Belmont Abbey Mourns the Loss of Head Coach Bill Hodge

Courtesy: Chris Poore, Belmont Abbey

November 8, 2010   

Belmont Abbey College Athletics is deeply saddened to announce the death of Crusaders Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach, Bill Hodge.

Hodge died suddenly Friday evening at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte after suffering a heart attack during the Conference Carolinas Cross Country Championships at McAlpine Creek Park.

Hodge was a multi-time coach of the year honoree in four different Division I conferences and a highly successful recruiter with an emphasis on success in and out of the classroom. He was in his first year as the head cross country coach and second year as track and field coach at Belmont Abbey College. He joined the Abbey after two years at Mount Olive College, where he started the men’s and women’s track and field program in 2008.

“Mere words cannot express the sorrow we are feeling at the sudden and tragic loss of Coach Hodge,” Belmont Abbey Director of Athletics Quin Monahan said. “Bill was a fine man – he loved and adored his family, was committed to the young men and women on his Cross Country and Track teams and a valued member of the Abbey family.  We will miss his presence and his charisma.  Our prayers and sympathies continue to go out to his family.”

In just his first full year of recruiting, Hodge brought in the largest combined recruiting class ever (35 athletes). In addition, two of his throwers were ranked in the top ten in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region in just the Abbey’s first year of competition.

Hodge spent seven years as head cross country and track and field coach at Rider University and five years at Robert Morris College. A three-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, he guided Rider to the 2004 women’s outdoor track and field conference championship, the first in school history, and produced the men’s cross country team’s highest finish in school history. Hodge led Robert Morris to two track and field conference championships, the first two in school history, and won Northeast Conference Coach of the Year honors in back-to-back years.  A month prior to his death, Hodge was inducted into the Robert Morris College Athletics Hall of Fame.

He spent seven years as head assistant coach at Bucknell University, which won Patriot League Coaching Staff of the Year honors in four of his seven years. Hodge was also a women’s two-time East Coast Conference Coach of the Year, during his five years at Lafayette College, where he started the program. He was also head coach at Columbia University and Wagner College.

Hodge was originally from New Jersey. He is survived by his wife Jadwiga, and four children: daughters Gina, Ada and Roksana, and a son, Cyprian.