After more than seven successful years at the helm of Utica College’s cross country and track and field programs, head coach Jason Rose has stepped down. Assistant Eric Parker will take over as interim head coach of the program, while throwers coach James Lemieux has been named interim associate head coach.
Rose, a native of Tiffin, Ohio, cited family reasons for his decision to leave. His final day is Oct. 2.
“It was an extremely difficult decision for me with all the big things happening here at UC, but it is time for me to be closer to my folks,” he said.
During his tenure, Rose guided 158 All-Conference selections, and was named Empire 8 men’s cross country coach of the year in 2013.
One of those selections, Kyle Cairns, emphasized how much Rose meant to the program.
“Rose meant everything to this program because he was the one who really got it to where it is today,” he said. “He pushed me when I needed to be pushed and helped me get to a level of running I never thought I could get to.”
Athletic director Dave Fontaine said that the process of searching for a new head coach has recently begun. He also made clear that the efforts of Rose over the years have been appreciated.
“He has done an outstanding job with our men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs,” Fontaine said. “Although we will miss Jason, we are happy that he can be closer to family in his home state of Ohio.”
Rose, who referred to his decision to leave UC as “bittersweet,” cited all of the great people he got a chance to work with as something he will miss greatly.
“I see that this campus is poised for bigger and better in the near and distant future, while we support our students for success in their future,” he said. “I wish I could remain a part of this campus, but I look forward to my visits to catch up with what new and exciting things are happening here at UC.”