Former standout Florida Southern distance runner Ben Martucci was promoted to head coach of the Moccasin cross country and track teams in January of 2013. He was previously the assistant coach for cross country and track during the fall after serving as interim men's track coach in the spring of 2012.
In his first season, 2013, he led the men's cross country team to its 16th Sunshine State Conference title and also its first South Region championship since 2007, qualifying the Mocs for the NCAA Division II National Championships in Spokane, WA where the team finished 27th overall. In addition, he was named the SSC and the USTFCCCA South Region Coach of the Year.
In his second season at the helm of Moccasin cross country teams in 2014, the men's team repeated as South Regional champions. The Mocs went on to place 29th at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Louisville, KY, led by sophomore Robert Ormsby, who finished 59th. Three Moccasins earned All-SSC honors and four were named to the All-South Region first team. Martucci was once again tabbed as the USTFCCCA South Region Coach of the Year. In addition, three men's track runners earned USTFCCCA All-South Region – Ormsby (5K), David Tomchinsky (10K), and Chris Yanichko (5K and 10K). In 2015, Ormsby also excelled during the outdoor track season, breaking Martucci's record in the 3,000-meter race at the Embry-Riddle Last Chance Meet. Ormsby earned All-South Region in the 5,000-meter race after falling just one-tenth of a second shy of the school record also set by Martucci at the Pepsi Florida Relays.
In the fall of 2015, the Moccasins fell short of a trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship meet placing fifth at South Region. Red-shirt status was given to the top two runners, Ormsby and Evan Quinones. The Spring of 2016 showed the Moccasins making strides in outdoor track as Quinones just missed qualifying for the NCAA Division II National Championship meet by one spot in the 1500 meters. His time of 3:48.56 shattered the school record.
In the Fall of 2016, the Moccasins experienced similar success from past seasons as Ormsby, Quinones, Dean McGregor, and freshman standout Festus Kemboi earned All-Conference and All-Region honors. The quartet helped the team to a third-place finish at the South Region Meet and then placed 26th at the Division II National Championships held in Saint Leo, FL. Kemboi ran the second fastest 10K in program history at the National Championship, placing 61st with a time of 31:42.2. Earlier in the season at Chili Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, AR, Ormsby fell just seconds short of breaking Martucci’s 8K school record. The women improved from 10th in 2015 to 8th at the 2016 South Region Championship. The program saw its best finish since 2009 by posting many personal bests from a young team including standout performances from freshman Allison Wright topped by an 18:56 at Chili Pepper Festival.
In the Spring of 2017, red-shirt junior Quinones made history by becoming the first-ever NCAA Division II national qualifier in outdoor track from Florida Southern as he qualified in the 800 meters and finished 15th overall at the national meet at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.
Martucci ranks as one of the top distance runners in Moccasin history. During his four-year career (2007-11) he was a two-time SSC individual cross country champion (2009 & 2010) and ran on four SSC championship teams, placing fifth individually as a freshman and as a sophomore. He was named SSC Runner of the Year as a junior and senior and was team MVP both years. In cross country, he owned the SSC’s fastest 8K record with a 24:26 set in 2010 (Saint Leo’s Ronald Cheserek broke it in the Fall of 2016 on the same course in Melbourne, FL). In track, he held the Moccasins’ best times in the 800 meters (1:58.10), 1,500 meters (3:54.52), 3,000 meters (8:42.95) and currently still holds the 5,000 meters (14:40.47).
Martucci graduated from Florida Southern in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in human movement and performance and earned a masters in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University-Irvine in California in December 2015.
|BEN MARTUCCI YEAR-BY-YEAR|
|MEN'S TEAM||WOMEN'S TEAM|
|YEAR||SSC Finish||NCAA Regional||NCAA National||SSC Finish||NCAA Regional||NCAA National|