John Ostler begins his sixth year at Plymouth State in 2019-20 as head coach for men's and women's cross country. He has also led the men’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs since their reinstatement, and the women’s programs since their inception, in the 2015-16 school year. Ostler came to Plymouth State following a stint at Hamilton College, where he was an assistant with both the cross country and track & field coaching staffs.
Ostler led the Panther cross country teams to third (men) and fourth (women) place finishes at the Little East Championships in 2018. The men matched a program-best finish, while the women posted the second highest team finish at the event. Both programs have made annual improvements at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championships each year under Ostler, with the men placing 18th and women 27th last fall.
He has coached two LEC Rookie Runners of the Year and three LEC Runners of the Year, along with 11 All-LEC honorees. Additionally, under his tutelage, Sam Brunnette ’19 made back-to-back appearances at the National Championship meet while claiming All-America honors in 2017. Ostler also helped Brunnette to three straight LEC titles, two U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) New England Region Athlete of the Year honors and three USTFCCCA All-New England honors.
On the women’s side, Ostler mentored the program’s first three All-Conference honorees in 2017, while current sophomore Kim Bowles captured the LEC Rookie Runner of the Year – the first major conference award in women’s program history.
Ostler also 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.