John Ostler begins his sixth year as the head men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field coach at Plymouth State. He has also led the Panthers’ cross country teams since the fall of 2014.
Ostler built the women’s track and field team from the ground up, while helping with the reinstatement of the men’s program in the 2015-16 school year. He joined the staff at Plymouth State following a stint as an assistant with both the cross country and track and field coaching staffs at Hamilton College.
Both indoor programs have seen regular improvement under Ostler. On the men’s side he has had a pair of athletes qualify for the NCAA Division III National Championship meet a total of five times, including three All-American finishes. He has led the Panthers to 13 Little East Conference titles, including a pair of LEC championship meet records, and has had three athletes earn major LEC awards – two Track Athlete of the Year awards and one Rookie Field Athlete of the Year honoree. The Panthers posted program-best finishes at both the LEC Championships (second) and NCAA Division III New England Regional Championships (15th) in 2018-19.
While the women haven’t had quite as much success, the program has made strides each year. PSU had just one qualifier for the DIII New England Championships in the program’s first season (2015-16), but has qualified in 15 total events over the last three years. Last winter the Panthers were represented by three individuals competing in four total events, as well as a pair of relay teams. PSU also posted a program-best finish at the LEC Championship in 2018-19 with a fifth place finish. Plymouth State has claimed one women’s LEC title under Ostler, coming in the shot put in 2016-17.
Ostler coached NCAA National Championship qualifiers at Hamilton in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, including one All-American and a national runner-up. He helped guide the women’s team to a 32nd national ranking and a fifth-place finish at the 2013 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championships. He coached a male heptathlete to a school record and served as Meet Director for the 2013 New York State Collegiate Track Conference (NYSCTC) Cross Country Championships.
A 2008 graduate of Saint Lawrence University with a degree in English, Ostler was a four-year letterman on both the cross country and track teams, serving as co-captain of both teams his junior and senior years. He was a U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region runner and a NYSCTC All-Conference performer for cross country in 2007. Ostler captured the Liberty League outdoor 5,000-meter championship in 2007 with a meet record time of 15:08.29.
Ostler, who earned his Master’s degree in Sports Management from SUNY Cortland in 2013, is a USATF Level I Certified Coach. A native of Morrisville, Vt., Ostler was a teacher and an assistant cross country and track & field coach at U-32 High School in Montpelier, Vt., from 2009 to 2011. He trained 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay teams that qualified for the 2010 New England Championships.