Matt Finley named interim director of athletics
July 30, 2012
NEWBERRY - Newberry College acting president Dr. John Hudgens has announced the appointment of Matt Finley as the College's interim director of athletics. 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.
Finley replaces Brad Edwards, whose last day at Newberry is August 3. Edwards has accepted the position of director of athletics at Jacksonville University.
Finley will serve as interim director of athletics while a national search led by incoming president Dr. Maurice Scherrens takes place. Scherrens begins his service at Newberry on August 14.
"While we appreciate the contributions of Brad Edwards during his tenure, we are glad to have an interim replacement of Matt Finley's caliber," Hudgens said. "The coaches and administration played a role in Matt's selection and he was a popular pick. Newberry College is very fortunate to have a person with Matt's skill base to promote to this position while a national search takes place."
"I'm honored and humbled to be selected as Newberry College's interim director of athletics," 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 in this very important time of transition.
"My wife and I have enjoyed our time in the Newberry community and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the great almuni of our College and the rest of the Newberry family," Finley added.
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 went on to produce 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 home Newberry College 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 team winning the Patsy Rendleman Invitational and the golf team claiming the title at the Rollins Invitational.
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.
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.