Rick Erdmann, Head Coach Emeritus of Track and Field/Cross Country, was inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Hall of Fame on May 31, at the OVC Spring Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I love seeing kids improve and develop as individuals,” he said. “To me, the most gratifying part about coaching is watching my kids be successful in life, not just financially, but in whatever their interests are.”
Coach Erdmann’s accomplishments during his 39-year career at EKU have been numerous and significant:
Won 73 Ohio Valley Conference Championships
- 31 in Women’s Cross Country
- 23 in Men’s Cross Country
- 9 in Women’s Outdoor Track and Field
- 4 in Women’s Indoor Track and Field
- 5 in Men’s Indoor Track and Field
- 1 in Men’s Outdoor Track and Field
- Named OVC Coach of the Year 70 times
- Coached 45 individual OVC Cross County champions
- Coached 36 NCAA Division I Track and Field All-Americans, including four NCAA runners-up
- Coached 10 NCAA Division I Cross Country All-Americans
- Led the EKU Men’s Cross Country team to a number 8 national ranking in 2016, the highest national ranking in program history
- Six of his Cross County teams (three men’s and three women’s teams) recorded perfect scores in OVC Championships
- Coached six teams to NCAA Cross Country championships
- Named NCAA Southeast Region Cross Country Coach of the Year twice (2012 and 2013)
- Won one NCAA Southeast Region Cross Country championship (men in 2013)
- Coached three Olympians
With such an outstanding list of accomplishments, it was always about the student athletes with Erdmann. With great humility, he often deflected interview requests in favor of student athletes being interviewed, his colleagues said. Rather than focusing on his own accomplishments, Coach Erdmann prefers to stay in touch with his previous student athletes and boasts on their accomplishments.
But with this honor, Erdmann's legacy as a coach that produced winning programs and athletes, in addition to his ability to nurture his athletes into good human beings, is solidified.