Mark Gottdenker enters his second season with the UMass track and field teams after an outstanding coaching career at Penn State and Monmouth. He primarily works with the UMass throwers, jumpers and multi-event athletes.
"We are extremely happy to have Mark as a member of the men's and women's coaching staff," said coach Ken O'Brien. "Mark has extensive coaching experience at the collegiate level and is a versatile coach who fits the needs of our program perfectly. He has the reputation of a coach that works well with both the developmental and elite athlete. He is an outstanding recruiter, a great motivator, and our student-athletes will benefit greatly from his coaching ability and passion for the sport."
Gottdenker joined the UMass track and field programs after four years at Penn State. His primary coaching duties at UMass include working with student-athletes in the throwing events, jumping events and multi-events such as the heptathlon and decathlon. He is also a key facet in the recruiting efforts of the track and field programs.
"I'm very excited to be part of the staff at UMass. Having been a collegiate athlete in New England, I have always had a great deal of respect and admiration for both the UMass track & field teams and the university in general," said Gottdenker.
In four years with the Nittany Lions, Gottdenker had similar coaching duties as he has at UMass.
While at Penn State, he guided four Big Ten champions and numerous NCAA indoor and outdoor qualifiers. Most recently, Gottdenker coached Allen Pettner to the Big Ten javelin title. In the 2005 outdoor track season Bret Kershner won the Big Ten javelin championship and earned a berth in the NCAA Championship with his performance at the East Regional meet. In 2004, he helped Brian Stumpf win the Big Ten javelin title, coached Matt Moyer to the NCAA Championships in the javelin, and shot putter Dane Miller to the NCAA Championships. In 2003, his guidance helped Stumpf reach the USA Track and Field Championships as well. Along with those throwers, Gottdenker helped multi-eventer J.T. Kuretich to the 2003 NCAA Championships, the IC4A indoor pentathlon title, the Penn Relays decathlon title and the Big Ten decathlon title.
Before Penn State, Gottdenker served as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track & field/cross country teams at Monmouth University (N.J.). He was later promoted to Head Coach for women's track and field.
At Monmouth and Penn State, Gottdenker earned a reputation for being able to develop athletes in a wide range of events into conference, regional and national level competitors. He developed athletes who qualified for the NCAA meet on eight occasions, in six events, earning four All-America honors (Jon Kalnas, shot put and Joe Madden, hammer).
Gottdenker earned his master's degree in kinesiology at Indiana University (`94) and his bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire (`92). He has been certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association as a strength and conditioning specialist and USA Weightlifting as a Sports Performance Coach. He is also a USA Track & Field Level II coach in the throwing events.