George Suitor, Trinity College’s head men’s and women’s cross country coach and men’s and women’s track and field coach for the last 30 years, has announced his retirement following the spring 2022 outdoor track and field season. Suitor, the 2008 NESCAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, closes his career as one of the most highly-regarded high school and college coaches in cross country and track and field history.
“I have been lucky enough to coach great kids, have great assistant coaches, and have supportive administrators that has allowed me to do what I love for over 50 years,” said Suitor. “I will miss the interactions with the kids, the competition, and the friendships that I have made over the years. We always strived to give our athletes a great experience and allow them to compete with the best. Our program embraced the Division III philosophy where family and academics come first, before athletics, but I am proud that we have been able to build this program up to what it is today. Not only do we feature some of the top athletes in all of Division III each year, but we now also have possibly the best outdoor track and field facilities in New England.”
Suitor’s tenure at Trinity has been nothing short of remarkable. Suitor has coached over 40 All-Americans and countless All-New England and All-NESCAC athletes in cross country and track and field, while his squads consistently earn distinction by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as National Academic Teams. Suitor guided the Bantams to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship Meet in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008. In 2003, the Trinity women finished as the NCAA Division III National Cross Country Runners-Up with a tremendous performance in the national meet that ranks among the best in Trinity sports history. In 2002, Suitor coached Trinity’s first NCAA Division III National Men’s Cross Country Champion (Ryan Bak ’03), who won the 8,000-meter final race with a course record time of 25:01. Bak also won two National titles in track and field and Amanda Rival ’01 won the NCAA Division III Heptathlon in 2001. Yolanda Flamino ’99 finished among the top ten in both the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters in 1998 and Peace Kabari ’20 was the 2019 NCAA Division III Runner-Up in the shot put.
“Coach Suitor served hundreds of Trinity students and our athletic department as a great coach and teacher,” said Trinity Director of Athletics Drew Galbraith. “He played a key role in their growth as students, athletes and members of our community. George’s advocacy for running, track & field and cross country sets him apart. He has been a singular force in working to grow the sport in Connecticut over the past five decades. We wish him all the best in this next phase of his life.”
Suitor came to Trinity after a highly successful tenure at the high school level. His scholastic teams in Manchester, Connecticut won three state championships and three runner-up distinctions, and achieved more than 225 dual-meet victories. He was inducted into the Connecticut State High School Hall of Fame in the fall of 2015. Many of Suitor’s former assistants have gone on to serve as head coaches of college teams at all divisions, including Trinity’s current men’s and women’s track and field head coach John Michael Mason, who also competed for Suitor as an athlete, Joe Dunham at Central College in Iowa, Karl Lerum at Seattle Pacific University, and Gary Gardner at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
“George Suitor is a lifelong educator who for three decades has taught Trinity students about life through track & field and cross country,” said Mason. “I have been fortunate to spend almost half that Trinity tenure with him, both as an athlete and then as a coach. He instilled in me early in my career the importance of teaching life lessons through our sport, and those values are why I coach here today. It has been tons of fun working with Coach Suitor, and I’ll never forget the opportunities he has given me and countless other athletes and coaches throughout his storied career.”