Joe Catania is in his second season as assistant track and field/cross country coach at East Carolina, working primarily with cross country and distance runners. Catania's responsibilities also include working with the horizontal jumpers. He joined the Pirate coaching staff in August 2004, after serving six years as a coach at Indiana State.
Catania coached the ECU men's team to its first-ever top five finish at the Conference USA Championship meet a year ago, while the women's team received Academic All-America honors as a unit.
During his initial season at ECU, Catania coached a pair of All-Conference USA cross country runners, three all-conference outdoor track and field athletes, one indoor track athlete and helped three team members establish five new school records.
A native of Norristown, Pa., Catania ran track and cross country for Millersville University, while earning a bachelor's degree in industrial arts/technology education. Catania earned his master's from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in 1982.
Before arriving at East Carolina, Catania coached a total of six years at Indiana State, where he served as the cross country coach and assistant track coach. He also spent two years as the cross country coach at Florida International University and two seasons at Illinois State, where he coached the throws, horizontal jumps, decathlon and pole vault.
Catania was named Division II Region Cross Country Coach-of -the-Year in 1984. As a collegiate coach, he has produced 13 Missouri Valley Conference Champions, 96 all-conference performers and 10 national qualifiers in track and field and cross country. He has also coached two current and six former National Football League players in track and field along with National and Olympic Trials qualifier Jason Briggs in the 800 Meter Run.
Catania served as a track and field official for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. He has also worked as an official for the NCAA National Championships, Pan American Games, USATF National Championships and the CARIFTA Games. He also has 21 years of experience coaching at the high school level. As a high school coach, he helped a combined total of 47 athletes and teams achieve state championship honors encompassing all the high school track and field events.