By: Lakota Craft, Reporter
Dr. Peter Ormsby has dedicated nearly his entire academic and professional career to the sport of Cross-Country/Track & Field. In high school, he was a three-sport athlete which included cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
He attended Elon University where he received a scholarship and run cross-country as a varsity sport. Prior to his position as a coach, Dr. Ormsby pursed a Masters and Doctorate degree in Sports Psychology, but once he began the internship portion of his doctoral program, he began work at Florida State University as a cross-country coach and has continue in the line of work ever since. Due to his academic accomplishments, Dr. Ormsby now has the opportunity to teach full-time after coaching.
As a sports director at UNCP, Dr. Ormsby has the responsibility of running the program from the top down with the exception of certain individual coaching groups. This includes: the logistics of travel, scholarship, ordering apparel, organization of meals, travel from and to meets, and other responsibilities which assist in the efficacy and productivity of players, coaches, and staff. However, Dr. Ormsby realizes that much like sports, one individual cannot carry an entire department. With great appreciation to his staff, Dr. Ormsby delegates duties among them which allows everyone to work to their fullest capacity.
Dr. Ormsby believes heavily in the idea of sportsmanship, “Once we leave campus, we are representing campus, and everybody and a lot of different ideals. So, we try to promote…being the better person… [taking things] in stride…, because at the end of the day karma can come back and everything happens for a reason.”
Dr. Ormsby’s love for the sport, the players, and individual respect is something to be admired. In particularly by his son, Ean Ormsby, “There have been several situations in which both the cross country and track teams have been undervalued and proverbially thrown under the bus and left out of things on campus. And every time this has happened, I have seen Dr. Coach O go beyond the means of measure to ensure that this athletic program is given the respect it deserves. He wants nothing more than for the success of the program and the success of each of the individuals that have worn the jersey through the years.”
During his time at the university, Dr. Ormsby has accomplished many different things including the historic win of the 2015 conference title with the men’s cross-country team, which doubled as his own first ever cross-country championship. However, they did not only win one championship, but a second one in 2018 which allowed them the chance to qualify for the national championship in nearly forty years.
While cross-country was one sport that was not heavily impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic, Dr. Ormsby is “looking forward to getting back to normal,” after losing the ability to see his students and the day-to-day interaction that previously existed. All in all, Dr. Ormsby has found that the athletic department is a family that supports one another, one of the elements that produces success.