Will Feldman, a fixture in the Suffolk University cross country record books, returned to his alma mater in a new role as the first-ever Head Coach of Track & Field/Cross Country for the Rams prior to the 2017 season and begins his third season at the helm in 2019.
Feldman oversees both the men’s and women’s cross country and track & field teams. The programs were a part of a Fall 2016 announcement of six new varsity sports hitting the Suffolk varsity lineup.
The Feldman era began with fresh courses and new competition. The first-year head coach led Suffolk in five invitationals, one head-to-head meet and the GNAC Championships, in which the Rams finished eighth in the 10-team field.
The saying second is the best proved right in 2018, Feldman’s second year at Suffolk as head coach with the men’s and women’s teams finishing third and second, respectively, at the GNAC Championships, the highest finishes by both squads in recent history. On the conference course, Emma Weisse made history as the first-ever Rams’ runner to capture the individual crown, take home GNAC Runner of the Year status and earn her third all-league accolade in as many seasons. Weisse’ classmate Emily Manfra finished as the runner-up to join her co-captain on the all-conference team, her second league recognition of her collegiate career. On the men’s side, Matyas Csiki-Fejer put together the best-showing of rookie runners to become the first Suffolk male to garner GNAC Rookie of the Year. The success continued at the regional tournament where Manfra and Csiki-Fejer ran their way to all-region accolades, another first in the Rams’ record books, while the squads secured team finishes for the first time. Manfra’s 17th-place showing punched the junior’s tickets to the National Division III Championships, the first-ever Suffolk student-athlete to do so.
In addition to the athletic success, both of the Rams’ squads picked up USTFCCCA Academic accolades for the second straight season and Csiki-Fejer, Manfra and Weisse became the first-ever student-athletes to pick up all-acdaemic recognition by the national organization.
Upon acception the position in the spring of 2017, Feldman was no stranger to the Suffolk culture. During his time donning the blue-and-gold for the men’s cross country team, the four-year letterwinner, three-year captain earned MVP status in three straight seasons and took home the coveted Athletic Department top honor, the Charles Law Award, in back-to-back years in 2006, and 2007, respectively. Feldman still holds the Rams’ records in the 5k and 8k to this day.
Feldman returned to his Boston roots with eight years of coaching experience on his resume. The Suffolk graduate, who received a Bachelor’s of Arts in European history in 2010, began his coaching career across town at GNAC rival Emmanuel in 2008. As an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Saints, Feldman was instrumental in the growth and development of the then-newly developed program. He implemented a national recruiting effort, which doubled the size of the squad and culminated in the successful recruitment of the program’s first All-American.
After four seasons with the Saints, Feldman then took his coaching talents to MIT where he spent two years on the coaching staff working with middle distance and distance student-athletes, utilizing performance software such as Dartfish to analyze the gait of MIT’s runners and maximize runner’s efficiency. During the 2012 cross country season, he helped guide the men and women to NEWMAC team titles with the women going on to finish sixth at the NCAA Championships. On the track, Feldman worked with the hurdlers, middle distance and distance athletes. He was a crucial ingredient in back-to-back NEWMAC Outdoor team titles for both the men and women teams. During his time with the Engineers, Feldman assisted six All-Americans, 19 NCAA Qualifiers and 15 conference champions.
Feldman then joined Duke’s cross country and track & field coaching staff in August 2013. Throughout the 2013 cross country season and 2014 track & field campaign, he assisted in the success of the Blue Devil’s women’s middle distance and distance program. Feldman played a key developmental role in his first season. He worked with ACC Outdoor 1500m champion freshman Haley Meier and standout Juliet Bottorff, who won three ACC titles (Cross Country, Indoor 5k and Outdoor 10k). Overall, he helped Duke produce four All-Americans, five ACC Champions and an additional five All-ACC performers.
In 2014-15, Feldman helped Duke’s men’s distance-medley relay team earn All-American honors, while the team also grabbed All-ACC accolades. Additionally, he guided five members to All-ACC honors, including Shaun Thompson, who qualified for the NCAA National Championships in the 5,000-meter distance.
Feldman returns to Suffolk after two years on Chad Pearson’s staff at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro as assistant coach. At UNCG, Feldman worked with Southern Conference Cross Country Freshman of the Year Kathleen Mansure, as well as four all-conference performers and Katy Link, a NCAA first-round qualifier in the 10k.
He has abetted in conducting cross country workouts, while directing all the aspects of training for sprinters, hurdlers, middle distance and endurance athletes. Off the competition course, he identified and recruited endurance athletes, planned and executed official visits and managed operations and administrative responsibilities including travel logistics, compliance and the program’s budget.
On the runner’s circuit, Feldman has completed seven marathons. His best time on a 26.2-mile course came in Chicago in 2013, crossing the tape in 2:36.37. Since returning to Boston, Feldman has taken Boston’s historic course for the third and fourth time in the 121st (2017) and 122nd (2018) marathon with his wife and fellow Suffolk alumni, Kyle.
Feldman received his USA Track and Field (USATF) Level 1 Coaching Certification in 2008. In 2010 he earned his USATF Level II certification in Endurance events and Sprints, Hurdles, and Relays in 2014.