Northwestern State hires former head coach as its top assistant


Former college head coach Jason Cherry will take over as Northwestern State’s top assistant soccer coach.

He brings a wealth of experience, serving as a head coach at Eastern Illinois for three seasons after being a top collegiate assistant for eight seasons. After his EIU tenure, Cherry served as an assistant this spring at IUPUI.

The former college goalkeeper will coach NSU’s keepers as well as handle a variety of other duties on the staff.

In his first season at EIU, Cherry was named Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, becoming just the fourth OVC coach to win the honor in his or her first season.

He guided the Panthers back to the OVC Tournament with a 6-4 conference mark after the program missed the postseason in 2012 for the first time in its history. Two Panthers (Meagan Radloff and Lauren Hoppenstadt) earned all-conference honors.

Cherry helped Radloff back to the all-conference team in 2013. His 2014 squad won the OVC Sportsmanship award and produced the league’s top GPA (3.62).

He started his EIU tenure in 2012 as an assistant after spending one season as an assistant at Eastern Carolina.

Cherry helped ECU to 11 wins and the Conference USA Tournament semifinals in 2011 after the program hadn’t played in the postseason since 2008. Goalkeeper Christiane Cordero finished her career third in shutouts and saves in program history.

At Western Illinois, Cherry served as the top assistant from 2008-11. He aided the Leathernecks to a combined 26-22-9 record in three seasons including a 15-9-2 mark in conference action.

In 2010, his goalkeepers tied a program record for nine shutouts and finished in the top 30 nationally in save percentage (0.848) and top 55 in goals against average (0.84). Goalkeeper Laura Atkinson was a two-time all-conference performer in her first two seasons.

As an assistant coach at NAIA member Bethel College from 2005-08, Cherry helped that program to a 35-21-12 mark with two national tournament appearances and conference regular season and tournament titles in 2005. Additionally, Bethel won the NAIA Futsal title in 2007.

Cherry played two seasons as a goalkeeper at NAIA member Goshen College.