Sean Hughes enters his second season with the Golden Eagles coaching staff in 2017 after serving stints at Division II institutions Maryville University and Quincy University.
The 2016 season was one of growth and revival as Bennett's top-10 rated recruiting class showed flashes of brilliance and bits of struggle. As many as eight freshmen and newcomers saw the pitch and the team went 5-7-4 overall with a 2-5-2 mark in BIG EAST play. As a team, the Golden Eagles scored 26 goals, their most since 2013 when they last reached the NCAA tournament.
Luka Prpa, who finished one point shy of becoming the league's leading scorer in his debut season, totaled 26 points on 10 goals and six assists and was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and an NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Third Team selection. Senior John Pothast earned Second Team All-BIG EAST honors and Bennett's squad is due to return all but two key members in what shapes up to be a promising 2017 season.
In Hughes' only season as the head coach in 2015, he took the Maryville men’s soccer program to new heights with a single-season record for wins at the Division II level and the most shutouts in a season in program history.
In the three seasons prior as full-time assistant at Quincy, Hughes helped the program to a combined record of 48-9-8 with two Great Lakes Valley Conference championships and an NCAA Final Four appearance. In his final season with Quincy in 2014, the team finished with a 21-2-2 overall record and the No. 3 ranking in the NSCAA top-25 poll.
During his time at Quincy, Hughes coached four All-Americans, two Academic All-Americans, two GLVC Freshmen of the Year, two GLVC Defensive Players of the Year, one GLVC Offensive Player of the Year, the GLVC Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year and more than 20 all-conference players.
The Blackburn, England native enjoyed a standout career in his home country where he played for the youth teams for Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Preston North End and Bury FC. He played in the prestigious FA Youth Cup for Bury FC in 2003 and represented the Great Britain Catholic Schoolboys U-16 squad in Spain.
Hughes traveled to the United States and began his collegiate playing career at Northeastern State (Okla.) University. He led the Riverhawks in goals and points in each of his two seasons before transferring to Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, where he started in every game from 2009-10.
After graduating from Cardinal Stritch, Hughes played one season for Whitsunday Miners FC in the Australian Soccer League second division. He helped the 2011 team record its highest finish in the league standings. The next season, Hughes played for Crewesadors FC futsal team in the UEFA English Regional North League in 2012.
Hughes earned his bachelor of arts degree in sports management from Cardinal Stritch in 2010 and completed his MBA from Quincy in May 2014.
He and his wife, Danielle, have two children, son George and daughter Grace, and currently reside in Glendale.