BOSTON – Will Feldman, a fixture in the Suffolk University cross country record books, returns to his alma mater in a new role as the first-ever Head Coach of Track & Field/Cross Country for the Rams, Director of Athletics Cary McConnell announced Friday.
Feldman will oversee both the men's and women's cross country and track & field teams. The programs were a part of a Fall 2016 announcement of six new varsity sports hitting the Suffolk varsity lineup. Under Feldman, the teams are set for a 2017-18 debut with the newcomer taking over the reins of cross country teams that placed sixth in their respective heats at the 2016 GNAC Championships with the first-ever women's GNAC Rookie of the Year Emily Manfra crossing the tape second, followed closely behind classmate Emma Weisse, who finished third. The first-team all-conference duo became the first Rams pair to race at the NCAA Regionals in recent history.
"Over the past several years Suffolk University has seen a tremendous growth in athletics and Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field underscore the University's commitment to continue that growth," said McConnell. "The combination of Will's coaching experience; passion for cross country/track & field and his passion for Suffolk were evident throughout the interview process and will no doubt prove to be great assets to the building of Suffolk's program. We are thrilled to have a Suffolk alum leading our program."
"This opportunity means the world to me, and is a dream come true," Feldman said. "Suffolk is a special place and I owe so much to the faculty, staff and students who showed me so much kindness and inspired me while I was a student. Suffolk is my home, and I truly love it. Being the first track coach at the University is something I don't take for granted, and I'm going to work tirelessly to build a track program the University is proud of. I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity that Cary McConnell has given me."
Feldman is no stranger to the Suffolk culture. During his time donning the blue-and-gold for the men's cross country team, the four-year letterwinner, three-year captain earned MVP status in three straight seasons and took home the coveted Athletic Department top honor, the Charles Law Award, in back-to-back years in 2006, and 2007, respectively. Feldman still holds the Rams' records in the 5k and 8k to this day.
"Having competed as a student-athlete at Suffolk I'm forever tied to the University and it's where my heart lies. I remember training runs along the Charles River with the cross country team and thinking about what it would be like if Suffolk had a track program. Even as a student-athlete I had a vision of building a track program at Suffolk. Through the years as I progressed in my coaching career I never stopped thinking about it, but never thought in a million years it would become a reality."
Feldman returns to his Boston roots with eight years of coaching experience on his resume. The Suffolk graduate, who received a Bachelor's of Arts in European history in 2010, began his coaching career across town at GNAC rival Emmanuel in 2008. As an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Saints, Feldman was instrumental in the growth and development of the then-newly developed program. He implemented a national recruiting effort, which doubled the size of the squad and culminated in the successful recruitment of the program's first All-American.
After four seasons with the Saints, Feldman then took his coaching talents to MIT where he spent two years on the coaching staff working with middle distance and distance student-athletes, utilizing performance software such as Dartfish to analyze the gait of MIT's runners and maximize runner's efficiency. During the 2012 cross country season, he helped guide the men and women to NEWMAC team titles with the women going on to finish sixth at the NCAA Championships. On the track, Feldman worked with the hurdlers, middle distance and distance athletes. He was a crucial ingredient in back-to-back NEWMAC Outdoor team titles for both the men and women teams. During his time with the Engineers, Feldman assisted six All-Americans, 19 NCAA Qualifiers and 15 conference champions.
Feldman then joined Duke's cross country and track & field coaching staff in August 2013. Throughout the 2013 cross country season and 2014 track & field campaign, he assisted in the success of the Blue Devil's women's middle distance and distance program. Feldman played a key developmental role in his first season. He worked with ACC Outdoor 1500m champion freshman Haley Meier and standout Juliet Bottorff, who won three ACC titles (Cross Country, Indoor 5k and Outdoor 10k). Overall, he helped Duke produce four All-Americans, five ACC Champions and an additional five All-ACC performers.
In 2014-15, Feldman helped Duke's men's distance-medley relay team earn All-American honors, while the team also grabbed All-ACC accolades. Additionally, he guided five members to All-ACC honors, including Shaun Thompson, who qualified for the NCAA National Championships in the 5,000-meter distance.
Feldman returns to Suffolk after two years on Chad Pearson's staff at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro as assistant coach. At UNCG, Feldman worked with Southern Conference Cross Country Freshman of the Year Kathleen Mansure, as well as four all-conference performers and Katy Link, a NCAA first-round qualifier in the 10k.
He has abetted in conducting cross country workouts, while directing all the aspects of training for sprinters, hurdlers, middle distance and endurance athletes. Off the competition course, he identified and recruited endurance athletes, planned and executed official visits and managed operations and administrative responsibilities including travel logistics, compliance and the program's budget.
On the runner's circuit, Feldman has competed six marathons. His best time on a 26.2-mile course came in Chicago in 2013, crossing the tape in 2:36.37. Feldman will take Boston's historic course for the third time in the 121st marathon with his wife and fellow Suffolk alumni, Kyle, Monday, April 17.
Feldman received his USA Track and Field (USATF) Level 1 Coaching Certification in 2008. In 2010 he earned his USATF Level II certification in Endurance events and Sprints, Hurdles, and Relays in 2014.