Sullivan Names Gondak to Penn State Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country Staff

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John Gondak will serve as an assistant coach for Beth Alford-Sullivan and will coach the distance runners.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; July 17, 2006 ¨C Penn State head track and field coach Beth Alford-Sullivan announced a new addition to her coaching staff with the hiring of John Gondak, the new assistant coach for men¡¯s and women¡¯s distance running. Gondak was last at Georgia Tech as an assistant coach, coaching the middle distance and distance runners on the men's and women's cross country and track and field squads.

"We're really excited to have John join us in this time of transition for Penn State track and field. His coaching background and proven success, as well as his recruiting record, made him stand out as a candidate," said Sullivan.

¡°I feel very honored that Coach Sullivan has provided me this opportunity to return to the state of Pennsylvania and work with her at Penn State. She has a great vision for the program heading forward and I am thrilled to be a part of it. It is going to be an exciting time to be a Nittany Lion,¡± said Gondak.

Prior to returning to Tech, Gondak spent nearly eight seasons at Kentucky. As assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Wildcat men's and women's middle distance and distance runners, Gondak brought in athletes that have gone on to garner numerous collegiate accolades including: 25 All-Americans, 19 All-SEC athletes, a third-place finish by Hunter Spencer in the mile at the 2002 NCAA Championships, a second-place finish in women's cross country at the 2002 SEC Championship and the advancement of the 2003 men¡¯s cross country team to the NCAA Championships.

Prior to working at Kentucky, Gondak a native of Doylestown, Pa., was the cross country and assistant track and field coach from 1996-98 at Toledo. While at Toledo, Gondak was responsible for directing all aspects of the middle distance and distance running programs.

Gondak also coached at Georgia Tech during the 1995-96 season. He also worked with the middle distance and distance runners during his first stint in Atlanta. While at Tech, Gondak helped develop five ACC Champions, three NCAA championship qualifiers, two track and field All-Americans and a cross country All-American.

¡°Having grown up in southeastern Pennsylvania in a Penn State household (both of my parents are alums), I have a deep passion for Penn State. I have remained a fan of Penn State during my years in coaching and it has always been a dream to work in Happy Valley. I have a vested interest in seeing this program at the top of the Big Ten as well as the NCAA and I am excited to work with Coach Sullivan and the other outstanding coaches on staff to accomplish that,¡± said Gondak.

Gondak started out as a walk-on athlete at Syracuse and quickly improved, qualifying for the IC4A Championships as a sophomore, junior and senior in the distance-medley relay and mile run. During his senior year, he was placed on scholarship and named captain of the cross country program.

Gondak graduated summa cum laude as the valedictorian of the civil engineering program. He went on to earn his master¡¯s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech in 1996.



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