|Title:||Track and Field Head Coach|
Matt Utesch is in his 14th season as the head track and field coach for men and women at Lehigh. During 2008-09 Utesch coached a total of eight Patriot League Champions and had 32 student-athletes compete at IC4A/ECAC Championship throughout the year. In addition, he saw seven of his athletes named to the All-Region team, 19 All-Patriot League honorees, and a total of six school records were broken during the year.
In 2008, Utesch coached his first-ever IC4A Champion in Khalil Uqdah (pole vault) and had five student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Eastern Regional. Of those five qualifiers, four broke school records in the process, while the other set a personal best in his respective event en route to qualifying. In addition, Utesch produced four Patriot League Champions, ten All-Patriot League honorees, nine All-East performers (second consecutive season) and he saw 13 student-athletes compete at the IC4A/ECAC Championships during the indoor and outdoor seasons
During the 2007 indoor and outdoor seasons, Utesch mentored 14 All-Patriot League selections, nine All-East performers and one athlete that qualified for the NCAA East Regional Championship (Sean Swift). In 2006, Utesch added five school records to the record board, had 15 All-Patriot League selections and five NCAA East Regional qualifiers. In 2005, Utesch mentored 15 All-Patriot League selections, two All-East performers, two East Regional qualifiers, and Lehigh’s first-ever male athlete to qualify for the NCAA National Championships (Vaclav Malek).
In the 2003 season, Utesch added his second Patriot League Coach of the Year Award. Utesch has also served as a member of the NCAA Cross Country Track and Field Committee. He was also the Chairman of the 2005 National Championships, held in Sacramento. During his tenure at Lehigh, Utesch has coached several Patriot League record holders, including Patrick Dugan (javelin), Chris Lambert (pentathlon), Francis Vincent (triple jump), George Evans (200-meters, 60 meters), Alex L’Heuerux (3,000-meter steeplechase), Justina Barone (pentathlon, 55-meter hurdles, 400 hurdles), Vaclav Malek (decathlon), and Lucinda Hull (3,000-meter steeplechase). In addition, he mentored two Penn Relays Champions in Dugan and Malek, as well as 145 All-Patriot League selections and 65 Patriot League Champions. Over 125 school records have fallen under Utesch’s watch, running the gamut of events from sprints and hurdles to distance and throws. Utesch has also coached nine Patriot League Athletes of the Meet, including Justina Barone, Alan Ferguson, Vincent and most recently, Malek.
In the summer of 2007, Utesch enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience as he was afforded the opportunity to travel across the world to Pakistan to take part in a joint venture between the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Utesch worked with coaches on their systematic training program at the country’s Olympic Training Facility.
Prior to coming to Lehigh, Utesch served as assistant track and cross-country coach at Lafayette from 1994 through ’97. At Lafayette, he specialized in coaching jumps, pole vault, hurdles, and multi-event athletes. During his tenure, Utesch produced four athletes with a combined eight Patriot League titles between them. Three of these athletes also hold three Patriot League records. Three of his athletes also placed as high as fifth in the IC4A Championships. Under Utesch, Lafayette finished second in the 1997 Patriot League Championships, beating a highly competitive Bucknell squad.
Utesch earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and religion, with a minor in communications from Doane College (Nebraska) in 1990. While at Doane, he was a two-time NAIA qualifier in the pole-vault, placing as high as ninth nationally. He was also a part of seven NAIC conference championship teams.
Utesch and his wife Debbie, the head cross country coach at Lehigh, reside in Bethlehem with their daughter Sydney and son Tyson.