BALTIMORE, Md. – Erick Camodeca, a 2006 graduate of Goucher College, returns to his alma mater to take the reins of the Gophers men's and women's cross country and track and field program from his former coach and mentor John Caslin, who announced his retirement after 26 years at Goucher. Andrew Wu, the Director of Athletics/Associate Dean of Students, made the announcement regarding Camodeca on Monday.
Camodeca returns to Baltimore from Eastern Mennonite University where he was in his second season as the Associate Cross Country/Track and Field Coach in 2019-20. His first season in Harrisonburg was highlighted by Grant Amoateng qualifying for nationals in both the indoor and outdoor season while Michaela Chowning joined Amoateng at the national outdoor championships.
"Erick has earned a reputation as a premier coach in the region and is a perfect and natural fit to take over leadership of our cross country and track & field programs," said Wu. "He speaks passionately about his desire to elevate our programs competitively, but also emphasizes the importance of providing a student-athlete experience that reflects his own development as a Goucher student and alum. We can't wait to welcome him back home!"
Camodeca joined the staff at Eastern Mennonite after five seasons at nearby Stevenson University. Taking over at Stevenson in the spring of 2014, Camodeca quickly rebuilt the track & field program to a powerhouse with an overall roster of 70 athletes. In 2018-19, the men's team won their first-ever Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) indoor and outdoor championships as well as the indoor title at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
"There's not a better feeling than coming home after a long time away, no matter what amazing experiences you had and places you have been along the way," said Camodeca. "Goucher is my home and has always felt like home. I am looking forward to bringing the best parts of the places I have been back to Goucher and help this program grow into something special and memorable."
Camodeca was named both the 2018 MAC Coach of the Year and the Mid-East Region Head Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Camodeca led 15 national qualifiers during his time at Stevenson. His athletes have won four All-America honors as well as a number of regional and conference athlete of the year awards. During his time, the Mustangs broke 96 of the 106 indoor and outdoor men's and women's track records.
Camodeca came to Stevenson from Division I Loyola where he spent the 2013-14 indoor season as an assistant coach. While there, he helped recruit and develop the Greyhounds' sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and throwers who set new indoor records in the weight throw, 200, 300, 500 and 4x400-meter relay.
Prior to his short stint at Loyola, Camodeca spent six years as the men's track and field head coach and three seasons as head coach of the women at York College (Pa.). During that time, he coached 50 all-conference selections in indoor and outdoor, including five Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Athlete of the Year selections and five CAC Rookie of the Year honorees. Six of his athletes qualified for nationals while three earned All-America status. In addition, his male athletes held a total of 35 school records while the women were responsible for 27.
In the classroom, Camodeca's teams had above a 3.0 grade point average each year.
In 2011, Camodeca led the men's outdoor team to its first CAC championship since 1992. Also that year, he led the women's program to a second-place finish at the conference meet, the team's highest-ever finish. As a result, he received the second of back-to-back CAC Coach of the Year honors.
From 2010-12, Camodeca spent three seasons as the head cross country coach at York (Pa.) as well where he led the men to back-to-back CAC championships, including the program's first-ever title in 2011. Like track and field, he was also a two-time CAC Coach of the Year while guiding three CAC Athlete of the Year selections and three Rookie of the Year honorees. He coached three individual champions, had two NCAA qualifiers and one All-American.
In 2012, Camodeca led the Spartans' men's cross country team to a ranking of seventh in the NCAA Mid-East Region.
A 2006 graduate of Goucher, Camodeca served his alma mater as an assistant in both cross country and track and field under Caslin. Under his assistance, the Gophers set four school records in track, sent one women's cross country runner to nationals (J. Fraley Coles) and had one All-CAC Second Team selection.
"I am extremely proud that Erick has been selected to take over the reins of the track & field/cross country program," said Caslin. "He has worked very hard to become one of the best Division III coaches in the country. His work at York, Stevenson and Eastern Mennonite speaks values to hopefully what he will do for the Gophers! It has been my honor to have worked with him when he was athlete and assistant coach. I wish him all the best as he take the next steps forward for the Gophers!"
As a student-athlete at Goucher, Camodeca earned All-CAC First Team honors as part of the 400-meter relay team which held the school record before a new mark was established under his tutelage in 2007. He was also a member of the 4x200 relay and the medley relay teams that set the school records indoors and outdoors, respectively.
"Goucher offered me a transformative experience by helping me establish my identity as a person, athlete, and a coach through meaningful relationships with faculty members, staff, and coaches like Coach Caslin," said Camodeca. "One of my main goals for our student-athletes is to have similar transformative experiences that will shape the rest of their lives."
Individually, Camodeca scored in 18 out of the 21 CAC championship events he competed in while also serving as a team captain, member of the men's soccer team and vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.