Dave Severance is in his second year as the PSU men’s and women’s cross country coach in 2014. A former All-American runner for Plymouth State and a 1988 inductee in the PSU Athletic Hall of Fame, Severance took over the Panther programs when the school elevated men's and women's cross country to varsity status in 2013.
Severance came back to his alma mater after serving 10 years as boys and girls cross country coach at Moultonborough Academy (N.H.). Severance led the team to four Granite State Conference championships and had All-State runner nominations for eight straight years.
“As a member of the last cross country team to run at Plymouth State more than 30 years ago,” said Severance, “I am excited to see cross country return as a sport at my alma mater. It was especially rewarding to return as a coach for the rebirth of the running program. I look forward to sharing my love of running and the Plymouth State educational experience with the young men and women who will be members of the cross country teams.”
Severance’s running career has spanned more than three decades. He was the New England Collegiate Outdoor 10,000 meter champion and record holder in 1978, when he also captured the 10,000 title at the Boston College Relays, and he earned NCAA All-America honors with a runner-up finish at the 1978 NCAA Division III Championships at Case Western Resrve in Cleveland, Ohio.
Severance has been very successful in marathons, completing more than 20 in his career. He won the 1978 Lowell Marathon in a career-best time of 2:18.26, and his 2:19.21 at the 1979 Skylon International Marathon qualified him for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials. More recently, he was the Adirondack Marathon runner-up in both 2007 and 2008, and he completed a 2:49.40 marathon at age 50. He also hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1981 and made a 335-mile 30th-anniversary hike from Mount Katahdin to Mount Washington in 2011.
A 1976 New England high school two-mile champion for Kingswood Regional in Wolfeboro, N.H., Severance is a 1981 graduate of Plymouth State and he earned a JD from the University of Maine Law School in 1986.
Severance says that the greater Plymouth area provides an outstanding environment for distance runners.
“I have always felt that this area is one of the best distance training locations in the Northeast,” said Severance. “The mixture of rolling hills, trails, and varied loops make it ideal for laying the foundation for a strong Division III cross country program. Running is a sport that requires hard work and discipline but is certainly a sport that welcomes all student-athletes.“