Coaches

We are fortunate to have three talented coaches: Tom Derderian, , Rod Hemingway, and Elaina Zizza. Our coaches are USATF Level 1 coaches, which means they have been certified by USATF as having a basic knowledge of sprints, endurance events, throws, and jumps. Coach Rod Hemingway is a USATF Level 2 coach. He has been certified by USATF as having more advanced, in-depth knowledge in endurance events, advanced sport science concepts, and training principles.

Tom Derderian

Tom DerderianSince 1994, Tom Derderian has coached the GBTC men to excellence in track, cross-country, and distance running. His men’s team won the 1995 USATF New England Cross Country Grand Prix, and the men’s and women’s teams won again in 1998. Team coached by Tom & Dave Callum have won countless USATF New England men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track championships since 1998. He coached the GBTC women to victory in the team competition in the Boston Marathon in 2004 and the men in 2005. He coaches men and women from the mile to the marathon.

Tom Derderian’s coaching philosophy is demonstrated by his keen interest in developing any athlete who wants to maximize performance toward competitive goals, going one athlete, one workout, one day at a time. Tom believes that achieving such goals is a matter of individual training, since each person is unique, but can be most effectively pursued in a regular training group over a long period of time. “Training partners are the key,” Derderian says, “while the coach is around just to keep everyone entertained.” He is fond of saying that “the world is a conspiracy to keep you from training.” He sees the club and the association of postcollegiate athletes as an organization to fight that conspiracy. “We provide a context wherein serious athletes find one another to create a critical mass that brings an explosion in performance,” Derderian says.

In November 2004 Derderian organized a wildly successful talk by esteemed New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard in Boston. Lydiard’s distance-based training philosophy influenced GBTC’s original coach, Bill Squires, who was Derderian’s coach in the mid seventies with teammates Bill Rodgers, Bob Hodge, Pete Pfitzinger, Greg Meyer, Al Salazar, Randy Thomas, Jack Fultz, and all the others who flocked to Boston in those days when GBTC was one of the few serious postcollegiate clubs in the country.

A running success both on and off the roads, Tom’s accomplishments include running in the Olympic trials in both 1972 and 1976, numerous New England road championships, a 2:19:04 Boston Marathon in 1975, and authoring the award winning book “The Boston Marathon, The First Century of the World’s Premier Running Event (Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 1996) and “The Boston Marathon: A Century of Blood, Sweat, and Cheers” (Triumph Press, Chicago, 2003), both available through our club store. Derderian ran at the University of Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in English Literature and Journalistic Studies.

Derderian worked for Nike in the 1970s and 80s in product development and design. He earned several U.S. patents for his creative work in footwear and apparel. He has coached at Amherst (MA) High School for one cross-country season in 1977 and for four years at Salem State College.

In addition to coaching the GBTC men, Tom Derderian has served as president for the USA Track and Field New England Association as well as vice president and cross-country chairman of the organization. Tom is a senior writer for New England Runner magazine. His work has appeared in Runner’s World, Running Times, Marathon and Beyond, Track and Field News, and other running publications.

He is married to long-time GBTC member Cynthia Hastings. They have two daughters who have run cross-country and compete occasionally for GBTC. They live in Winthrop, MA.

Tom’s email: tderderi at ix.netcom.com.

Rod Hemingway

Coach Rod Hemingway joined GBTC’s coaching staff in September 2011, while he continues to compete as both a distance athlete and Assistant Distance Coach. Rod has experience coaching at the collegiate level as the men’s distance coach for track and cross country and the women’s assistant coach for track and field at Tufts University, and as the assistant cross country coach for Babson College. He was part of multiple coaching staffs that won coach of the year honors for cross country and track and field while at Tufts. Additionally, Rod has worked as the head track and field coach at The Learning Center for Deaf Children where he created, managed, and coached a new track team for deaf children in grades 5-12.

As a collegiate athlete, Rod was twice a Cross Country All American, placing as high as 6th at Division III NCAA’s in 1997. Rod is an Academic All American, a NESCAC champion, a school record holder, a season MVP, and was team captain for his alma mater, Tufts University. He has been a longtime member of the club, and served it in many ways, though competition and service as a board member and volunteer.

Elaina Zizza

zizzaweb01Coach Elaina Zizza joined Greater Boston Track Club in 2016 as the coach of sprints and field events. Elaina has a Masters of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Springfield College and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from UMass Amherst. She joins us after having coached cross country, sprints, jumps and multi-event athletes for five seasons at Amherst College. During her tenure at Amherst, Elaina coached 25 National qualifiers, 10 All-Americans and 2 National Championship winners. She has won both the Indoor and Outdoor New England Track & Field Assistant Coach of the Year Awards. We welcome Elaina to GBTC!