Todd Derkacz resurrects SUNY Orange cross country

For the first time in nearly four decades, cross country runners are wearing the blue and orange


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  • Todd Derkacz (Photo provided)




  • (Photo: SUNY Orange)




, N.Y. — With cross country now part of SUNY Orange’s competitive lineuup, 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 late in 2015. 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 marked 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 Dec. 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 and 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.

A 40-year waitFor the first time in nearly four decades, cross country runners wore the blue and orange of SUNY Orange on a competitive basis when the fall 2016 season arrived.

The addition of the men’s and women’s cross country programs, which will compete at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III level, 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. That program existed through the 1977 season. Restoration of the men’s team rekindles one of the College’s most storied athletic programs.

“It is exciting to be able to offer our current students and future students two additional opportunities to compete at the collegiate level,” said Wayne Smith, SUNY Orange athletic director. “Our men’s cross country program was quite successful throughout much of its history, and we look forward to writing some equally prolific new chapters with that program. On the women’s side, we hope to build a competitive program from the ground up and generate similar results.”

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



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