Seeks to Return Long-Dormant Men’s Program to Glory; Building Women’s Program from Scratch

PHOTO: Todd DerkaczMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- With cross country having been added to SUNY Orange’s Fall 2016 competitive lineuup, recently named head coach Todd Derkacz will be tasked with resurrecting a men’s program that has been dormant for nearly four decades while establishing the College’s first-ever women’s team.

The College announced the addition of men’s and women’s cross country during its annual Colt Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony this past November. The Colts will compete at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III level, and the addition of two cross country squads brings the College’s intercollegiate athletic roster to nine sports, including women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, softball, men’s soccer, men’s basketball, baseball and golf.

The Fall season will mark the first time in SUNY Orange history that it has fielded a women’s cross country team, while the origins of the Colts’ men’s cross country program date to the College’s founding in 1950. Restoration of the men’s team, which last competed in 1977, rekindles one of the College’s most storied athletic programs.

Derkacz is well-known in local track and cross country circles, having served as assistant track and cross country coach at Minisink Valley High School from December 2006 through June 2011. Additionally, he founded the Excelsior Running Club in Westtown in 2013 and has mentored several youth runners who have advanced to USATF regional, national and Junior Olympic championships.

A 12-time letterman in cross country and track at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., Derkacz was captain of both teams. Since the Summer of 2009, he has served as a member of the resident coaching staff at The Running School in Swan Lake, N.Y. He completed his Level II coaching certification through USA Track & Field in 2011.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Dickinson College and a master’s degree in Education from Mount Saint Mary College. He has also begun an associate’s degree in Exercise Studies through the Movement Science department at SUNY Orange and founded the College’s student running club in 2013.

For information on the SUNY Orange cross country programs, contact Derkacz at (845) 341-4211.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940