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Courtesy: CAA
NU Coach Catherine Erickson

NU Names Erickson Director of Track and Field, Cross Country

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 08/21/2012
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BOSTON, Mass. (Aug. 21, 2012) -Northeastern University director of athletics and recreation Peter Roby today  announced the hiring of Cathrine Grace Erickson as director of track and field and cross country. Erickson, one of the rising stars and leading female figures in the coaching ranks, joins Northeastern after an impressive five-year stint as associate head coach at Harvard.

"We are excited to welcome Cathrine to Northeastern," Roby said. "She will be a tremendous leader for our track and field and cross country programs and a wonderful role model for our student-athletes. Cathrine is driven and strategic and she has achieved sustained success throughout her coaching career. Her vision for how to best develop student-athletes for success in competition, in the classroom and in life is consistent with the mission and values of Northeastern athletics."

Erickson, who enters her 17th year as a collegiate coach, has helped lead her teams to four top-five NCAA finishes, including the 2005 NCAA National Indoor Championship. She has mentored 33 NCAA qualifiers, 13 NCAA and USA Track and Field (USATF) All-Americans, and her student-athletes have captured 24 individual conference titles.

"This is a extraordinary opportunity, and I am looking forward to joining the Northeastern community," Erickson said. "I truly believe that this program is a diamond in the rough. With a little care and hard work, we can achieve great things at Northeastern. I want to thank Senior Vice President Philly Mantella, Peter Roby, Amanda Braun and Mike Winsor for believing in me and for trusting that I am the right person for Northeastern. I am grateful to them and I am excited to have this opportunity."

Erickson continues to be a pioneer in her field and a leader for female coaches. Since 1996, she is one of only seven female coaches to produce a national champion in the throws events and is the only one to guide an athlete to a title in the hammer throw. She also coached a runner-up finisher in the weight throw and an NCAA three-time runner up in the shotput.

Of her coaching philosophy, Erickson said: "Over the course of my career, I've been fortunate to work with some outstanding coaches and to learn what truly matters in college athletics. Doing the right things and doing them the right way is extremely important to me. Fostering the personal, academic and athletic development of our student-athletes is why we are here. We will win, but not at all costs. We will win the right way."

Most recently, as the associate head coach at Harvard, she lead the Crimson throws corps to an impressive finish, scoring better than 52 percent of the team points at the outdoor Ivy League championships in 2012. She also was integral in bringing in the No. 5 men's recruiting class in 2011-12, and produced four USATF All-Americans, 18 NCAA qualifiers, seven individual Ivy League champions, 14 All-Ivy League selections, 60 ECAC/IC4A qualifiers, and eight USATF Junior National qualifiers.

"I want to thank Harvard for the opportunities I've had over the last five years," Erickson noted. "Those hands-on experiences helped prepare me for this moment. Leaving a place like Harvard is difficult, but rarely do professional and personal goals align like they have for me at Northeastern."

Prior to Harvard, Erickson spent four years as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee, where she helped lead the Lady Volunteers to the 2005 NCAA National Indoor Championship and a third-place finish at the NCAA outdoor meet one year later.

Erickson also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at ACC-member Clemson University, where she mentored the 2002 NCAA national champion and collegiate record holder in the women's hammer. In 2001, she helped lead the Tigers to a third-place team finish at the NCAA indoor meet and a seventh-place finish at the outdoor meet. Her student-athletes earned seven All-America honors, nine ACC titles, seven all-conference honors and four ACC meet records.

From 1998 to 2000, Erickson served as an assistant coach at the University of Mississippi and from 1996 to 1998 as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. She worked with both the men's and women's programs at each school.

At Ole Miss, she guided six athletes to school-record performances, and produced a USATF Junior National qualifier in the men's discus and hammer and an NCAA qualifier in the women's high jump.

Erickson began her coaching career at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, where she guided athletes to five Sun Belt Conference individual titles and contributed to the women's 1997 Sun Belt Conference indoor team title. She also coached a Junior National qualifier.

A 1995 graduate of Florida State University, Erickson is the former record holder in the discus and still ranks among the top 10 shot putters all-time at her alma mater. The four-time letter winner was an All-ACC selection and was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll that same year. She also lettered as a center in basketball during the 1992-93 season and, at that time, was one of only three athletes in Florida State history to letter in both basketball and track.

Erickson is active in the USATF community. She is a Level I and II certified coach in throws and jumps. From 2004 to 2009 she served as the USATF national coordinator for women's hammer. In that role, she monitored the progression of Olympic, elite level and professional women's hammer throwers. Additionally, she served as assistant coach for the 2008 World Junior Team in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and head manager for the USA vs. Germany vs. France in Munich, Germany, in 2004.

Erickson replaces Sherman Hart, who retired this summer after 24 years with the department. She said that the strong track and field and cross country tradition at NU was part of what attracted her interest. "Competing against Northeastern for the past five years, I have a good understanding of the many great student-athletes who have represented this program over the years. I am excited to spend time getting to know them as active alumni and I believe together we can build something very special here." 
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