Goucher Cross Country/Track And Field Head Coach John Caslin To Retire After 26 Years Following NCAA Regional Qualifier On Saturday

Goucher Cross Country/Track And Field Head Coach John Caslin To Retire After 26 Years Following NCAA Regional Qualifier On Saturday

BALTIMORE, Md. – After 26 years of service, head coach John Caslin has announced his retirement from Goucher College as the head coach of both the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams effective after the end of the 2019 cross country season. Caslin has coached over 400 student-athletes, participated 281 track and field meets and for the 210th and final time will coach the Gophers cross country team at the NCAA Regional Qualifier on Saturday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

"We have shared many great moments and a few tragic ones, and I have had the honor and privilege to have coached at Goucher," said Caslin. "I am not sure what is ahead for me professionally, but I know I am Goucher Proud!"  

Caslin joined the Gophers coaching staff in the 1994, the fourth season of cross country at Goucher. Caslin also started the track and field program, which begins its 20th campaign in 2019-20.

"I have been extremely proud to be the cross country coach for over a quarter of a century," said Caslin. "Cross Country is first a team sport and it depends on how hard the entire team works, but had a great run and some very talented student-athletes. When I started we only had two men's runners and we had two all-conference runners on the women's side that really set up our future success"

Over his 26 years at the helm of cross country, he has coached two men's NCAA National Qualifiers (Jeff Olenick [1997, 2000] and Joey Negreann [2011]) while Olenick earned All-America honors with his ninth-place finish in 2000 to become the first-ever All-American at Goucher College. In addition, he had six different Goucher runners post a Top-100 finish at the NCAA Mid-East Qualifier including four All-NCAA Mideast selections (Olenick [1997, 2000], Negreann (2010, 2011] and Chris Menno [1994]) along with two All-Mideast Freshman of the Year (Menno [1994] and Olenick [1997])

At the conference level, Olenick was a three-time cross country champion (1997, 1999, 2000) while Menno finished first in 1994 during the squad's time in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC). Negreann has Caslin's best finish since joining the Landmark Conference with a second-place standing in 2010. Goucher had 13 Top-10 finishes under Caslin in men's conference action.

"I am so proud of the student–athletes I have worked with and even more proud of who they have become as alums," said Caslin. "We have doctors, research scientists, lawyers, those who have served our country in the military and in government, educators and coaches, community leaders and those who are out changing the world and most importantly they are outstanding role models and parents to our young people."

On the women's side, J Fraley Coles is the only runner to qualify and race in the NCAA National Championships. Twelve different women have finished in the Top-100 at the NCAA Mid-East Qualifier including two All-NCAA Mideast selections (Fraley Coles [2006, 2007] and Katherine Currier [2013]) along with two All-Mid-East Freshman of the Year (Fraley Coles [2004] and Currier [2011]).

At the conference level for the women, Kelsey Myette had the best finish with a second-place standing in 2010 at the Landmark Conference Championships while Fraley Coles (2004) and Margo Becker (2001) both finished fifth during the CAC days. The Gophers had 14 runners  with Top-10 finishes under Caslin in women's conference action. Four runners have also earned Rookie of the Year honors under the long-time coach (Becker [2001], Myette [2010], Currier [2011] and June Chiango [2013]).

"I am especially grateful for all the assistant coaches and graduate assistants that have worked with me helping make our teams run smoothly and be successful," said Caslin. "There are so many good people that have helped mentor our student athletes. Their impact on our student-athletes and on me is lifelong. I would be remiss though not to mention both late Larry (Uncle Buck) Wineke and Art Grossman. They lived their lives to inspire others."

The track and field program is highlighted by national qualifiers Natalie Williams (2003, 2004) in the hammer throw and Destiny Phillips (2012) in the long jump.

Caslin was named the Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2003 in the CAC and 2017 in the Landmark Conference.

He coached four Track Athletes of the Year for the outdoor season (Olenick [2001], Williams [2003, 2004] and Jaclyn Kellon [2011]). Jana White (2003), Destiny Phillips (2012) and Lexi Stewart (2017) were named Rookie of the Year for the outdoor season. Phillips was also named the Rookie of the Year for the indoor season in 2012-13 while Will Evans III (2010-11) and Doug Falk (2011-12) also earned the top freshman indoor honor.

"I want to thank the athletic department for their support over the years, especially Geoff Miller – who had the confidence in me to start the track & field program as it enters its 20th season," said Caslin. "I would also like to thank Nina Zacharias, all the Goucher coaches both past and present, the training room staff, the FMS staff (especially Tim Zisk) and the sports communication staff for their support in helping us look and feel good over the years."

Caslin has had 103 athletes earn all-conference honors, including nine first-team selections in Landmark Conference indoor action between men and women and 15 in the outdoor season while 19 second-team selections during the indoor season and 24 at the outdoor championships. During the CAC days, 18 first-team selections during the outdoor season and 18 second-teamers.

"Gopher Stadium and the campus cross country trails have allowed Goucher to be connected to larger Baltimore running community," said Caslin. "Because of that we have developed a great relationship with some many folks that have volunteered over the years. BRRC has always been extremely supportive of the time and equipment. I am thankful for their partnership."

Caslin has also had great success with his student-athletes in the classroom. The women's cross country team have been named to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) All-Academic team for 19 years and the 2003 team led the nation in grade-point average. The men's team cross country team has achieved the feat 16 times while the women's track and field team has been named to the All-Academic team for the last 13 years with the men's squad being selected nine times with six in a row.

Olenick was named the CAC Scholar Athlete Of The Year twice while Fraley Coles, Adam Scipione, Hadley Couraud, Katherine Walker, Hugh Geller and Soliana Goldrich were named the Landmark Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year.

"Goucher has always been about the student-athlete and I am quite proud of who our student-athletes are and who they become after they graduate," said Caslin.

Caslin also started the Goucher Track and Field Classic and the Goucher Cross Country Classic, two home events that are run on campus annually.