|Team:||Men's Cross-Country Coach|
|Induction Class of:||2011|
Ed Sandifer loved teaching and running, and was instrumental in starting the men’s cross-country program at Western New England.
His notoriety in the running community attracted interest from his students who asked him to be their advisor, which was in 1978 and 1979.
Sandifer then became the program’s first varsity coach in 1980 and held the position for four seasons. His squad finished a respectable fifth at the NAIA New England Championship in 1981 and compiled a 14-7 record in his final season in 1983. He coached two national qualifiers (Garrett Mahoney and Gary Crowley) and one Academic All-American (Gary Crowley) at Western New England.
Sandifer spent seven years as a faculty member at Western New England, serving as an assistant professor in Quantitative Methods (along with being the department chair) and Computer Information Systems in the School of Business Department. He also was the author of several math books.
"Ed was an amazing person and he had a big impact on my day-to-day life," said Crowley who graduated in 1984. "He was such an organized individual and had a formula for everything. It was great being around him. If anyone ever needed advice, he always had it. Ed also was one of the best local runners winning many road races."
James Donovan '82 ran for one season in 1981 and remembers his former coach as being "wry, humorous, and always optimistic and encouraging of all team members, and I mean all the team members. Ed was instructive with respect to running and interested in the individuals in terms of their entire college experience."
Former Golden Bear Christopher St. George '85 said, "To initiate and elevate the men's cross-country team from a club to a varsity sport was an achievement in itself. It is very rare for someone with his talents and successes to turn around and teach what he knows. He spent hours teaching and working out with us during the long runs, the interval workouts, and running around the course with his words of encouragement during competition. He practiced what he preached!"
Sandifer enjoyed a successful running career and achieved a remarkable accomplishment by completing 37 consecutive Boston Marathons (1973-2009). A member of the Greater Springfield Harriers, he established multiple age-group records and finished first in the 1982 Holyoke Marathon.
Now retired, Sandifer and his wife Terry reside in Newtown, Connecticut, and are the parents of Phil (29) and Victoria (18).