Jason Cherry, who spent the past three seasons at Western Illinois, enters his first year season in the Pirate program as an assistant coach, a position he accepted on August 1, 2011.
Cherry will assume a direct coaching role with the Pirate goalkeepers succeeding Joe Crump, who resigned in July to take a position with the men's program at the University of Cincinnati.
At Western Illinois, Cherry helped guide the Leathernecks to The Summit League championship match during the 2010 season with an overall record of 10-6-5 including a 6-2-1 record in league play. Under his guidance, goalkeepers Laura Atkinson (.83) and Jessica Walsh (.91) each posted a goals against average under 1.00 as the team finished 52nd in the nation in goals against average (.84) while posting the 27th-best save percentage (.848). Atkinson finished 51st among all Division I goalkeepers in goals against average and 28th in save percentage (.852) while earning first-team All-Summit League and All-Tournament honors. The team's goals against average was the second lowest in program history while its nine shutouts tied a program record for shutouts in a single season.
In 2009, he helped guide the team to its second-straight 8-8-2 record including a 5-3-1 Summit League mark and a berth in The Summit League Tournament. Cherry once again saw great success from his goalkeepers. Atkinson posted the second-best single-season save percentage (.859) and the third-best goals against average (1.18) in program history. Her save percentage was ranked 23rd nationally among all Division I goalkeepers in 2009. Atkinson was named to the all-Summit League second team, All-Tournament team and All-Newcomer team. She was also named the league's Defensive Player-of-the-Week for the week of Oct. 26.
During the 2008 season, his first with the team, he helped guide the women's soccer squad to an 8-8-2 record. Working primarily with the goalkeepers, Cherry was in charge of sophomores Meghan Tyk and Jessica Walsh, who split time in net. He helped Walsh record the third-lowest goals against average (1.29) in school history, while Tyk posted the fifth-lowest (1.82). Walsh also set the third highest save percentage in school history (.821).
Prior to Western Illinois, Cherry served as the associate head men's soccer coach at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind., for two years (2006-07) and assistant coach in 2005 where he directly worked with the men's and women's goalkeepers. While at Bethel, the men's team won one regular season and one tournament MCC championship and sported a three-year 35-21-12 record under his guidance. The 2005 Bethel team was ranked as high as No. 10 in the nation and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. The 2006 Bethel squad was ranked in the top 25 and qualified for the NCCAA National Tournament. In 2007, the Bethel men's team won the NAIA futsal national championship with a futsal season record of 17-0-3.
He also coached for his hometown club for five years compiling a record of 90-39-33. His team, the Junior Irish Crew U17 girls, qualified for the Midwest Regional League playoffs, and attended several high-level club tournaments including the Orange Classic (FL), Raleigh Shoot-out (NC), and Crossroads of America (IN).
Cherry played at Goshen College before transferring to IUPUI. He started at goalkeeper for Clay High School in South Bend, Ind. A team captain, Cherry was named first team all-state and was the starting goalkeeper in the North-South All-Star game as a senior. Cherry was also a member of the Indiana Olympic Development team.
Cherry received his bachelor's degree in the Board of Trustees program from Western Illinois.