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John Goldhammer holding his Hall of Fame plaque super-imposed in front of Roberts Pavlion. Words read: John Goldhammer, 36 years with CMS

John Goldhammer Announces Retirement after 36 Years with CMS

CLAREMONT, Calif. - After 36 seasons as the head coach of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps cross country programs, as well as 26 years as the head coach and 10 years as an assistant coach of the CMS track and field programs, John Goldhammer has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the academic year.

A recent inductee into the CMS Hall of Fame in January, Goldhammer developed the cross country programs into both conference and regional powerhouses. Under his direction, the Athenas and Stags finished first or second in the SCIAC a combined 60 times, culminating with both league championships this past fall, which marked the tenth title in a row for the Athenas. Overall, the women's program has won 24 of the last 27 SCIAC titles and a total of 28 league crowns, while the men's program has won 17 titles.

Both the Athenas and Stags also earned NCAA Division III Championship invitations as a team for each of the last 12 years by finishing in the top two at the NCAA West Regionals. At the national level under Goldhammer's tutelage, the women have competed as a team 22 times while the men's team has gone 18 times. In 1995, the women finished in fourth place at the NCAA Championships, earning a team trophy. The Athenas have since won two additional trophies, finishing fourth in 2011 and third in 2012. 

In 2016, the men finished fifth for the highest finish in program history, besting the 2015 finish of seventh place, while this past year's team finished sixth. Goldhammer has coached 24 athletes who have earned 30 All-American honors, including both Thomas D'Anieri of the Stags, who came in third place at nationals, and Riley Harmon of the Athenas in 2019.

In track and field, Goldhammer led the program from 1984-2010, and continued to coach the track and field distance runners since 2010. The Stags won 19 straight SCIAC Track & Field Championships with Goldhammer as their head coach, and the Athenas won 11 total conference championships.

Goldhammer coached 63 track and field All-Americans and six individual national champions for the Stags, along with 50 All-Americans and two individual national champions for the Athenas. He led CMS' bid efforts for the 2012 NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships, and was the meet director when CMS hosted the event, marking the first time the NCAA D-III Track & Field Championships were held west of Iowa.

Over his career, Goldhammer was chosen as the USTFCCCA West Region Coach of the Year 18 times in cross country and 15 times in track and field. He also helped CMS win both the SCIAC Men's and Women's Cross Country Coaching Staff of the Year Awards this past fall, the third year in a row that the Athenas' staff has won that honor.

While coaching the CMS programs, Goldhammer also continued to compete in the throws in national competitions. He won four titles in his age group at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Sacramento in 2011, capturing the weight throw, the hammer throw, the shot put and the weight pentathlon over a span of eight days. Goldhammer still holds the US record for the 60-64 age group in the throws pentathlon (4836), which he set in the 2014 USATF Throws Championships in Worcester, Mass. He also has the U.S. superweight record for the same 60-64 age group of 11.30 meters, which he set in 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

His recent work with the CMS throwers helped Emily Bassett (CMC '18) win the national championship in the hammer throw with the Athenas her senior season, and helped the Stags finish 1-2 in the hammer (Matthew Sill, Reese Peterson) at last year's SCIAC Championships.

Prior to CMS, Goldhammer coached at UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College and Cal State Los Angeles. He and his wife Toni live in Claremont. Their older daughter, Ami, is a graduate of Long Beach State and their younger daughter, Elizabeth, is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz.