Thu08062020

Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm

Features

Celebrating Former Coach Eliiot Denman

Coach DenmanMcLoone’s Pier House in Long Branch hosted the 85th birthday of Monmouth’s first track coach, Olympian Elliott Denman, and the anniversary of the Shore Athletic Club, on Nov. 24th.

The festive event included nearly a dozen Olympians who all have a connection to Denman and the Shore A.C. More than 300 athletes, coaches, officials, and friends of the running community reminisced about the storied history of the club and Denman’s leadership. Notable attendees included former Monmouth Board of Trustees Chairman Henry Mercer ‘87 and Michael Thomas, Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Denman competed in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics for the 50k racewalk. The Bronx native was the second American in the race with 11th place and a time of 5:12:14.0. The same year after graduating from New York University, he went on to serve in the army.

After settling to the Jersey shore, he revived Shore A.C. in 1962 after a period of discontinuation. A few years later, (then) Monmouth College hired him as the new cross-country/track and field coach from 1966 to 1968. Although the cross country and track team started off with 10 athletes, Coach Denman laid a foundation to the current success of the men’s and women’s program today.

The men’s and women’s track teams have dominated the Northeast Conference (NEC) and the MAAC conference for years. The men and women have both won eleven consecutive Outdoor Track & Field Conference Championships. In recent years the Hawks have earned more than 20 NCAA Division I All-America honors, most recently by Allie Wilson, Corey Murphy and Danielle Steff earlier this year.

“Elliott Denman and the Shore Athletic Club Coach have been very connected to the Monmouth track & field and cross-country program for more than 50 years now,” said Joe Compagni, who retired in August after 24 years as Monmouth’s head cross-country and track coach. “Elliott coached Monmouth’s first Division I All-American in any sport, Augie Zilincar in the hammer throw in 1968. In the 1980s, Coach John Kuhi developed an excellent group of middle-distance runners here and he is still very active with Shore A.C. They were among the first people I met when I arrived here in 1995, and their support has been instrumental in the growth and success of our program.”

After his official time at Monmouth, Denman continued his career as a full-time sportswriter. He worked for various newspapers, including the Asbury Park Press (APP). He retired from the APP in 1999 but has continued to contribute occasionally.

Shore A.C. is a club deeply rooted in the University community. Administrators, professors and students have run in Shore A.C. races and been active with club throughout the years. Notable races the club hosts annually are the Jersey Shore Half Marathon, the Asbury Park “Sheehan Classic” 5K, and the Lake Takanasse series, with community races every summer for the past 50 years.

Monmouth College alums and former coaches such as Hall of Famers Mel Ullmeyer and Greg Bordiuk, Hoyle Mozee, and others have been very involved with the club as well.

Dayna Luma, a senior health studies student and captain of the women’s cross-country team, said, “I’ve only been interning with the Shore A.C. for a short time, but they have been so welcoming and friendly. They really care a lot about the work they do. I’ve volunteered with them for the past few years.”

Gerard Rokosz, a sophomore social work student, said, “I am a member of the new Monmouth Running Club, and we were fortunate enough to race in the Shore A.C. cross-country series this past fall. The race series was my first experience with them. Shore A.C. is one of several adult and youth running clubs throughout the state of New Jersey. They are a very well-known group in the running community, and they provide a great way to allow people to keep running past their high school and college years. I had a blast running their races this year.” 

As the banquet concluded, many were grateful for the legacy Elliott Denman created in the track and field community. From officiating at cross-country and track meets to attending home basketball games, Denman is still an avid supporter of Monmouth’s Athletics.

Dean Thomas said, “Before I knew about Elliott’s legend and Olympic history, I knew his kindness. At every home X-C and Track & Field meet over the past 22 years that I’ve been working at MU, there was Elliott Denman offering his praise and insights. When I introduced him to my wife, saying this is Elliott, a ‘56 Olympian, he said “And friend!” He is a true friend of all runners in NJ, the grandfather of us all, our guru.”

IMAGE TAKEN from ShoreA.C.

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu