January 24, 2011

Don Strametz to Retire From Coaching After 31 Years

Jan. 24, 2011

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Cal State Northridge head track & field coach Don Strametz, who has guided the Matador men's and women's track & field programs to unprecedented success, has announced his retirement from coaching effective at the conclusion of the 2011 outdoor season.

Strametz's retirement marks the end of a glorious 31-year reign with the Matador women's team and a 26-year run with the Northridge men's team. It also marks the completion of an association with the University that spans over three decades. A 1968 graduate of Cal State Los Angeles, Strametz has led the Matadors to 19 conference outdoor championships, two conference indoor championships and has amassed 29 Coach of the Year honors. The Matador women have captured five consecutive Big West Conference outdoor titles heading into the 2011 season while the Northridge men have claimed the last two Big West outdoor championships.

"Although I am very excited and happy for Don as he begins his retirement, it will be a great loss to the many student-athletes, coaches, faculty and staff that he has come in contact with over the course of his 30-year tenure at Cal State Northridge" said Athletic Director Rick Mazzuto. "His enthusiasm, dedication, sincerity and talent will be difficult to replace but we all wish him the best as he begins the next phase of his life."

Strametz has also been instrumental in Cal State Northridge hosting a variety of track & field meets at the Matador Track Complex including seven conference championships and the NCAA West Region Championships in both 2004 and 2008. He also spearheaded the track & field programs efforts to host a full schedule of All Comers Meets every season which provide the surrounding community an opportunity to compete and experience track & field.

The 12-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year has guided the Matadors to a total of seven Big West Outdoor Championships on the women's side and five on the men's side. He also helped Northridge to America West Conference Outdoor Championships in 1995 and 1996 and Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Strametz and his staff have also produced well over 175 all-conference performers.

In addition, Strametz's student-athletes have excelled in the classroom as over 75 student-athletes have earned all-academic accolades and over 100 student-athletes have been named to the Varsity N Honor Roll. Track & Field student-athletes have also been named Big West Scholar Athletes of the Year in both 2004 and 2005 and former thrower Jessica Beach was awarded the prestigious Wolfson Scholar award in 2007 which goes to the University's Outstanding Graduating Senior. The CSUN women's cross country team has posted perfect graduation rates and men's cross country received the 2010 Big West Team Sportsmanship Award.

"I feel blessed that I've been able to work here and the results we've had speak for themselves," said Strametz. "I've also been so lucky to have such a great group of assistant coaches to work with throughout the years who have made this thing happen. We've also had a great bunch of athletes who bought into what we were preaching and have made it all worthwhile. It's been a great career and I'm looking forward to retirement."

A national search will be conducted by the University to find a replacement for coach Strametz.

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