NEWBERRY — Newberry College is pleased to announce Matt Finley has been selected as the new athletics director from a field of over 130 applicants. His appointment is effective immediately.
After a thorough national search, led by Dr. Maurice Scherrens, president of Newberry College, which included six phone interviews, then three on-site interviews, the college was excited that their top candidate turned out to be the man currently in the interim role.
“I want to thank the committee of dedicated faculty, staff, board members and student-athletes that served diligently during this process,” said Scherrens.
Joe Trainor, Athletic Committee Chairman of Newberry College, said “As we went through evaluating candidates, it became apparent that Matt was the most qualified. His knowledge of the job and the leadership he demonstrated as the interim athletic director got everyone’s attention. We were fortunate to have someone of Matt’s character and ability right here at our school. He is one of the best individuals I have ever met and I am very excited about where he will help lead our college.”
Finley has been with Newberry’s athletic department for seven years and served in multiple positions within the administration of the athletic department over the last two academic years.
Scherrens added, “Matt’s vision, core beliefs and dedication to Newberry College make him an excellent fit for leading our outstanding athletic program. He has established a strong reputation as an individual who fully understands the role of athletics within a small private, faith based college. Most importantly, he has an uncompromising commitment to the welfare of our student-athletes and a passion for their excellence in the classroom and in athletic competition. Here at Newberry College we are setting the bar high for our advancement and I am confident that Matt will be an integral part of our future success.”
“I’m honored and humbled to be selected as Newberry College’s athletics director,” Finley said. “I’ve enjoyed my work with Newberry’s student-athletes, coaches, administration, faculty and staff, and I look forward to this opportunity to lead our athletic department. I would like to thank everyone in the community for their support of this great College, and I would especially like to thank Dr. Scherrens and the search committee for their diligence in this process over the past few months.”
Finley graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Clemson University in 2004, majoring in animal and veterinary sciences with minors in agricultural business and education. In 2008, Finley received his master of science in sports leadership from Duquesne University.
Finley began his tenure at Newberry College in July 2005 as assistant wrestling coach. He later took on additional roles of athletic ticket manager and was later promoted to the director of tickets and promotions, while also serving as a special assistant to the assistant athletic director for internal operations. He was promoted to associate head wrestling coach in July 2008, serving as director of recruiting and an expanded role for the nationally ranked wrestling program which produced three NCAA Division II National Champions, 14 All-Americans, and four Division II Coaches Association All-Academic Team members.
In 2009, Finley was on board to watch Newberry College bring home its first-ever NCAA team trophy, with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in Houston, Texas. The wrestling team also found itself as Division II runners-up at the 2009 and 2010 NWCA National Duals. In five seasons as a wrestling coach, Finley assisted the team to a dual meet record of 80-29-1, with several wins over Division I programs. Finley helped guide the team to three consecutive NCAA Super Region I championships, a streak which has continued to five straight, thanks in part to the recruiting under Finley’s watch.
In February 2010, Finley transitioned into administration when he was named assistant athletic director for business. He was responsible for the coordination for all of the department’s day-to-day business functions including budget reconciliation, purchasing requests and athletic department ticketing. He was also responsible for the coordination and game management of all Newberry College home athletic events.
In September 2011, Finley was promoted to associate athletic director for compliance and academic services. He was the senior compliance administrator and expanded the institution’s academic assistance to student-athletes in collaboration with the Faculty Athletic Representative and the Center for Student Success.
He also had oversight over tickets and promotions, internal operations, and served as executive secretary with the Newberry College Lettermen’s Club. In the fall semester of 2011, Finley also served as interim director of golf and helped lead the men’s and women’s golf teams to championships at their final tournaments in the semester, with the women’s golf team winning the Patsy Rendleman Invitational and the men’s golf team claiming the title at the Rollins Invitational.
Prior to his time at Newberry, Finley was the founder of the Clemson University club wrestling program, where he took on the role of director of operations as well as head coach. During his time at Clemson, he pioneered the development of the Clemson Open. He also worked with Team Palmetto, Hillcrest High School and Liberty High School. Finley is an experienced wrestling official with the South Carolina High School League and the NCAA.
Prior to his time at Clemson, Finley wrestled for the Wolfpack of North Carolina State University where he was a member of the 2001 Atlantic Coast Conference championship team. He also had a successful high school career where he was a three-time state placer and an undefeated state champion at Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, where he also made the NHSCA All American Academic Team.
Finley and his wife, the former Jennifer Lauren Triplett, have been married for two years and reside in Newberry.