Eric Blake Named Head Coach of Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track Programs

Eric Blake

, currently the head coach of the men's cross country and track programs at Central Connecticut State University, has also been named the head coach of the women's cross country and track teams. Blake, a 2002 CCSU graduate, was appointed the head coach of the men's teams in August of 2009. He led the men's cross country team to its first-ever Northeast Conference Championship last fall and was named the NEC Coach of the Year. He also led the outdoor track squad to a program-best third place finish at the NEC Championships this spring.

"We are pleased to announce 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 champion.

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 member of the U.S. Mountain Racing Team. He recently finished second in the Mount Washington Road Race, his fifth two-two finish in the last six years. His finish qualifies him as a member of Team USA at the World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia on Sept. 5. He recently finished sixth at the Litchfield Hills Road Race on June 13 in a tune-up race for Mount Washington. He posted a time of 35:49 on the 7.04 mile race.

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 2010 USA Track and Field member, Blake is affiliated with the Boston Athletic Association. He is also a USATF certified Level 1, 2 and 3 Coach.