Inside the home dugout at Danny Litwhiler Field stands a plaque honoring the man who guided Huskies baseball to more victories than any other coach in program history. The late Matt Haney Sr. was at the helm of Huskies baseball from 1991 to 2005, leading the team to more than 300 victories and its lone NCAA Division II World Series appearance.
While the plaque dedicated this past spring serves as a reminder of Haney’s service to the university, the family name endures on the upper campus with the arrival of his son, Matt Haney Jr. ’90, who was named head coach of the women’s soccer program in May. He served as an assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams last year, helping the men’s team to its first NCAA Division II Tournament appearance since 1978, and takes over a women’s program that posted a 7-8-3 record last season, including a pair of wins over nationally ranked opponents.
Haney brings to his new position the lessons he learned as he watched his father coach. “My father taught me how to analyze everything,” he says. “His aggressive nature in coaching and the things he did in baseball translate to soccer. We want to force the other team to make decisions. His competitiveness and willingness to win really stuck with me.”
Matt Haney Sr. turned to coaching after an injury forced him to make a career change. He also hit the classroom, earning an art degree from BU. His son would later wear the maroon and gold as goalkeeper for the 1994 Huskies men’s soccer team after a playing career at Wilkes University.
Haney, who served coaching stints in Division I, II and III, also learned from his father that success goes beyond wins on the field.
“His No. 1 victory was graduating players and preparing them for life,” he says. “He always believed the student-athletes are here to be students first.
“After my dad fell ill, a number of his former players came back and shared stories of their time with him, really proving his point on the relationships he formed with them.”
Now another Haney aims to create his own legacy at Bloomsburg. “My father spent a long period of time as a Bloomsburg University Husky and that was the happiest time of his life,” his son recalls. “I put my time in, learned a lot about coaching and was able to get this opportunity. I am thrilled to come back and honor my father’s memory by following in his footsteps at Bloomsburg.” •
Scott Eddy is assistant director of Sports Information.