Rich DiGiacomo DPT'10 enters his ninth season at University of the Sciences, including his third as the head cross country coach and second as the head track and field coach, one season after leading the program through its inaugural season.
The USciences cross country program has experienced a rich amount of success under DiGiacomo, with the women’s team finishing in the top-six of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship and advancing to regionals for eight straight years. The women’s team’s third place finish at the 2016 CACC Championship was its best since capturing the title in 2005.
Individually, five cross country runners have earned All-CACC accolades during his tenure, including Brianna Ligotski capturing CACC Runner of the Year honors as the 2013 champion. In his first season as head track and field coach, freshman Johnathan Epstein earned All-CACC honors in USciences’ first-ever CACC Track and Field Championship appearance.
DiGiacomo began his time at University of the Sciences as a freshman in the fall of 2004 to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy, and as a student-athlete he ran cross country for the next four years under head coach Bob Heller. His academic endeavors culminated in graduation in 2010 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, while he finished up his four years of eligibility as a captain during the 2007 cross country season.
Soon after graduation, his tenure as the men's and women’s assistant cross country coach began for 2010 season alongside his head coach, Heller, and he soon began competing post-collegiately in local cross country meets, road races, and track and field events for the Greater Philadelphia Track Club.
DiGiacomo’s coaching philosophy is strongly rooted in a scientific approach. Through his background as a physical therapist, education at USciences, and continuing education and certifications as a Level 1 Certified Track Coach and Cross Country Specialist by USA Track and Field, and a Certified Endurance Coach by US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, he has been able to transfer his knowledge to his athletes and their performances on the course, and he hopes to continue to build on his experiences at his alma mater.
DiGiacomo’sfull-time career as a Doctor of Physical Therapy plays out at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital in the outpatient department. Over the past eight years he has furthered his career in numerous focus areas, including receiving a certification in “McKenzie” therapy (Cert. MDT) - a specialized form of mechanical diagnosis and therapy. He has also been the lead clinical instructor for the Mercy Physical Therapy Clinic for Uninsured/Underinsured (Pro Bono), which involves bi-weekly clinic nights for hands-on patient experience for USciences and Arcadia University physical therapy students.
DiGiacomo was elected to represent the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association as a State Delegate for the 2015-2016 terms, and most recently in 2018, he was elected to serve a three-year term as a Director for the USciences Alumni Association, further enhancing his dedication and passion for his alma mater.
His enthusiasm for teaching and running continues as a running tour guide for City Running Tours in Philadelphia. His travels through physical therapy, athletics, and teaching has also led to a long-term and ongoing volunteer involvement since 2008 with various handicapped sporting organizations in the area, including Magee Wheelchair Sports and Life Rolls On.
DiGiacomo currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife, Megan, and three-year-old daughter Emily.
|Year-by-Year CACC Championship Performances (Cross Country)|
|2016||122||3rd||Elizabeth Sauers (15th)|
|2017||158||6th||Elizabeth Sauers (3rd)|
|Year-by-Year CACC Championship Performances (Track and Field)|
|2018||12||10th||Johnathan Epstein (5000m)|