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Annette Acuff begins her 15th season as the head cross country coach at Binghamton in 2014. She also serves as an assistant track & field coach for the Bearcats. During her tenure, Binghamton has built a successful Division I distance program from the ground up.
In the past six seasons, the Binghamton men’s team has been one of the top cross country squads in the America East Conference. After placing third in the 2008 conference meet, the Bearcats won the 2009 championship and were the runner-up the following year. In 2013, Binghamton was also the runner-up. Since 2008, Binghamton has had 11 all-conference selections as well as the 2009 America East individual champion in Erik van Ingen.
On the regional level, the Bearcat men have been ranked in the USTFCCCA Northeast Region Poll in four of the last six seasons. They finished a program-best eighth place at the 2009 Northeast Regional Meet and were 10th in 2013. van Ingen advanced to the NCAA Division I Championships twice during his career (2009 and 2010) and finished 43rd overall at the 2010 national meet.
The Binghamton women’s team, meanwhile, had the top freshman finisher at the 2009 America East Cross Country Meet and has posted six all-conference selections since 2004. In addition, the Bearcat women have had two All-Northeast Region selections as well as the 2006 ECAC individual champion.
In the classroom, Binghamton has been just as successful under Acuff’s watch. The men’s team has posted 12 America East All-Academic Team selections since 2008. In 2010, Binghamton also had its first-ever America East Men’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete in Chris Gaube.
Since 2008, 15 members of the Binghamton women’s team have been inducted into the National College Athlete Honors Society. During that same stretch, 11 members of the men’s team have also been inducted. In 2009, the Bearcat women’s squad maintained a 3.42 overall GPA and the men’s squad had the top team GPA in the America East Conference.
Equally as impressive for Acuff has been her role as the assistant coach with the Binghamton track & field distance program. Since 2002, the men’s distance runners have won 13 individual conference titles and compiled 45 all-conference selections.
The men’s distance program has been instrumental in Binghamton earning runner-up team finishes in five of the last six America East Indoor Track Meets as well as at the 2010-12 outdoor championships. At the conclusion of the 2008 and 2011 indoor track seasons, as well as the 2012 outdoor track campaign, Acuff was part of the men’s coaching staff that was voted the best in the America East Conference.
On the women’s side, Acuff has had seven different runners earn all-conference honors in a total of 12 events since she took over the program. This includes one individual title and five runner-up performances. In 2013, Acuff was part of the America East Women’s Outdoor Track Coaching Staff of the Year.
Without question, however, it was the 2011 indoor track campaign that was Acuff’s crowning moment as a track coach. The USTFCCCA named her as Northeast Region Men’s Indoor Track Assistant Coach of the Year. During that season, she coached van Ingen to a fifth-place finish in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships, marking the first time a Binghamton distance runner has earned Division I All-America honors. van Ingen went on to earn first-team All-America honors three more times during his career. Acuff also was named the USTFCCCA Men’s Northeast Region Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year in 2012.
Under Acuff’s watch, both van Ingen and Jesse Garn have broken four minutes in the mile. Each of them has also competed in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games.
Acuff came to Binghamton from the University of Northern Colorado, where she was the assistant women’s cross country coach for three years. During that span, she coached one cross country All-American and three All-American distance runners in track. Under Acuff’s leadership, the Bears enjoyed back-to-back NCAA Division II Championship appearances, placing 10th in 1997 and 14th in 1998. In the five years prior to her arrival at Northern Colorado, the program had not advanced to the national meet.
In 1997, Northern Colorado’s coaching staff was selected as North Central Region Coaches of the Year. Acuff also was an assistant men’s and women’s track coach for three years, handling the distance runners.
A former NCAA Division I runner, Acuff earned all-conference honors in indoor track two straight years in the 1,000 meters at Oklahoma (1992-93). Acuff was also an Academic All-Big Eight selection four times (1991-94).
Acuff received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Oklahoma in 1995, and went on to earn her master’s degree in physical education, with an emphasis in sports psychology, from Northern Colorado in May 2000. She received her Level I and Level II U.S. Track & Field Certification in 1999 and 2001 respectively.
BINGHAMTON CROSS COUNTRY UNDER ANNETTE ACUFF
- 2009 America East Men’s Cross Country Championship
- 2010 & 2013 America East Men’s Cross Country Runner-Up
- Two top-10 men’s team finishes at the Northeast Regional Meet (2009 & 2013)
- Four USTFCCCA Northeast Regionally-Ranked men’s teams (2008, 2009, 2010 & 2013)
- Two Men’s NCAA Championship Meet Qualifiers
- Two Men’s All-Northeast Region Selections
- Two Women’s All-Northeast Region Selections
- One ECAC Women’s Individual Champion
- 18 Total America East All-Conference Selections
- 15 Total America East All-Academic Selections
BINGHAMTON TRACK & FIELD DISTANCE PROGRAM UNDER ANNETTE ACUFF
- Four USFTCCCA All-America selections
- Five NCAA Championship Meet entrees
- Two different sub-four minute milers
- 14 Total America East Conference Champions
- 45 Total America East All-Conference Selections
ACUFF’S BINGHAMTON COACHING ACCOLADES
- 2009 America East Men’s Coach of the Year
- 2011 USTFCCCA Northeast Region Assistant Men’s Indoor Track Coach of the Year
- 2012 USTFCCCA Northeast Region Assistant Men’s Outdoor Track Coach of the Year
- Part of the 2008, 2011 & 2014 America East Men’s Indoor Track & Field Coaching Staffs of the Year
- Part of the 2012 America East Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Coaching Staffs of the Year
- Part of the 2012 America East Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Coaching Staffs of the Year
Eddie Novara returns for his second season as an assistant coach with the Binghamton cross country program in 2014. He is an assistant with the Bearcat track & field program. Novara arrives from SUNY Geneseo, where he was a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater in 2012.
During his undergraduate career, Novara was a three-time NCAA Division III Cross Country All-American. In addition, he set the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) record in the 10,000 during the 2012 outdoor track season.
With Novara on the squad, Geneseo placed fourth at the 2011 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships and ninth at the 2010 meet. It also won the Atlantic Regional crown in 2010.
Novara earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Geneseo in 2012.
NOVARA’S BINGHAMTON COACHING ACCOLADES
- Part of the 2014 America East Men’s Indoor Track & Field Coaching Staffs of the Year