After 36 seasons at the helm of the cross country and track and field teams, Eastern honored Head Coach Rick Erdmann for his service to EKU and his student athletes.
“We’re here on this special occasion to honor a man who exemplifies winning,” Director of Athletics Stephen Lochmueller said.
Since taking over as head coach in 1979, Erdmann has been able to win in a way unlike many others.
“Sixty-seven OVC (Ohio Valley Conference) Championships,” Lochmueller said. “I won’t go into details, but 67 OVC Championships.”
Apart from the 67 titles, Erdmann has been named OVC Coach of the Year 64 times. The men’s cross country team has won 10 conference titles in a row, while the women’s cross country team has won nine of the last 10 OVC championships.
In 2013, the men’s cross country team ranked as high as No. 11 in the nation and won the NCAA Southeast Region for the first time in program history. As recently as last year, the men’s cross country team reached No. 17 in the
nation and made its fifth consecutive Division I NCAA Championship appearance.
Erdmann has also coached 31 NCAA Division I All-Americans in track and field during his tenure at EKU.
As successful as Erdmann has been at winning, many who know the coach will say he has been just as successful at impacting the lives of his student-athletes.“Coach has been extremely successful throughout his career and produced many, many winners on the field and in life,” former EKU student athlete Tim Menoher said. “His guidance on and off the track is the reason why myself, many before me and many after me were winning on the track and off it. The memories shared with our coach will not only be passed on to future athletes, but cherished forever.”
During Erdmann’s time at EKU, the men and women’s cross country teams, as well as the men and women’s track and field teams, maintained high GPA’s and achieved academic success in the classroom.
Erdmann gave thanks to his family for their support throughout his coaching career.
“I want to say a special thanks to my family and my wife, particularly, who spends many weekends alone because it goes from cross country to indoor track to outdoor track,” Erdmann said. “There aren’t any off-seasons with it, and it’s pretty much every weekend.”
Erdmann also thanked the many assistants who helped over the years.
“I also want to thank my assistant coaches, past and present, the number of GA’s (Graduate Assistants) we’ve had through the years that have helped,” Erdmann said. “Also, my son the last five years has been a volunteer assistant and helped tremendously with the program.”
EKU Sports unveiled two new designs on the wall of the main concourse at Alumni Coliseum, dedicated to the career and accomplishments of Erdmann.
“I want to thank everyone for coming today to this event, and lets move EKU forward together,” Erdmann said. “Go Colonels.”