After spending 41 years as a coach for cross country and track & field at Catholic University, Associate Head Cross Country and Women's Track and Field Coach Joe Fisher announced his retirement on Friday. Fisher, a 1975 graduate of Catholic, will coach through the end of the 2019 outdoor season.
Fisher was named the head women's cross country and track and field coach at Catholic in 1978. Over his expansive career, he coached a national champion, 166 all-conference selections, 55 individual conference champions, nine athletes of the year and four rookies of the year. He has also received eight coach of the year accolades while leading the Cardinals to a Mason-Dixon Conference cross country championship in 1979, two NCAA South/Southeast Region titles in 1982 and 1984 and a Landmark Conference women's cross country championship in 2012.
"The entire Athletics Department would like to congratulate Joe on his well-deserved retirement," said Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Sean Sullivan. "He has worked tirelessly, for decades, in support of the holistic, well-being of his student-athletes. Even 40 years in, he continues to exude a warmth, kindness, and a sense of class that makes him uniquely special. Joe holds a unique place in our Athletics history, once excelling as a student-athlete and then furthering his commitment to our University for decades to come by serving as a coach to many and mentor to all."
Fisher has had 14 All-Landmark Conference selections in cross country and 79 in indoor and outdoor track and field. He was named 2012 Landmark Conference Coach of the Year after leading Catholic to its first title after finishing sixth in 2010 and third in 2011. He also had five all-region selections over four years in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012.
As a member of the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) from 1991-2007, Fisher was a four-time Coach of the Year recipient, had 41 All-CAC selections, three Athlete of the Year and three Rookie of the Year honorees. The Cardinals also finished in the top-10 at regionals 10 times while Anita Freres (1983), Terri Lecourcia (1989), Anne Michaels (1991) and Aylse Cheatle (2007) qualified as individuals for the NCAA Cross Country Championship. In addition, Angela Gloukhoff and Rachel Yates were both named to the CAC's Silver Anniversary Team.
On the track, Fisher has mentored 22 indoor event champions and 33 outdoor champions. A total of 43 individual champions have come in the Landmark Conference where he was named Coach of the Year for indoor in 2012 after a third-place finish at the conference championships. He was also named indoor coach of the year by the CAC in 2006 while Kim Stengle was named Athlete of the Year as Catholic also finished third.