Hepler Elevates Assistant Coaches On Interim Basis

Bob Hepler is in his second season leading EMU's track & field programs. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Bob Hepler is in his second season leading EMU's track & field programs. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Eastern Mennonite University has announced the interim elevation of two assistant track & field coaches.

John Denlinger and Ryan Shepard, each in their second year assisting Bob Hepler with the EMU track & field program, will take on additional duties this spring semester following the departure of Erick Camodeca.

"John and Ryan were with us last year," explained Hepler, "and not only were they very successful in producing good results, they established great trust and respect from the athletes. We are very fortunate to have these two fine people in place for the spring season."

Denlinger oversees the shot put, weight throw and sprints, while Shepard coaches the long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault and hurdles. Third-year assistant Joanna Friesen will also continue her role, working with the Royals' distance, steeplechase and triathletes.

Hepler said Denlinger and Shepard's ability to give more time for the spring semester allows EMU to be thorough yet timely in the search to replace Camodeca.

"This gives us flexibility in the hiring process to fill the Head Coach position permanently," he said. "While we want to hire a person quickly, having quality coaches in place for the season allows us to do a very thoughtful search. A realistic expectation is to announce a hire in February."

EMU expects the new Head Coach of Track & Field to start in Harrisonburg over the summer. Hepler will continue to lead the Royals' programs with a title of Director of Cross Country and Track & Field, along with being Head Coach for Cross Country and Women's Triathlon.

The Royals open the 2020 portion of their indoor track & field season this Sunday at the Kaye and JJ Smith Invitational hosted by Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va.