Don Strametz, who enters his 30th season with the Matador women and 25th with the Northridge men, added to his long list of accolades during the 2009 season. The Big West Men's and Women's Coach of the Year helped guide the Matador women to their fourth consecutive outdoor conference championship while the men claimed their second title in the last three years.
In terms of conference championships, Strametz has been the most successful Northridge head coach over the last decade.
Now in its ninth season as a member of the Big West Conference in outdoor track & field, Strametz and his staff have led the Matadors to six women's team championships while the men have captured four Big West crowns in eight years.
Northridge has also captured a pair of indoor championships on the women's side (1999 - Big Sky Conference, 2007 - Western Athletic Conference). In all he Matadors have won a combined 19 conference championships under Strametz since moving up to NCAA Division I status in 1991.
In eight seasons in the Big West, well over 100 Matador athletes have garnered all-conference honors. The Matadors have also excelled in the classroom under Strametz's tutelage as over 65 Northridge student-athletes have earned all-conference academic honors over the last eight years.
Strametz, who has been voted Big West Coach of the Year by his peers nine times since 2002, was also named WAC Women's Coach of the Year as well as USTFCCCA Region Coach of the Year in 2007. Strametz has also spearheaded Cal State Northridge's effort to host the NCAA West Regionals in 2008 at the Matador Track & Field Complex. He has also been behind Northridge's effort to showcase the Big West Outdoor Championships in Northridge in 2004, 2007, 2008 and again in 2010.
In 2001, the Matadors closed a five-year run in the Big Sky Conference as one of the most successful programs both indoor and outdoor. Strametz led the Matador women to three outdoor team championships (1997, 1999, 2000) and one indoor championship (1999). The CSUN men finished as the Big Sky runner-up in 1999. In all, 60 Matador men and women earned All-Big Sky Indoor honors and 86 earned All-Big Sky Outdoor accolades from 1997-2001. Northridge track and field also continued its excellence in the classroom by having 79 student-athletes earn Big Sky All-Academic Indoor season honors and 79 All-Academic Outdoor season honorees over five years.
Strametz has headed both the men's and women's track and field teams since 1986. He also heads the Matador men's and women's cross country teams. In 1979, he became head coach of the men's team and in 1980 took over coaching duties for the women. With the addition of indoor track and field in 1992, he is the head coach of six Matador teams.
Strametz's coaching success has not gone unnoticed by his peers. Strametz was named California Collegiate Athletic Association Women's Coach of the Year in 1986, 1988 and 1990. For the men's team, he was honored as top coach of the conference in 1987. That same year, the Northridge coach was named NCAA Western Regional Coach of the Year while serving as President of the NCAA Division II Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Matadors' first NCAA Division I champion in any sport was crowned in 1991 when All-American Darcy Arreola claimed first-place honors in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Championships. The achievement capped a solid opening season of Division I competition for the Matador program.
In 1989, he was voted Cal State Northridge Coach of the Year by the intercollegiate athletic program of the university, NCAA Men's Western Region Coach of the Year and was the recipient of the Honorary Service Award, as voted by his peers.
He was also a two-time American West Conference Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's squads (1995-96) and the Big Sky Conference Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year in 1997.
As president of the California-Nevada Track and Field Coaches Association, Strametz heads an organization dedicated to the revitalization of track and field on the West Coast. He has been instrumental in spearheading the annual California-Nevada Track and Field Championships.
Before coming to Northridge, Strametz was the head track and field coach at Locke High School in Los Angeles from 1974-79. He was voted L.A. City Coach of the Year in 1979 after leading his boys' team to first place in the L.A. City Championship and a runner-up finish in the state championships. He also guided the girls' team to a state championship in 1977.
Aside from instructing athletes in competition, Strametz has been a professor at Cal State Northridge since 1985. He began his teaching career in 1969 at Locke High School in Los Angeles. After leaving Locke in 1979, he taught at Mount Vernon Junior High School until 1985. In addition to his responsibilities at Mount Vernon, Strametz was an associate professor at Cal State Northridge from 1979-85.
After he graduated from John Muir High School in Pasadena, Strametz enrolled at Cal State Los Angeles, where he earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1968. Strametz also received his master's degree in physical education from Cal State L.A. in 1975. In his spare time, Strametz enjoys gardening, golfing and the outdoors.