Eastern football enters new season, new era

File+Photo+%7C+The+Daily+Eastern+News%0AAdam+Cushing+is+the+new+head+coach+of+the+Eastern+football+team%2C+and+the+team+has+its+first+game+Aug.+29+at+Chattanooga.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Eastern football enters new season, new era

File Photo | The Daily Eastern News
Adam Cushing is the new head coach of the Eastern football team, and the team has its first game Aug. 29 at Chattanooga.

File Photo | The Daily Eastern News Adam Cushing is the new head coach of the Eastern football team, and the team has its first game Aug. 29 at Chattanooga.

File Photo | The Daily Eastern News Adam Cushing is the new head coach of the Eastern football team, and the team has its first game Aug. 29 at Chattanooga.

File Photo | The Daily Eastern News Adam Cushing is the new head coach of the Eastern football team, and the team has its first game Aug. 29 at Chattanooga.

JJ Bullock, Editor-in-Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






New head coach

A new era of Eastern football is here.

After an uninspiring 3-8 finish to the football season last year, Eastern decided it was time to move on from head coach Kim Dameron and ultimately almost his entire coaching staff. In November Dameron was let go and in December Adam Cushing was brought in from Northwestern to be the new head coach of Eastern’s football team.

Many new coaches preach about culture change when they take over a program, but not many changed it as quickly as Cushing did when he arrived. In his introductory press conference, Cushing promised those in attendance that while he was head coach at Eastern the team would win not only a conference championship, but a national championship while he was head coach in Charleston. In one sentence, Cushing changed Eastern from a program reeling from a disappointing 3-8 season and multiple years of overall mediocrity, into a program now talking about winning trophies.

A new offensive coordinator (John Kuceyeski) and a new defensive coordinator (Chris Bowers) arrived at Eastern shortly after Cushing both of whom reiterated the new expectations for the football program.

Time will tell if the new coaching staff can turn their goals for the program into a reality, but for now one thing is certain, Eastern’s football program certainly has a different feel to it already.

Difficult Schedule

Eastern’s schedule in the first year of Cushing’s tenure as head coach is not an easy one, particularly in the first half of the season.

Eastern opens its season Aug. 29 against Chattanooga on the road, a game in which the Panthers will certainly be looked at as underdogs.

The Panthers follow that game with another daunting task on the road in the form of the Big Ten’s Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana will outmatch Eastern at almost every position on the field, will be bigger, faster and stronger. For the Panthers to pull out a win at Memorial Stadium would be no small feat.

Illinois State, a team that pummeled Eastern in a 48-10 beat down last year at home will be in Charleston on Sept. 14 for Eastern’s home opener. Illinois State will not be any easier to beat this season as the Redbirds open the season as the No. 15 team in the country and return starting quarterback Brady Davis.

When Eastern is finished playing the No. 15 team in the country, it will again be on the road, this time for a matchup with the nation’s No. 16 team Indiana State.

Indiana State put up 55 points in a win over Eastern last season at O’Brien Field and could be a strong candidate to do so again at home this season.

Conference play begins in week five for Eastern in what will be its easiest game of the season in a game against Tennessee Tech.

After that conference play rolls full steam ahead with Eastern’s key games coming at home on Oct. 12 against Jacksonville State and Nov. 16 against Southeast Missouri. Those teams were ranked one and two in the preseason poll.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]