When you look at the Shippensburg University men’s track-and-field team, you see a team that has completely dominated the competition for the last few years.
What is the key to its success? Look no further than the head of the program, head coach Dave Osanitsch.
On April 7, Osanitsch was recognized as the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Indoor Track-and-Field Coach of the Year in a vote conducted by his peers.
“It was an exciting honor. It should really be called the ‘coaching staff award,” Osanitsch said.
“It is really a reflection of the great coaching staff and the work that they did indoors. We’ve had a really good run going on indoors, and it was nice to be honored by my peers.”
This is not the first time that Osanitsch has been recognized for his strong coaching abilities. In fact, it became the eighth time that he has won the award in his coaching career. Osanitsch has put in 11 seasons of work at SU and has received the award in all but three of his seasons at SU.
“Like I said, it’s been very humbling and it’s a really good reflection of my coaching staff. We’ve been together a very long time and it’s really shown in the results. If you have a good solid coaching staff that works well together, you can really put together success and start a dynasty,” Osanitsch said.
Osanitsch’s team won the PSAC Indoor Championship for the sixth year in a row on Feb. 28.
The team blew away the competition, scoring 212 points, which was 1.5 points away from tying the conference record held by the 2012 Raiders.
SU obliterated the competition this year, topping second-place Slippery Rock University by 116.5 points. SU had multiple place-winners in 13-of-15 events.
“We have been getting some really fantastic student athletes who are committed; winning breeds winning. When you start getting a reputation for being a program with success, it is easier to attract high-level student athletes,” Osanitsch said.
Along with the team’s success at the PSAC Championships, SU also had 33 All-Region selections — giving it the most All-Region selections in all of Division II.
“It was a great honor to have the most All-Region selections in the entire nation. I was also really proud of our team to be the highest regional ranked team, as well —which means, if we had gone and done a dual-meet with any other team in the nation, we would have been successful.” Osanitsch said. “It just goes to show how well-rounded of a team we had, and we scored in each event at the PSAC Championships so I am hoping to duplicate that success outdoors.”
Along with Osanitsch winning Coach of the Year, Kieran Sutton and Grant Smith earned PSAC Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, and PSAC Men’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year, respectively.
“It was great to see those guys get some recognition. They both had incredible indoor seasons and both of them capped it off with All-American status. It was great to see them get some recognition, as well,” Osanitsch said.
The team had four All-Americans — three first-team, and one second-team. This is just the second time in school history that SU claimed three All-American selections in just one season.
Osanitsch, with his six-straight titles, is well on his way to building a dynasty at SU. The team is one of the very best in Division II and things are only looking up under the direction of Osanitsch.