Rob Chesney Named Interim Director of Athletics
Montclair, NJ – Rob Chesney, who has spent over three decades at Montclair State University as a student-athlete, coach and administrator has been named Interim Director of Athletics. Chesney takes over for Holly Gera, retired on January 1.
Chesney, who will oversee the operations of the 18 sports for men and women, had been serving as the Associate Director of Athletics since 2000 following a very successful coaching tenure for the Red Hawks men's soccer program.
"It's an honor to serve in this position and follow behind the tremendous leadership of Holly Gera," said Chesney. I am grateful to President Cole and Dr. Pennington for giving me the opportunity and I'm excited about working with our outstanding coaches, staff and student athletes. I am confident that we will build upon our winning culture and make the University community even more proud."
Chesney came to Montclair during the mid-1980s as he helped turn the program into a national contender while becoming one of the finest players to don a men's soccer uniform. A two-time All-American and four-year All-Conference and All-Region selection, Chesney led the Red Hawks to the 1989 New Jersey Athletic Conference championship and was named the league's Player of the Year as MSU also reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Two years later, Chesney became the 11th head coach in school history and compiled a 128-64-18 mark, a .652 winning percentage, which included five appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament as well as one ECAC Metro title in 1993. He was also named the Coach of the Year by the College Soccer Association of New Jersey (CSANJ). During his coaching tenure, Chesney became instrumental in the construction of MSU Soccer Park, which opened in 1998. He returned to the sidelines in 2006 as an assistant helping Montclair to a run of six conference titles and 10 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances that included a run to the program's first Final Four in 2011.
"I am excited about the potential Mr. Chesney brings to the Interim Athletic Director position," said Dr. Karen Pennington, Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life. "He has been a highly effective administrator as the Associate AD and promises not only to provide stability in this transition period, but also a strong road map for the future. I look forward to working with him in this new role."
Chesney fostered and maintained the partnership with New York Red Bulls that brought the Major League Soccer organization to the Montclair State campus and led to the construction of the stadium and locker facility at MSU Soccer Park. The multi-million-dollar project is near completion and when completed will stand as one of the premier college soccer facilities in the country. Chesney also worked closely with local community groups in Montclair, Clifton and the surrounding over the years to increase awareness of our athletic programs and facilities.
Chesney was a member of the NCAA Men's Soccer Regional Tournament Committee from 1998-2003 and also served on the ECAC Men's Lacrosse Committee. He was the Sport Committee Chair of women's lacrosse for the NJAC for three years before taking over as the Women's Soccer Sport Chair in 2004. Chesney also spent two years on the NJAC Rules Committee (2012-14).
In 2018, Chesney was named the President of the NJAC Board of Athletic Administrators.
"Rob is a great example of what we strive for in terms of NJAC student-athletes," said Terry Small, Commissioner of the New Jersey Athletic Conference. He has had an impact on Montclair State University and on the conference as a former student-athlete, as a coach, and now as an administrator. I've been fortunate to work with him recently in a new role since he became our conference president, and it's clear that he has the requisite experience and skills to lead the MSU program at this time. I look forward to good things in the future at both Montclair State and with the NJAC under his leadership."
Along with his work at Montclair State, Chesney was the Training Site Coordinator for Copa America Centenario which proved to be the most successful Copa America event in its history. Chesney managed travel, scheduling, security, & media for National Teams from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru for international competition at Met Life Stadium.