Ramapo names Cassavell head coach of men's and women's cross country teams
MAHWAH, N.J. -- Ramapo College athletic director Chuck Gordon on Sunday announced the hiring of Justina Cassavell as the new head coach of the men's and women's cross country teams. Cassavell brings a wealth of experience to the college after serving as the head coach of the girls cross country team at Voorhees High School since 1997.
"I am very pleased that Justina Cassavell agreed to accept our head men's and women's cross country coaching position. She is an extremely knowledgeable and talented coach," Gordon said.
Cassavell has led the Voorhees girls to three New Jersey State Meet of Champions titles in 2007, '08 and '12. She has seen nine New Jersey State group championship titles, and 13 New Jersey sectional championship titles in her tenure with the program. In her 16 years with the Vikings, Cassavell won nine Skyland Conference championship titles, while the team qualified for the Meet of Champions every season, producing 14 top-10 finishers, nine top-five finishers and six top-three finishers. She led the team to a NXN Northeast championship in 2010, while earning second place at the same championship in both 2007 and '12. The Vikings also qualified three times for the Nike Team Nationals in 2007, '10, and '12, placing 13th overall in '07.
"I know our distance runners are eager to begin working with her, and I am excited for the future of our teams," Gordon said.
Cassavell was honored by the Newark Star Ledger as girls cross country coach of the year in 2001 and '12. She also is an eight-time recipient (2001, '03, '04, '06, '07, '08, '10, '12) of the Easton Express Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year Award, while earning NFHS Coaches Association Sectionals Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2007.
"I am very excited about being named the Ramapo College men's and oman's Cross Country Coach. I look forward to building on the success Coach [Mike] Jackson has already brought to the college and I am grateful to be given the opportunity to work with the athletes here at Ramapo. There is a lot of positive energy amongst the athletes and the athletic department and I feel confident we can make the Roadrunners a top contender," Cassavell said.
Besides her coaching the Voorhees girls, Cassavell started a non-profit track & field club -- the Hunterdon Hawks Youth Track & Field Club -- where she serves as president. She also serves as the camp director for the Voorhees Summer Track & Field Camp.
Cassavell is a 1992 graduate of Rutgers where she earned a degree in economics. She was a member of the Scarlet Knight cross country and track & field teams for four years. Cassavell was a NCAA provisional qualifier in 1991 for indoor track & field in the 800-meter run, with a time of 2:09.86. She received track & field All-East honors in 1989, '90 and '91, while earning a championship crown at the indoor Metropoloitan Championships in the 800-meter in '91. She was named Rutgers Most Improved Runner in track & field in 1990.
"We are extremely excited to have Coach Cassavell lead our cross country program. Our student-athletes are looking forward to this upcoming season and the days ahead. Having her as a part of our program shows a major commitment to winning championships," said Jackson, Ramapo director of cross country and track & field.