Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

UMass Dartmouth Picks Mike Salem to Lead Cross Country and Track & Field Programs

UMass Dartmouth head cross country and track & field coach Mike Salem

Release Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Athletics

Dartmouth, Mass. --  Mike Salem, who has served for the past four seasons as an assistant coach for the Tufts University women's cross country and track & field programs, has been named as the Head Men's & Women's Cross Country and Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field Coach at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  Salem's appointment, which is effective immediately, was announced earlier today by Corsair Director of Athletics Amanda Van Voorhis.

In serving as the head coach for all six of UMass Dartmouth's cross country and track & field teams, Salem takes over for longtime Corsair cross country mentor Jon Hird and legendary track & field coach Steve Gardiner.  Hird retired from his position at the University this summer, while Gardiner will remain on Salem's staff as an assistant coach.

A resident of Medford, Mass., Salem previously served as the Head Women's Track & Field Coach for two seasons (2012-14) at Bridgewater State University, where he also served as an assistant coach for the Bears' men's track & field program.  During his tenure at Tufts, Mike helped Head Coach Kristen Morwick's Jumbos make four straight appearances in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships while also mentoring an NCAA champion, nine All-Americans and 24 NCAA qualifiers in track & field.

While at Bridgewater State, Salem coached eight All-Americans, 10 NCAA qualifiers and 36 conference champions for both the women's and men's programs.  Mike guided the Bears to the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference indoor women's title in 2014 and helped Head Coach T.J. Smith's men's program win a pair of league crowns in 2013, as Bridgewater State student-athletes combined to set 75 school records during his tenure.

"Mike has achieved success throughout his career in both cross country and track & field, and I am pleased to welcome him to this new combined position at UMass Dartmouth," Van Voorhis said of Salem's appointment.  "He is a strong advocate for individual development and committed to imparting life lessons through sport.  His strength is coaching people, and that philosophy has helped student-athletes excel in competition and in their studies.  Mike will not only honor the rich tradition of our past, he will help take us to new heights in the future.

"Mike certainly has some big shoes to fill in both programs, and I want to thank two icons of Corsair Athletics for all that they have done in distinguished careers that have spanned well over half a century," Van Voorhis continued.  "I am very excited that Steve will remain as a valued member of both cross country and track & field teams, as his expertise and experience will continue to benefit our student-athletes greatly."

Salem's student-athletes at Tufts and Bridgewater State were also recognized for their excellence in the classroom, as the Jumbos earned a combined eight United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team honors over the last four years.  Additionally, a total of 40 student-athletes at both institutions earned USTFCCCA All-Academic accolades.

A 2009 graduate of Boston University with a degree in Political Science & Philosophy, Salem was a standout for the Terriers in both cross country and track & field.  A two-time America East Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll honoree at BU, Mike earned a Master's degree in Sports Leadership from Northeastern University last year.  In addition to his coaching stints at Tufts and Bridgewater State, he served in a pair of assistant and associate coaching roles at Swarthmore College (2009-11) and Lewis & Clark College (2011-12) before returning to the East Coast.

"I want to thank Amanda Van Voorhis and members of the search committee for this opportunity," Salem said of his appointment.  "I am very excited to be joining the UMass Dartmouth community and the chance to work with an outstanding group of student-athletes, coaches and staff that comprise Corsair Athletics.  The University has a long, rich history of both individual and team excellence in our sports, and I am eager to begin work on continuing that tradition."

Both Corair cross country squads will be off and running in their respective 2018 campaigns on Saturday, September 1st at the Fitchburg State Jim Sheehan Memorial Invitational that begins at 11:00 am EDT.