Hall of Fame boys cross country coach Roger Roman retiresJordan-Elbridge Athletic Hall of Fame member Roger Roman, who has coached the varsity boys cross country team since 1985, has decided to retire.
His career at JE includes seven Section III championships, 12 league crowns and one state championship in 1998. He also finishes with a 171-48 record in the league.
“It was time. I am proud of my legacy,” he said. “I could still do it for 10 years, but the time was right.”
Roman coached multiple teams during his time at JE. He coached varsity baseball from 1985-1998, modified boys basketball (grade 7) from 1989-2012 and boys indoor and outdoor track and field.
“The first team I coached was modified baseball in Fulton in 1980. I’ve coached a total of 113 interscholastic teams in my career,” he said. “That’s a lot of seasons.”
Modified coach Ryan Hannon will now coach the varsity team this year.
Dan Stadtmiller, the JE director of health, physical education & athletics, says Roman is one of the most passionate coaches he has ever had the privilege of knowing.
“He wants and expects the best of his athletes, and advocates at all levels for the sports of cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Thousands of athletes have benefited from having him not only as a coach, but a mentor and role model. He will leave a lasting impact on JE that will never be replicated,” he said.
Roman recalls numerous highlights from his career but said that one of the biggest is how popular cross country has become.
“When you’re a coach, you’re always chasing the goal to go to states and win, but the biggest highlight has been the passion and interest in distance running. It’s been great to see,” he said.
As for his legacy at JE, he says it is and always has been about the team.
“If we’ve ever done anything well, it’s because of the team. It’s all about them,” he said.