In mid-December Justin Hoyt, Interim Director of Athletics, announced that Justin York would be the head coach of the reinstated men and women track and field teams. About 25 years ago Hudson Valley’s track and field teams were disbanded, but in Spring 2018 the teams will start competing as one of the college’s 17 NJCAA Division III programs.
“Coach York and I came up with a short term and long term vision for the program with realistic expectations. We are going to be hiring one assistant coach to assist in recruiting right away, and then we are going to hire 2-3 more assistant coaches in the summer,” states Justin Hoyt.
Last year the new Athletic Complex was completed with a 400m 8 lane track, a synthetic turf field, and a natural grass practice field. These additions to Hudson Valley were stepping stones to the overall goal of reinstating the track and field teams, which was envisioned and backed by President Drew Matonak, Dr. Alexander Popovics, and Ann Carrozza.
Once the Athletic Complex was completed the search began for a head coach to lead this new track program. In November of this year York was officially appointed as head coach for the men’s and women’s track and field teams by Hudson Valley.
“Our first goal for year one is to have at least 50 total student-athletes participate. We hope to get at least 20 each for the men’s and women’s teams. Long term, we want to build this program to compete not only at the Regional level, but the National level as well,” says Hoyt.
The Valley’s track and field program is highly decorated with members in the college’s hall of fame and during its history had advanced more than once to the Regional III Championships. Members of the hall of fame include Coach Tom Rogan, James Bowles, Nelson Bagnardi, and Morris Collins. Back in the day the track and field program advanced to the Regional III Championships 8 times during its history: 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, and 1985.
York and his yet to be named assistant coaches will be starting from the ground up in terms of recruitment. Hoyt’s position on the upcoming years is positive, “There is a wealth of talent within our geographic location of the Capital District, so recruiting will be of the utmost importance,”.
In next week’s issue there will be a follow up article and interview with Coach Jeffrey York.