Men's Cross Country

Blake Earns Fifth NEC Men's XC Coach of the Year Award

Blake Earns Fifth NEC Men's XC Coach of the Year Award

Head Coach Eric Blake of the Central Connecticut men's and women's cross country and track and field programs was named the 2015 NEC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year, the league office announced Thursday afternoon. It marks back-to-back Coach of the Year honors for Blake and his fifth nod in seven years as the head coach of the Blue Devils, who have won the NEC men's cross country championships in each of his seven years at the helm.

Blake, who has garnered this award in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and now 2015, led CCSU to its seventh straight title this past fall, becoming just the third NEC sports program in league history to win seven straight conference titles, and the first in men's cross country. His five NEC Coach of the Year awards also ties him for the most in conference history in men's cross country.


Blake guided six Blue Devils to all-conference honors this season at the NEC Championships and has now seen 35 men's cross country student-athletes earn this honor in his tenure. He has also coached five NEC Outstanding Performers, which is awarded to the first place individual finisher at the championship meet.

This season, Blake led the Blue Devils to three first place team victories, including the 2015 NEC Championship. Junior Ryan Hertzog was the top finisher, completing the 8K course at Bryant University with a time of 24:57.7 to finish second overall. The five other Blue Devils to earn all-conference honors by finishing within the top-14 spots were junior Matt Walker (5), freshman Austin Trainor (6), freshman Alex Norstrom (8), junior Joseph Gioielli (9) and junior Derek French (13).

Central also recorded victories this year at the Ted Owen Invitational and CCSU Mini Meet, both of which were held at CCSU's home course at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, CT.