (AAC) Tournament championship and a trip to the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
“I’d like to thank Stephen Lochmueller, James Downer and Rachel Park for believing in me to lead this program,” Cosinuke said. “I’d also like to especially thank Neil Stafford for helping to shape me into the coach I am today. Richmond is a wonderful town and EKU is an exceptional university. I feel blessed to be given this opportunity, and I look forward to the challenge. My wife Alexis, my daughter, Iris, and I are ready to be part of the community and extended EKU Family. Go Big E!”
During Cosinuke’s five seasons at Cincinnati, the Bearcats’ RPI rose from No. 237 to No. 11.
UC recorded five consecutive losing seasons (2009 to 2013) before Cosinuke joined the staff. In Cosinuke’s first four seasons in Cincinnati (2014 to 2017), the Bearcats went 46-23-14 (18-13-5 AAC).
Cincinnati notably finished the 2015 season with a record of 13-6-5 (5-3-1 AAC), giving the Bearcats their best league finish since 2002. UC then stormed through the AAC Tournament and stunned USF in a penalty-kick shootout in the title game to win its first ever conference championship and earn its first NCAA bid since 2010.
In 2017, Cosinuke helped guide Cincinnati to a record of 12-4-3 (5-2-2 AAC).
In addition to his duties as recruiting coordinator, Cosinuke worked primarily with UC’s goalkeepers and defenders. During the championship season of 2015, the Bearcat defense recorded 12 shutouts, second-most in a season in the history of the American Athletic Conference. In 2017, UC notched 11 clean sheets, third most in conference history.
In 2017, UC keeper Natalie Smith led the AAC in shutouts during conference play (five) and ranked second in the league in goals-against average (0.82).
“We are thrilled to welcome Matt, Alexis and Iris to the EKU family,” Lochmueller said. “Matt brings a unique energy and passion to coaching that I think will spill over to our players and fans. He also played Division-I soccer, so he knows first-hand the preparation and hard-work that goes into competing on the highest collegiate level. Finally, Matt has extensive recruiting connections in this region, which will only bolster our strong soccer program.”
Prior to joining the women’s soccer coaching staff at Cincinnati, Cosinuke was a volunteer goalkeepers coach for the UC men’s soccer program from 2012 to 2013. During that time, he instructed a goalkeeper who led the Big East in shutouts and ranked 21st in the country in saves.
Cosinuke experienced great success as a volunteer goalkeepers coach for the Dartmouth College men’s soccer program from 2010 to 2012. During the 2010 season, the Big Green reached the NCAA Sweet 16 before falling to No. 8 UCLA, 2-1, in double overtime. In 2011, Cosinuke helped lead Dartmouth to the Ivy League title and back to the NCAA Tournament. He mentored goalkeeper Noah Cohen to honorable mention All-Ivy League honors in 2011.
Before arriving at Dartmouth, Cosinuke spent one season as a volunteer goalkeepers coach at his alma mater, Florida Atlantic University, in 2009.
A native of Lebanon, New Hampshire, Cosinuke graduated from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire before going on to play Division-I soccer at FAU.
Cosinuke holds an Advanced National Goalkeeping License from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and several licenses from the U.S. Soccer Federation.
He graduated from FAU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He also holds a master’s degree in sport management (certificate in athletic administration) from the University of Southern New Hampshire.
Cosinuke and his wife, Alexis, have one daughter, Iris.
What Others Are Saying About Matt Cosinuke …
“Matt Cosinuke is, first and foremost, a great person. He has impeccable character, cares for others, and places great emphasis on building positive relationships. Matt is passionate, positive, and has a magnetic personality. I was fortunate enough to work alongside Matt for over three years, and witnessed his work-ethic and willingness to grind first-hand. He will provide an immediate infusion of energy into the program. I can’t overstate how excited I am for Matt, as he is fully deserving of this great opportunity. I firmly believe that EKU made a great hire!” - Nate Lie, Head Coach, Xavier University
“Matt Cosinuke is a tremendous hire for EKU. Matt has an incredible work ethic and isn’t afraid to grind, and he is one of the hardest working coaches on the recruiting trail. He knows how important it is to bring the right people, not just good players, into the program and he will work tirelessly to get the right people on board that will establish the foundation for a winning culture, both on and off the field. Matt has a very bright future ahead of him as a head coach, and EKU will experience a great deal of success and be a contender in the OVC under his watch. Matt and his family will be a great addition for EKU.” - Stefanie Golan, Head Coach, University of Minnesota
“EKU made a fantastic hire in Matt Cosinuke. Matt is one of the bright young coaches out there in the college game today. Matt’s a player’s coach, talented, ambitious and hard working with a good knowledge of the game. Matt has a passion for people and I have no doubt that he will make all those around him better for it. The lessons the student-athletes will learn from Matt, on and off the field and in and out of the classroom, will be invaluable during their post-collegiate careers. I’m excited to watch and see the heights that Matt takes EKU.” - Neil Stafford, Head Coach, University of Cincinnati
Zach Hanson was hired as an assistant coach for the Eastern Kentucky University soccer program in July of 2022.
Hanson came to EKU from Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where he spent the 2021 season as an assistant coach.
Under Hanson's guidance, VMI scored 21 goals in 2021, a major improvement over previous seasons. The Keydets scored 10 goals in 2020, and only five goals in 2019.
"I'm thrilled to have Zach join our EKU Soccer family," Cosinuke said. "Zach is a talented and driven coach with a gift for communication and teaching. We expect him to make a big impact on our program and look forward to him getting started."
Hanson also mentored Riley Flanagan in his one season at VMI. Flanagan scored eight goals and recorded five assists as a freshman in 2021. She was voted to the SoCon All-Freshman Team and earned SoCon Offensive Player of the Week honors last season (both program firsts).
Hanson assisted with all aspects of running a Division-I soccer program at VMI, including recruiting, travel arrangements, session planning, and compliance.
The native of Alma, Michigan led all training sessions for attacking functional groups, and also handled all opponent scouts and film sessions at VMI.
"I'm so excited to be joining the EKU Soccer family," Hanson said. "From my conversation with Matt about the position, I could feel the buzz and excitement around the program. Everyone I've met during the process shares the same passion and vision. It's an energy that's contagious, and I'm so excited to bring my family to Richmond to be a part of it!"
Hanson brings vast experience in the club and high school soccer scenes to Richmond.
While at VMI, he worked for Skyline Elite Soccer Club, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. He served as a Girls Academy staff coach and the head coach of the CCL PRO23 Men's and Women's teams.
Hanson oversaw all aspects of the PRO23 teams, including recruiting current and incoming college players, planning and executing training sessions, assisting with scheduling, and leading all matchday operations with the team.
Prior to his work with VMI and Skyline Elite SC, Hanson spent one year with Fredericksburg Soccer Club in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he managed teams at multiple age groups on both the boys and girls sides of the club. He led all aspects of running the club's five annual tournaments, which involved marketing and promotions, selecting teams, scheduling and managing vendors.
From 2018 to 2020, Hanson served as a staff coach for the Midland Fusion Soccer Club in Midland, Michigan. Hanson led all aspects of the teams, including organizing and executing training sessions, coaching games, managing players and parents, and scheduling games and practices.
During this time, Hanson also served as the head varsity boys soccer coach at Mt. Pleasant High School in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. He implemented a culture change that included off-season commitments, dress codes and standards for on-field behavior. He also oversaw the junior varsity program and worked with the local club to develop players for high school competition.
His coaching certifications include USSF C, D, and E licenses, a United Soccer Coaches (USC) Advanced National, Goalkeeper 1 and Director of Coaching diplomas.
Hanson received his bachelor of arts degree in entertainment, sports and promotions management from Northwood University in 2019.
Shelby Spaulding was hired as an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University in July of 2022.
Prior to arriving in Richmond, Spaulding served as the head coach at Division-III Rockford University in Rockford, Illinois during the 2021 season. She led the Regents to their first win since 2018 and their first two conference wins since 2008. One of the conference wins featured the largest margin of victory (8-0) in program history.
Before being hired at Rockford, Spaulding was selected to the prestigious 2020-21 class of the United Soccer Coaches 30 Under 30 Program.
"I am thrilled to have someone of Shelby's quality and character join our family," head coach Matt Cosinuke said. "She has a huge, authentic personality and buzz around her. Shelby is a wonderful addition to our family and will continue to help our culture and environment grow. I can't wait to have her here."
Spaulding coached at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, first as an assistant coach and subsequently the interim head coach. While at Allegheny, she oversaw all aspects of the women's soccer program. She was responsible for recruiting and retaining student-athletes, developing, organizing and running training sessions, game preparation, scouting, and alumni engagement. Spaulding also coached a trio of All-North Coast Athletic Conference performers and helped the Gators record their first non-losing season since 2014.
Prior to Allegheny, Spaulding spent two years as a graduate assistant at Concordia University Texas. During her time there, she was heavily involved in all facets of the program. Her coaching duties involved recruiting, assisting with training sessions, game day preparation, creating scouting reports, and monitoring the team's academic progress. The Tornados qualified for the American Southwest Conference Tournament in both seasons with Spaulding on staff, had 11 all-conference selections, and posted their first 10-win season since 2011.
"I cannot say enough about how excited I am for the opportunity to be joining the EKU family," Spaulding said. "Having gotten to know Matt and learning more about the program and the direction it is headed, this is such a huge honor, and it is a really exciting time to be a part of the EKU soccer family."
Spaulding entered the collegiate coaching ranks after a four-year playing career at Howard Payne University. She was selected as a captain her senior season, and the Lady Jackets advanced as far as the semifinals in the American Southwest Conference Tournament during her sophomore year, finishing with an impressive 10-8-1 overall record.
Spaulding graduated from Howard Payne University with a bachelor's degree in Business Management and earned her M.Ed. in Sports Administration from Concordia University Texas.
Donna Fishter, Leadership Consultant
Donna Fishter is consulting for Eastern Kentucky University soccer as their Leadership Coach & Team Architect. Donna’s primary role is building a strong team culture & providing leadership training. She also provides assistance in player development strategies and focuses on coaching our coaches!
In today's society it is the coach that has the greatest impact in an athlete's life. This is why Donna is so passionate about educating coaches on how to connect better with players and build mentally and emotionally strong athletes. This intrinsic focus filters into how a team’s culture functions. Donna teaches that the beliefs and behaviors of players can be mobilized in such a way to create increased ownership in the team. In the end, this is a competitive advantage.
Donna coached soccer for over 20 years at all levels, from youth to the college game. She stepped out of the x's and o's so that she could focus entirely on leadership training and culture development for coaches, teams, and athletes across the country.
This intense focus on the intangible side of the game began at what she now calls her "laboratory,” the University of Central Florida (UCF). Donna spent 13 years at UCF coaching with World Cup Champion and Olympian Amanda Cromwell. Donna was the catalyst to the leadership development program and was the architect behind the team culture that moved UCF from #145 (NCAA RPI final ranking) in 2000 to a consistently recognized Top 25 program by 2007. Donna left with a career record of 187-77-25, eight Conference Championship Titles and ten NCAA Post-Season Appearances.
Donna mentors coaches & athletes at all levels and consults for NCAA collegiate teams in several different sports. Donna has programs consistently compete in post-seasons including…one National Champion and two Runner-Up National Champions.
Donna is a certified Leadership Coach with the John Maxwell Coaching Team. "John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 13 million books. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and organizations as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and ambassadors at the United Nations." (excerpt from JohnMaxwell.com)
Donna is the heart of what it means to be an educator, motivator, and mentor.