Joe Herman honored for 50 years of coaching track and field

Congratulations to Joe Herman, who celebrated his 50th year as a Penn Manor track and field coach.

Mr. Herman was honored May 21 with more than 100 cards from former student athletes from across the country who benefitted from his mentorship.

He joined the Penn Manor staff as a history teacher in 1975 and was approached to be an assistant coach for Penn Manor’s first varsity girls track and field team, under head coach Mary Lou Ruth.

That was the start of his long career as a coach and mentor to hundreds of Penn Manor students. He served as head track and field coach for 30 years before moving to an assistant coaching role. He now coaches the team’s throwers.

In addition, Mr. Herman has volunteered for years as a scorekeeper and worker at other Penn Manor athletic events.

Mr. Herman said he was amazed at the comments he received in the cards from former students and parents.

“As I read each card, I visualized the student or the parent who sent the card, and that makes their notes even more memorable,” he said. “What is memorable to the students is how the little things, like giving positive reinforcement or just listening to the students, made them feel bonded to the team.”

“I tell the students we are as strong as our weakest link, so we need to help each other to be as strong as possible in school as well as on the athletic fields.” 

Mr. Herman said he looks forward to working with a new group of students each year. 

“What keeps me going is that every year there are new students who show such great potential.  And being allowed to help coach allows me to try to help the students achieve their potential,” he said. “It is the training to achieve the success that keeps me going.”

Pat Tocci, Penn Manor athletic director, praised Mr. Herman for his impact.

“We are very grateful to Joe’s 50 years of service, not only to Penn Manor athletics but to the Penn Manor community as a whole,” Tocci said. “His impact on the student-athletes and the athletic program is immeasurable, and those who have been coached by Joe are better because of it.”

We can’t thank Mr. Herman enough for all he’s done for Penn Manor.