The Coaching Career of Walter Slovenski

 

Slovenski pic

Slovenski
Image: abacus.bates.edu

The recipient of a bachelor’s in biological engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Arinze Okeke began working as a software developer with Intersystems in June of 2017. While working toward his degree, Arinze Okeke was a member of the MIT track and field team and earned the Walter Slovenski Field MVP Award, which is given to the best jumper in New England Division III.

An all-around athlete, Slovenski was an All-American shortstop in baseball at Syracuse University and also played for the school’s football team, but is best known as an excellent track and field coach. Upon joining Bates College in 1952, Slovenski had ambitions of coaching basketball, but the school needed a track coach and he was happy to take the position. In 1957, he guided the team to its first state title since 1912 and helped it repeat as champions in 1958.

That same year, with the track program lacking quality long-distance runners, Slovenski started a cross country program that quickly mirrored the success of the track team. The cross country team won 18 state meets from 1968 to 1993, during which time it also recorded 30 consecutive dual meet wins against Maine, Holy Cross, Boston University, UNH, Boston College, and the University of Connecticut. A member of multiple sports halls of fame, Slovenski concluded his coaching career with 700 wins and over 20 Maine state championships. He also helped produce 26 All-American track and cross country athletes.

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