Coach Robert Hoppler, head coach of the women’s cross-country and track & field teams, has done wonderful work in all three seasons of running this year.
Starting with cross-country in the fall, Hoppler coached his team to become the America East Conference champions, with the top seven runners finishing within the top 23 places. The women’s team proceeded to place 10th at NCAA regionals, with runner Laura Rose Donegan continuing all the way to the NCAA championships and placing 30th, which achieved All-American status. Hoppler earned an America East Coaching Staff of the Year Award for his efforts. Hoppler proved to be a great coach once again in the indoor season, as the team captured second place at the conference championships, fourth at the New England championships and eighth at the ECAC championships with his DMR team placing first. Hoppler also coached his second All-American of the year, Elinor Purrier, to hold the top mile time in the nation that season and a third place finish at the national championships.
Moving on to the current outdoor season, Hoppler has continued his well-balanced approach to this team. Purrier holds the best 3,000-meter steeplechase time in the country and is headed to the Olympic trials. The team remains consistent and has a great amount of depth, because Hoppler keeps in mind the needs of the team in order to be a strong contender in the conference yet again. The indoor and outdoor track teams this year have broken an incredible 11 school records under Hoppler in 2016, evidence of how effective he and his staff are at coaching.
Hoppler’s holistic approach has an effect in the classroom. His athletes are constantly recognized for excellence in the classroom. The cross-country and track and field teams received NCAA public recognition for multi-year academic progress rate scores in the top 10 percent of their sports. There is work still to be done for Hoppler and his team this spring as the team is gearing up for the conference championships, and another trip to nationals for some.