Douglas Seitz, Staff Writer
Coach Sam Catterson was a 2005 graduate of Ithaca College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. While completing his degree, Catterson also competed in track and field where he excelled at three different events: pole vault, decathlon, and the javelin throw. Because of his successful college career and his contributions to the program, Catterson was granted the Larry Czarneki Award.
Upon graduation he immediately began coaching pole-vault and was the multi-events coach at Ithaca for the Bomber’s 2005-2006 campaign.
Following his time at Ithaca, Catterson headed to Boulder, Colorado where he would become the head cross country coach for Niwot High School, a school that gave him the opportunity to coach future division one athletes. His efforts at Niwat led his 2013 girls team to a state championship.
His athletes’ success in the sport may have been due to his intensity. Connor Nolte, Utica College Track and Field athlete, said, “He is a very intense coach that only wants the best for his athletes. He always gives his athletes the attention they need in order to make them the best than they can be. Coach always supports us to try new things and excel to the best of our abilities.”
Following his extremely successful career coaching both high school and collegiate track and field, Utica College would hire Catterson to become an assistant coach for the track and field program in 2014.
“Coach Catterson brings years of experience and knowledge to the team. He has a great understanding of the sport. He also handles the requirement of being in charge over so many people very well,” said UC pole-vaulter Patrick Fitzgerald.
This year, Catterson was promoted to Associate Head Coach for Cross Country while already being the pole vault coach. Along with being a coach comes the responsibility of mentoring his athletes to be successful in the classroom.
“Coach Catterson is a great coach, he is very helpful and supportive,” said Fitzgerald. “He keeps me focused on my goals both on the track and in the class room. He always pushes us to be the best vaulters we can be, but he always stresses the importance of good grades above all else.”
Fitzgerald also spoke about a specific scenario that Coach Catterson was helpful and supportive in his life.
“Last year I broke my leg very badly at the second meet of the year. It has been a long road to recovery and I am still not at the place I want to be in my vaulting, but coach Catterson never gave up on me. He has supported me and pushed me to get better every day. Even though I was injured and couldn’t compete for most of last year, Catterson always stuck with me and helped me recover.” Catterson continues to be a successful coach and important asset for Utica College track and Field.