The fall season will be Nelson Cupello’s 30th and final season at MCC. (Photo courtesy of MCC SID)
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – In the newspaper business the numeral 30 at the end of a story lets editors know that it is over.
For Monroe Community College men’s coach Nelson Cupello, it will mean that this fall season will be his 30th and final season directing the highly successful side.
Cupello, a former member of the original Rochester Lancers , will retire at the end of the season. He brought a 358-133-37 record into Saturday’s season opener at home and needs seven wins to pass legendary coach Joe Mancarella for first all-time in program history.
A graduate of Eastridge High School, Cupello starred for the Tribunes during the 1970-71 seasons, scoring 54 goals and earning All-American honors his sophomore season. His seven goals in a game and 31 goals during the 1971 season are marks that still stand.
Both Tribunes sides won regional championships, and the 1971 squad finished runner-up at the national tournament.
Cupello, who celebrated his 67th birthday Aug. 28, moved on to SUNY Brockport, where he was again an All-American and helped the Golden Eagles win the 1974 national title. The Lancers chose him in the first round of the North American Soccer League, where he played for six seasons.
After performing for the Rochester Flash in the American Soccer League in 1981 and 1982, Cupello returned to MCC as an assistant under Mancarella before taking the head coaching job at SUNY Fredonia. He led the Blue Devils from 1985-1989 and directed them to a pair of NCAA Division III semifinals.
After Mancarella retired, Cupello took the reins of the Tribune program in 1990. His teams have captured 13 regional championships and the 2012 squad finished third at the NJCAA Division I national tournament.
Cupello has been named Region III coach of the 6ear 16 times and Northeast District coach of the year on three occasions. He was a member of the MCC Sports Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 1984 and was inducted into the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Lancers’ Wall of Fame in 2012.