Eric Blake enters his sixth season as the head coach for both the men's and women's cross country and track teams. He is in his sixth year as the head coach of the men's running teams, and has won five Northeast Conference Championships. Blake, a 2002 CCSU graduate, was appointed the head coach of the men's teams in August of 2009 and head of the women's program in August of 2010.
Under Blake the Blue Devil men have won five back-to-back Northeast Conference Cross Country Championships in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2011, Central runners finished strong at the NEC meet as Sam Alexander took the Individual NEC Outstanding Performer award. Under Blake, Alasia Griebel also finished strong on the women's cross country team earning the Individual NEC Championship. Blake also earned NEC Coach of the Year honors during both of those championship seasons.
The Blue Devil track and field program completed an incredible turn around last season by winning the 2011 NEC Indoor Track and Field Championship. Blake earned another NEC Coach of the Year honor for helping his team complete a worst-to-first turn around over only three seasons.
"We are pleased that Eric will be overseeing both our men's and women's cross country and track programs," Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann said. "Eric's work ethic, commitment to, and understanding of Central Athletics is a winning combination. His leadership of our men's programs this past season was exceptional. He embodies the best of what Central Athletics stands for and we are confident he can lead our women's programs to a similar level of success."
A four-year member of the cross country and track teams while at
Central, Blake graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in
education (mathematics). Prior to attending CCSU, the
Lebanon, CT native was the 1996 state open cross country
Blake earned a master's degree from Adams State College, where he was a member of the school's Division II cross country and track teams. Following his graduation from Adams State, Blake was the head coach for the Plattsburgh State men's and women's cross country teams. He also was an assistant coach for the track and field squads. He served as an assistant with the Blue Devils prior to his appointment as head coach in August.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I look forward to working with and developing both our men's and women's programs," Blake said following the announcement. "My first year as a head coach at my alma mater was a very rewarding one. Our men's team worked hard and competed at a high level throughout the cross country and track seasons. I am excited about creating a similar work ethic and championship attitude with our women's program."
Blake is currently a six-time member of the U.S.A.T.F. Mountain Running Team. He recently finished third in the Mount Washington Road Race. His finish qualifies him as a member of Team USA at the World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia. In 2004 Blake qualified and competed at the Olympic Marathon Trials.
In April of 2009, Blake was the first New England finisher in the Boston Marathon for the second straight year. He finished in 24th overall place with a time of two hours and 23 minutes.
In addition to being a 2012 USA Track and Field member, Blake is affiliated with the La Sportiva Mountain Running team. He is also a USATF certified Level 1, 2 and 3 Coach.