WORCESTER, Mass. – Worcester State University Director of Athletics, Michael Mudd, announced today (June 13) the restructuring of the men's and women's cross country and track & field programs at the university.
The Lancers welcome Daniel "DJ" Raboin as the new head coach of the men's and women's cross country teams. He will also hold the position of recruiting coordinator for all six cross country/track & field teams.
Raboin joins Worcester State with four years of coaching experience. He most recently was at Fitchburg High School where he served as the head boys cross country coach as well as the assistant coach of the boys and girl's distance runners on the track teams. During his tenure at Fitchburg, Raboin coached league champions, state divisional champions, state qualifiers, school record holders, and All-New England athletes. His athletes have gone on to compete at the high school and junior national level, and in NCAA competition, including student-athletes who have competed at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
"I feel excited and honored to be joining the Worcester State University community, specifically the cross country and track & field family," commented Raboin. "There is already a rich history of strong values and work ethic that I look forward to being a part of."
In his coaching, Coach Raboin stresses consistency which he believes leads to steady incremental improvements. With a background in medical biology and a commitment to continuing education in exercise physiology and strength training, Raboin has been able to effectively work with student-athletes and team trainers to implement a team approach to keep his student-athletes healthy. He seeks to develop well-rounded student-athletes with a sense of community among their team, high-level competitors, and life-long runners.
"Finally, I look to maintain those values while looking to instill a sense of positivity, fierce competitiveness, and a lasting love, drive and never ending thirst for knowledge within our sport," quoted Raboin.
Prior to his coaching stint, he ran collegiately at the University of New England where he earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Medical Biology. Raboin continues to compete at the regional and national level, representing the Central Mass Striders.
Joining Raboin on the cross country staff will be Nicole Gaffney who will serve as the assistant coach for both teams, and Amanda Wright who will be a volunteer assistant. Gaffney was a four-year member of the Fitchburg State University cross country and track & field teams where she placed in the top 10 of several MASCAC Championships, while Wright brings over 15 years of personal running and coaching experience in high school, college, and post-collegiate settings and is also the Vice-President for United States Track & Field for the New England Region.
"I would like to welcome DJ, Nicole and Amanda to Worcester State University," commented Mudd. "I am confident that their approach to college athletics as well as their experience as both student-athletes and as coaches will provide a great experience for our student-athletes."
Andrea Ouellette will remain as the head women's indoor/outdoor track & field coach, while Matt Swett will be named the interim indoor/outdoor men's track & field coach. Shawn McCabe will resume his duties as the throws coach for all four track & field teams. Ouellette will focus on horizontal jumps, while Swett will focus on vertical jumps. Ouellette and Swett will both coach sprints, while Raboin will be the distance coach for all four track & field teams.
In Ouellette's first three years at the helm, she assisted in sending two female student-athletes (Stephanie McFadries, Asgerdur Jana Agustsdottir) to the NCAA Division III National Championships. McFadries qualified for back-to-back NCAA Division III outdoor track & field championships in 2016 and 2017, while freshman Agustsdottir qualified for the 2017-18 national championships in the high jump, pentathlon and heptathlon. This past season, Ouellette also coached Bernice Mensah who was a 3x indoor track & field champion (60 meter dash, long jump, triple jump) and an outdoor MASCAC champion in the triple jump.
Swett has spent the past 10 years with the Worcester State men's track & field program, and just completed his fifth year as Associate Head Coach. Last season, Swett assisted the men's track & field programs to back-to-back indoor and outdoor MASCAC Championships, and also their first New England Alliance title. He also coached the two-time NCAA Division III National High Jump Champion and three-time All-American high jumper, Justin Lewis.
"I feel that our six programs will now be more aligned and efficient moving forward," concluded Mudd.