Chris Straub joins Lafayette after 20 years of prior coaching experience
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Chris Straub remains in the Patriot League as he enters his first season as the Assistant Cross Country and Track & Field Coach on College Hill. Straub will be working primarily with the middle-distance and distance runners at Lafayette under the direction of head coach, Michele Curcio. The Maytown, Pa. native joins the Leopards coaching staff with 20 years of coaching experience.
Prior to arriving at Lafayette, Straub spent one year working as a volunteer assistant at Bucknell University under the tutelage of head coach, Kevin Donner. Straub’s campaign ended with the Bucknell women’s track & field team winning the 2016 Outdoor T&F Patriot League Championship at home. Before his work with the Bison, Straub was a volunteer assistant for four years at Donegal High School in Mt. Joy, Pa. where his daughter, Seneca, was a member of the team. There he helped turn around a girl’s cross country team that was 4-17 the year before his arrival. Upon his move to Bucknell four years later, the Donegal girls were 18-3 and had finished 8th at the Pennsylvania AA State Cross Country Championships two years-in-a-row.
Prior to taking a four year hiatus from college coaching to help with his daughter’s high school team, Straub was the Director of Cross Country and Track & Field at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. Straub spent nearly 13 years at ETown building the track & field program from scratch. In those 13 years, the cross country and track & field teams won a combined 26 Middle-Atlantic Conference (MAC) team titles and produced 185 All-MAC athletes. In addition, the six ETown programs finished amongst the Top 20 teams at the NCAA Division III Championships a total of 13 times. At those national championships, ETown produced 18 All-American athletes who combined for 35 All-America certificates from 2001-2011.
Success was found off the track as well during Straub’s tenure at ETown. Chris Williams (’05) was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist while Erin Fisher (’08) was a NCAA Woman of the Year Finalist. The 2002 men’s cross country team achieved the highest cumulative GPA in all of NCAA Division III en route to a MAC Championship, Mideast Regional Championship, and 15th place finish at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.
Straub earned his Master of Science degree in Sport Studies (concentration in Sport Psychology) from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1995. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology (concentration in Kinesiology) from James Madison University in 1993 graduating cum laude. There he was a team captain leading JMU to it’s first-ever CAA cross country championship over rival W&M in 1992.
Coach Straub and his wife, Traci, have two daughters, Seneca and Milligan. Seneca will attend Vassar College in the fall, 2017 and run cross country and track & field for the Brewers.