By Kristie Kahl
From Sydney to Athens to Beijing, it has been a long road, but one Olympian has found his way home to Rider University.
Three-time Olympian Dudley Dorival has been hired as the new assistant track and field/cross country coach.
“I wanted to make sure I found someone who could coach the kids utilizing the best training methods on the track and in the weight room; someone who could recruit quality student-athletes to represent Rider and the program; and someone who would help me provide a tremendous overall experience for the team,” said Head Coach Bob Hamer.
Accomplishments on Dorival’s stacked resume include being a finalist at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, a semifinalist at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and a quarterfinalist at the Beijing Olympics in the 110-meter hurdles.
“[He has brought back] the idea that if you commit and dedicate yourself to a task you can achieve great results,” said Hamer. “Dudley worked real hard and sacrificed to reach
his dreams and goals and he will share his experiences with the team members and hopefully inspire them to great performances.”
Dorival is a 1997 graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he was a four-time All-American. Since then, he has placed as a semifinalist at the 2003 World Championships and won the bronze medal in the 110-meters hurdle at the 2001 World Championships, winning in a personal best time of 13.25 seconds.
“I am so happy and satisfied with my accomplishments,” Dorival said. “It has been a tough road, but I feel much fulfilled in the lives I have touched and the ones that have touched me.”
Born in Elizabeth, N.J. to native-born Haitian parents, Dorival took the Haitian nationality in July 1999 before representing the country in the Olympics.
“I wanted to make a positive difference in the big world,” said Dorival. “In running for Haiti, I wanted to find my own path. I ran for the U.S. and it was a great experience. My parents are originally from Haiti, so I wanted to give back to their homeland and my heritage. I wanted to give a positive impact instead of the negative views the media can sometimes give.”
Joining Rider’s staff is not Dorival’s first coaching job, as he worked at Princeton University as well as Princeton High School.
“I am real excited for Dudley to join the staff,” Hamer said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and he will be tremendous asset to the program.”
Although Dorival has numerous Olympic experiences under his belt, there are many other aspects he feels he can bring to the teams.
“Not to downplay the Olympics, but they are just another sporting event,” said Dorival. “The process of staying dedicated, prepared and focused to accomplish your goals will help you stay clear of negative aspects and bring positive experiences. I can offer positive feedback from the mistakes that I have made in the past with different knowledge and experience to offer to Rider.”
Although the cross country season is already underway, Hamer has nothing but excitement for a new start with Dorival.
“Dudley has a tremendous work ethic, passion, and desire to give back to the sport that has given him so much,” said Hamer. “He has been coached by some of the best coaches in this sport and he has brought their training methods with him and he will implement those methods here at Rider. Dudley and I also share the same coaching philosophies in developing the complete student-athlete and a desire to provide a tremendous experience for the team.”
With high hopes and appreciation of taking part in Rider tradition, Dorival is grateful for the position and offers one piece of advice from his own experiences to his new cross country/track teams.
“You need to persevere, be dedicated and give it 100 percent,” he said. “You have to keep positive and take away from your experiences.”