Greg Cooper | Head Coach | Cross Country / Track and Field | Penn State – Erie

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

Our program is looking for great students who have the drive and determination to better themselves when no one is looking. We have an expectation that our athletes will improve throughout their career, but we know those who do what we ask of them even when they are on their own will improve at a faster rate. Not only that, we know they will do better in all situations in life.


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

In our program’s short history, we have had a great deal of success from athletes improving and becoming better for our program than they ever were before. This happens because they get coached specifically for their event, and they get to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Some of our biggest improvements have come when it was my fortune to recruit a 21 or 22 minute 5k girl who just wanted to be good, but never had a coach take care of them. When they break 20, then break 19, then break 18, they become an inspiration for everyone on their team.