UNCW's Eric Rhew Has Long History as College Cup Scorekeeper

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Eric Rhew, UNCW’s assistant athletic communications director, has six miniature soccer balls sitting on the mini fridge in his office in Trask Coliseum. The collection, along with a new magnetic name plate, are mementos from his experiences serving as official scorer of the NCAA Division I Soccer College Cup games over the years. 

The College Cup is a three-day tournament including both the men’s and women’s soccer semifinal and national championship games. Rhew has become the go-to-guy when the tournament is in Cary, NC. As the official statistician, he makes the calls on goals, assists and goalkeeper saves, while also tracking all stats like fouls, possessions and player substitutions, with the help of two spotters. 

“To be a part of a national championship is pretty exciting, and I don’t take it lightly,” said Rhew.  “I want to make sure I am representing the NCAA and UNCW well when I’m working there. Our job is to make sure we get it right.” 

The past three College Cups were particularly meaningful because he got to work with his UNCW gameday crew, which includes his father-in-law, Mike O’Brien. 

“In 2019, we were short staffed for a CAA conference tournament we were hosting, so I reached out to my father-in-law and asked if he could help. From there, he started working as a spotter at our games, and then he started coming with me to the College Cup. Now, if I’m working it, he’s with me. That’s quality time we get to spend together. It’s our time, and it’s a really cool experience,” said Rhew. 

For the 2021 College Cup, UNCW gameday staff member Ann Suttles was also on the crew. 

“It was her first time, and she really wanted to be involved,” said Rhew. “When I asked her, I thought she was going to explode. It was fun to see that excitement in her.” 

Rhew has been in athletic communications for 17 years and worked for Towson University and Goldey-Beacom College before joining the UNCW Athletics staff in 2014. He is currently serving a two-year term as president of the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association, the state organization for SIDs. 

He’s already making plans for the next College Cup and adding to his soccer ball collection. 

“It’s one of those things that now feels like a tradition—an experience I look forward to every year when the calendar comes out.”


UNCW's Eric Rhew has served as the official scorer of several NCAA Division I Soccer College Cup games over the years.


Eric Rhew's 2021 gameday crew included his father-in-law Mike O'Brien (left) and Ann Suttles (right).

- Krissy Vick