Matt Gittermann returns for his fifth year after joining UMBC in 2008 as the head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach in charge of distance events after serving as the cross country and track and field coach at Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City, Md., since August 2004. In his brief time at UMBC, Gittermann’s athletes have won two individual America East Conference Championships, had eighteen athletes and five relays qualify to the IC4A/ECAC Championships , and broken eleven school records. Academically, Gittermann’s cross country teams have led the university on numerous occasions in Team GPA, placed eleven members on the All-America East Academic Team, and his women’s team received Special National Recognition for Women’s Team APR from the NCAA in 2012.
This past fall, Gittermann’s men’s and women’s cross country teams had some of their strongest years in the recent history of UMBC. The men’s team finished third in the Conference Cross Country Championships, the second highest placing for them since entering the America East. They were led by All Conference Runner Brandan McGee who finished 7th overall and was quickly followed by the rest of the varsity squad who placed seven runners in the top twenty six. In addition, the men’s team blitzed the record books running a majority of the Top 10 fastest times in school history in cross country across all distances.
In 2011, the men’s cross country team built of the success of the previous year and spent most of the season ranked in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The indoor track season saw three athletes qualify in the 800 meters for the IC4A championship. Outdoors brought with it a new school record in the women’s steeplechase by Keri Wilson, in addition to a Conference Championship and new school record in the men’s steeplechase by Brandan McGee. McGee would then advance to the NCAA Preliminary rounds in the steeple chase, the first distance runner since 2008 to advance.
In his third season, the cross country teams rebounded after a tough second year to move up in Conference placings, led by the men’s fifth place finish at the Conference meet and a 13th place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region meet. In the track seasons Gittermann’s teams began to reset the record books. During the indoor track season his Distance Medley Relay team of Michael Christmas, Andrew Smith, Roy Jones, and Chris Snyder finished second at the Conference meet but shattered the old school record to the tune of 9:49. Christmas would also take over control of the 800 meter school record during the indoor and outdoor seasons, while Snyder would break the record in the outdoor 3,000 meters. Sara Parkinson would add the 3,000 meter school record to her list of accomplishments during the indoor season, and would break the 1,500 meter, 3,000 meter, and 5,000 meter records during the outdoor campaign.
In 2009, Gittermann’s second season, Sara Parkinson earned All-Conference honors for the second consecutive season at the America East Conference Cross Country Championships and was named to the Academic All-District II First Team honors. Her performances helped lead the women’s cross country team to their first team ranking in the Mid-Atlantic polls in quite some time. She would continue her strong year into indoor where she would break the school record in the 5,000 meters en route to a Conference Championship.
In his first season at UMBC, Gittermann’s men’s team won the Towson Invite in only his third meet at the helm, which in turn led to a UMBC’s entrance into the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings. Gittermann finished out the season producing two America East All-Conference honorees in Sara Parkinson and Anthony Kelhower as the men finished fifth and the women eighth at the America East Conference Championship meet.
All four of his boys’ cross country teams at Mount Hebron (2A/3A) had finished among the top eight in the state championships, peaking with a fourth-place finish in 2007. The Mount Hebron girls’ program also rose to prominence, finishing third at the state championships in 2007. The track programs were also extremely strong under Gittermann’s leadership. His 2005 boys’ indoor team and 2007 girls’ outdoor squad both finished as runners-up at the state championships. Overall, Mount Hebron broke more than 80 school records, produced 15 individual state champions and one All-American during Gittermann’s tenure.
Gittermann started his coaching career as head track and field coach at neighboring Hammond High School in the fall of 2003. The January 2003 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, earned four letters in cross country and three in track and field.
The Lewiston, N.Y., native earned his bachelor’s degree in middle childhood education from Baldwin-Wallace and completed his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with administrative focus from McDaniel College in May 2008.
Gittermann currently teaches science in the Howard County Public School System. He has a USATF Level II Certification in sprints, hurdles, relays and endurance. Additionally, he was one of 20 collegiate and high school coaches selected to attend the USATF/United States Olympic Committee Emerging Elite Endurance Coaching Clinic at the Olympic Training Facility at Chula Vista, Calif.
Gittermann resides in Columbia, Md. with his wife, Megan, and their daughter, Ryleigh.