Ian Chesney, a sophomore defender for the Montclair State men’s soccer team, has been coached by two people his entire life. The first is his father and director of athletics, Rob Chesney, and the other is men’s soccer head coach Todd Tumelty. Chesney reminisced about how his father helped to develop his game.
“When I was younger, on a club team, he was my coach,” Ian said. “We’ve gone to the field and we’ve done a lot of defensive stuff, because he played center back back in his day, but, you know, just defensive things. He knows a lot about the game. He’s been around the game for a very long time.”
Rob is currently the director of athletics here at Montclair State. However, he was also one of the Red Hawks’ star players. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame back in 2000, and became one of the most successful coaches in the men’s soccer program’s history.
He is the all-time winningest coach with 132 wins, four of them in the NCAA Division III Tournament. His achievements made him the ideal coach for a young Chesney.
“So you grow up, and you’re pushing a little bit and you realize, ‘Hey, you know, I gotta back up here and make it enjoyable and make it something that he wants to do, something that he sees the benefit of the work’,” Rob said. “And if he could see that, then he’d be more willing to put the work in. And I think that’s what we got to. So we would go and we would get out there and do some, just some simple ball work, consistent basic ball work. But if you can get that down, and then the other stuff can come off of that. We built it off of a really good just core base. And that’s what we did from when we were little and he was open to doing it. So it was kind of fun.”
Although Ian’s father has been coaching him his entire life, another successful coach has taught Ian in his defensive ways. Tumelty has been coaching Ian ever since he was a kid.
“[I] started to coach [Ian] at maybe about 10 years old on his travel team,” Tumelty said. “So the growth has been immense, you know, he’s gone from a very small kid to 6’0,” 6’2,” 190 pounds of muscle, and it’s been pretty impressive.”
It’s clear that Tumelty is very happy and proud of Ian’s growth, and it’s no surprise, since Ian has five goals as a center-back. He starts every single game and is very vocal on the field, which is one of the most important things in soccer. Ian has also made it to the conference playoffs in both years as a Red Hawk, and even the NCAA Division III Tournament in his first year.
Although Ian has known Coach Tumelty for years, transitioning to college soccer is never an easy task, and he’s still learning from him in his career now.
“I’ve learned a few things in the past year, almost a year and a half now,” Ian said. “Definitely trying to learn how to be a better leader. I think Coach Tumelty has really helped me in that way, like try to lead the guys especially from playing in the back.”
With guidance from Tumelty, Chesney’s definitely on the right track. It seems the sophomore defender has always been on the right track, as Tumelty believes that Ian has always been one of the better players on a team.
“When he first was growing up, you know, I thought he was always one of the better players on the team, so you didn’t have to work as hard,” Tumelty said. “And I thought that would come to bite him, eventually down his career, but actually, he changed his tune. He was fortunate enough, because he was able to watch from the sidelines as a young player, and he could see how hard some of these guys worked and their work ethic.”
Ian is only in his second year at Montclair State. With two elite coaches in his life, it’ll be interesting to see how far he’ll go in his next two years with the Red Hawks.