CLEVELAND, Ohio - Joe Jaketic, who has been a fixture in the Cleveland State Department of Athletics for 45 years, has announced that he will retire as the CSU head women's cross country coach, effective Dec. 31.
Jaketic, who has served as the head cross country coach for the last 13 years, began his career at CSU as a student-athlete and grduated in 1972. He became the equipment manager for CSU athletics, a post he held for 37 years before retiring in 2008.
Jaketic recently concluded his 13th season as the CSU women's cross country coach, leading the Vikings to a fourth place showing at the Horizon League Championship, tied for the highest finish in program history. Freshman Anna Brandt became the first Horizon League Freshman of the Year in program history and earned first team all-league honors, while Karen Barrientos was named to the all-league team for the second straight year, earning second team honors.
In addition, the team won two events this year, claiming the Lock Haven Invitational and the Jenna Strong Classic.
Over his 12 years at the helm of the cross country program, Jaketic built the program into a Horizon League contender year-in and year-out. He worked hard on the recruiting trail to bring in student-athletes that not only succeed on the cross country course, but also in the classroom since he has a personal philosophy that academics come first in his program.
During his tenure, 51 student-athletes earned John Konstantinos Athletic Academic Honors, including 15 who earned the accolade during all four years of their career.
Since the 2005 season, the Vikings have earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors nine times (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008), been named Cleveland State's 'Best of the Best' three times (2011, 2010, 2006) and won the Academic Progress Rate Award nine times (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008).
Three of Jaketic's recruits have also been named Cleveland State Valedictorians, as Brittany Elmlinger earned the honor during Fall 2012, Kelly Zaleski picked up the award during Spring 2013, and Katie Webb earned the honor during Fall 2015.