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 outdoor programs have shown steady improvement under Ostler’s guidance. In four years of competing his athletes have made a pair of appearances at the NCAA Division III National Championship, claiming one All-America finish in the process, captured 11 Little East Conference titles, three New England Regional championship titles and earned a pair of LEC major awards – Track Athlete of the Year and Rookie Track Athlete of the Year. PSU posted fourth place finishes at the LEC championships each of the last two springs, and posted a high of 10th at the New England Regionals in 2018.
The women’s outdoor team has progressed regularly in its four years. Last spring the Panthers earned 58 points, a program best, to post a school-record fifth place finish at the LEC Championships. PSU has accumulated points at the Division III New England Regional Championships each of the past three years and has seen the number of qualifying athletes increase each year, highlighted by the Panthers competing in seven events last spring. The PSU women have combined for three LEC titles, one each of the past three seasons.
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.