Cross country coaching legend Rich Bernstein has joined the College's first cross country coaching staff. Bernstein, who recently retired after more than three decades at Ithaca High School, will work with Peggy Dunham as the Panthers enter NJCAA competition in cross country in the fall of 2019.
Bernstein, who worked as a guidance counselor at IHS, coached the Little Red for 36 years. He was the boys and girls varsity cross country head coach for 34 years, and doubled up as the track coach for 20 of those years. His cross country teams won 34 Section IV championships between the boys and girls, including one stretch of 11 straight titles by his boys teams. His teams also won more than two dozen Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC) titles and he has helped more than 100 athletes continue their running careers at the college level. He has also coached on the international level, serving as a coach of the USA Junior Track and Field Team for the Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Through his years in the sport, Bernstein is known for having talented teams, but also for working with runners of all levels to get the most out of their abilities. As he works with Coach Dunham to recruit the student-athletes who will form the first cross country team in the College's history, they share the same vision: they are looking for students who want to do well in the classroom, be good teammates, and work hard to compete on the course.