BLOOMSBURG-- Bloomsburg University athletic director Mary Gardner has announced the hiring of Bernie Empie as the head coach for both the men's and women's track teams.
Empie comes to Bloomsburg after spending eight years as assistant coach at Colgate University. In seven of those seasons he also served as the assistant coach for both the women's track and the women's cross country programs. He was responsible for coaching the Raiders' jumpers, sprinters, hurdlers, and multi-event athletes, and assisted with the cross country team in the fall. Empie also served as the primary recruiting coordinator for the cross country and track and field programs.
Empie's sprinters and jumpers had much success. Under his watch he helped guide Lisa Germain to both the indoor and outdoor Patriot League long jump title in 2006. He also mentored sprinter Curry Knox to the 100-meter dash title at the Patriot League Championship in a school-record time. Knox also finished second in the 200 dash at the championship meet.
The track and field program has seen much success since Empie returned to his hometown in August, 2000. His athletes have produced 25 school records, 18 conference championships, 37 all-conference performances, 44 ECAC or IC4A qualifying marks, three All-East performances, two provisional NCAA qualifying marks, and six Junior National qualifying performances.
"I am really excited to be become a part of the Bloomsburg family and as the men's and women's track and field coach," said Empie. "My 12 years as an assistant coach have thoroughly prepared me to be a head coach and I feel this is a great opportunity for me and my family."
"I look forward to the challenge of re-building the track and field programs to the status they once held," Empie continued. "With the construction of a new facility and the overwhelming support I felt while on campus, from Dr. Preston Herring (vice-president for Student Life), athletic director Mary Gardner, and many others in the athletic department, I feel Bloomsburg track and field can once again position itself near the top of the PSAC and show regular representation on the national scene."
Bloomsburg athletic director Mary Gardner looks forward to working with Empie.
"Bernie brings a wealth of track and field knowledge to the position," said Gardner. "His well-rounded experience in collegiate track and field is what we needed to grow the program and become competitive within the PSAC. We are looking forward to reinstating a full compliment of track and field events which will enhance our overall athletic program at BU."
Empie came to Colgate after serving as the assistant track and field and cross country coach at his alma mater, the Citadel, from 1994-98. Empie was responsible for recruiting, promotions and marketing, as well as assisting with on-field coaching for both the men's and women's teams. His primary duties included working with the cross country, middle and distance runners, however, he also assisted in coaching athletes competing in all other events. During his stint with the Bulldogs, Empie helped coach numerous all-conference athletes, five conference champions and two Junior National Qualifiers.
Empie graduated from the Citadel with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1994 and a master's degree in physical education in 1996. He and his wife, Andrea are the parents of two children, Connor and Gwendolyn.