Rory O’Connor was named head coach of the men's soccer program at Cumberland in January 2016 after serving three seasons as an assistant coach with the program.
Cumberland just completed its most successful campaign in program history, winning its first 15 matches of the season en route to a No. 6 national ranking and posting its first-ever Mid-South Conference title, claiming the conference tournament championship. CU finished the season 18-2-1 overall, appearing in the program's first NAIA postseason and hosting an NAIA Championship Opening Round match.
Brian McNamara, Elliot Goodwin and Sondre Risa were voted First Team All-Mid-South Conference while Bennet Strutz, Cooke Tomlin and Marty Owens garnered Second Team accolades. Risa later earned Second Team All-America honors. Bruno Cunha, Sella Gannot, Owens, Tom Reilly, Dylan Schwartz, Anthony Spencer, Cooke Tomlin and Alex West were all named Mid-South Conference Scholar-Athletes.
Cumberland posted a 7-13-1 mark in 2013, including an 0-6-1 record in extra time during the regular season before a 2-1 overtime win against the University of the Cumberlands in the quarterfinals of the Mid-South Conference Championships. CU then defeated second-ranked Lindsey Wilson in the tournament semifinals before falling in the finals to sixth-ranked University of Rio Grande.
Harry Mason garnered First Team All-Mid-South Conference accolades and Luke Wilson earned Second Team honors last season as well, while six players were named Mid-South Conference Scholar-Athletes and Ian Hamilton and Wilson both were recognized as Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
Cumberland started slowly last season as well, going 1-4-1 in its first six matches before turning things around in late September. The Phoenix reeled off five consecutive victories and won 8-of-9 with only a 2-1 loss to No. 9 Lindsey Wilson. CU won its quarterfinals match in the conference tournament at home but lost 2-1 to St. Catharine College in the semifinals, ending the year 11-7-1.
Marty Owens and Patrick Carr garnered First Team All-MSC accolades and Josh Armstrong, Elliot Goodwin and Rodrick Zacharias earned Second Team honors while Owens was voted MSC Freshman of the Year. Eight players were named Mid-South Scholar-Athletes, two earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition and Hamilton collected the Mid-South Conference Champions of Character Award.
During his playing career, the Dublin, Ireland, native spent his freshman season at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn., earning First Team All-TranSouth Conference honors and helping the Eagles to a regular season championship.
He played his final three seasons at the University of Memphis, garnering All-Tournament accolades three times in regular season events. O’Connor was the Team MVP and served as team captain as a senior.
He played semi-professionally for two seasons with Malahide United (2011-12) and Belgrove FC (2012-13) after his days at Memphis.
He currently holds a 'D' Coaching License with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and a 'C' Youth Certificate Coaching License with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). O’Connor coached three seasons with the Memphis Lobos Soccer Club and two years with the Jackson Wolves Soccer Club in Jackson, Tenn.
He also has four years of coaching experience with the Malahide United Football Club in Dublin and spent his final year in school at Memphis as a student assistant for the Tigers.