LEXINGTON, Va. -- Washington and Lee athletic director Mike Walsh has announced the appointment of Nate Hoey as director of track and field and running programs and head coach of men's and women's track and field. Hoey replaces Norris Aldridge, who has announced that he will enter phased retirement this fall.
"For the past 34 years, our track athletes have been superbly coached by Norris Aldridge," said Walsh. "Norris is widely recognized as an outstanding teacher, coach and colleague. He has served the University with distinction throughout his professional career. His coaching contributions will be sorely missed as he enters phased retirement."
Aldridge will remain at W&L as assistant professor of physical education. He arrived at W&L in 1969 as assistant football and track and field coach and was elevated to head track and field coach in 1971. A 10-time recipient of the ODAC Coach of the Year award, Aldridge led W&L to nine ODAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships while guiding W&L athletes to ODAC Championships on 119 occasions. W&L's all-time coaching wins leader (236-145), Aldridge led W&L to six undefeated seasons and received the Walt Cormack Award in 1991 for his contributions to the sport of track & field in the state of Virginia.
As a wide receiver and quarterback coach for the football team from 1969 to 1999, Aldridge coached 23 players to First Team All-ODAC accolades.
"It's been a great run," stated Aldridge. "The athletes at W&L are great to work with -- they have been very dedicated and goal oriented. I've been lucky to have coached some great young men and women. This was a hard decision to make, but I felt in my heart that it was time for a change. I will miss the on-the-field coaching and interaction with the athletes."
Hoey takes over for Aldridge after serving as W&L's fitness center director, strength coach and assistant track and field coach since July. Prior to his appointment at W&L, Hoey served as the assistant cross country and track and field coach at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. In this position, he was responsible for the development of the men's and women's sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and throwers. In just two seasons, Hoey helped guide WCU athletes to 18 all-conference awards. Highly active in the sport, Hoey founded allabouttrack.com, a track and field educational resource. It was his goal to make quality training information readily available to coaches and athletes alike.
"I'm honored and extremely excited to be taking over a program with such a rich history," said Hoey. "We have tremendous coaches and student-athletes here at W&L and we are all eager to get started. I feel like we got off on the right foot with the fitness center and it was time to move on to my first passion which is track and field."
Hoey is a 2000 graduate of Slippery Rock University with a degree in exercise and sport science. While at SRU, he was a 13-time all-conference track and field athlete, three-time conference champion, was twice named athlete of the year, and a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record holder. Hoey is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, holds the club coach certification from USA Weightlifting and is a USA Track & Field Level One certified coach.
"In a short period of time Nate has had a tremendously positive impact on our students and athletes," said Walsh. "His experience as an outstanding track athlete, his passion for track and field, and his ability to connect with our athletes, makes us confident that he is the right person to take over for Coach Aldridge."
Hoey will begin his appointment as soon as the University appoints a new director of the fitness center.
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