WORCESTER – WPI's Mike Maceiko announced recently that he is stepping away as head coach of the Engineer Cross Country programs. Director of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics Dana L. Harmon revealed that head track & field coach Brian Chabot will assume cross country head coaching duties while Miles Ketchum, who was previously elevated to full time status, will be the head sprints & hurdles coach and coordinator of track & field.
Maceiko was the Track & Field head coach from to 2004 to 2008 and remained with the program as an assistant for two more years. In 2011 he was tabbed as the cross country head coach following the retirement of Brian Savilonis '72.
"I would like to personally thank Dana Harmon, Coach Chabot and the athletic department for giving me the opportunity to coach very dedicated student athletes through the years," began Maceiko.
In 2015, the men finished second at the NEWMAC Championships for the second of what would be three consecutive seasons with a program-record 49 points. The women posted a record third-place, 117 point performance in the NEWMAC era. In all, Maceiko saw 10 student-athletes total 17 All-NEWMAC performances, including three each by Austin Scott and Ryan Moran. Emily Newman, meanwhile, was recognized as the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year in 2014.
"I cannot thank Mike enough for his dedication to both the Cross Country program, and prior to that, the Track & Field program here at WPI," remarked Chabot. "In both of his stints with us he raised the programs to levels they hadn't previously achieved and hundreds of student-athletes have benefited from his expertise and commitment to their growth and development, not only as athletes but more importantly as people."
The cross country programs won five of six Worcester City Championships, including the past two as the men posted a perfect 15 points each year and the women were near-perfect in 2015 with 19 points.
"This is a bittersweet moment for us as Mike has been an integral part of the WPI Athletics family the past 11 years," remarked Harmon. "He has done an amazing job in transforming our men's and women's cross country teams into extremely competitive programs while helping our student-athletes thrive academically (both programs have been at the top of our team GPAs) as well as personally. Mike is a great coach, but more importantly, and a quality person who we will miss but we know his decision to spend more time with his growing family is the best for him."
On the regional and national level, Scott earned back-to-back All-New England honors by finishing 30th in 2015 and 20th in 2016 to help lead the Engineers place a program-best 10th at both DIII New England meets. Last year also saw Jasmine Higuera Castillo place 27th fir the Engineers. Scott's earlier performance yielded the first WPI appearance at the NCAA meet since 1990, where he finished 68th out of 278 runners.
In the classroom, Maceiko's teams were lauded annually by the USTFCCCA and were among the department's top programs in terms of GPA.
Maceiko continued, "I have witnessed a huge transformation of the athletic program. The support from the entire WPI community to excel in all areas of the student experience is the strongest I have ever seen it. It is awesome to see."
Chabot added, "Mike's positive impact will be felt by both programs as we continue to move forward and he will most certainly go down in the school's history as one of the most successful head coaches either program has ever had."
"As the start of season approaches, I am going to miss the off the course interaction with the student athletes the most. Talking to the team before and after practice and listening to them bond as friends and teammates was always exciting to be a part of," concluded Maceiko. "Helping 30+ men and women work together to achieve a common goal and leaning on each other for support is a true leadership characteristic that will benefit them in all aspects of their personal and professional careers."