About The Athletic Program
Located in upstate New York, overlooking the picturesque Mohawk Valley, Herkimer County Community College is a two-year unit of the State University of New York, the nation’s largest comprehensive system of public higher education.
With over 40 degree and certificate programs, Herkimer prepares students for continuing their education at four-year schools or for employment in their respective fields. Herkimer’s Internet Academy offers 20 degrees and four certificates entirely online.
Herkimer offers a variety of on-campus housing options, featuring modern apartments and townhouses, and a vibrant student activities calendar. Unlike most community colleges, over two-thirds of our students come from outside Herkimer County. “We are proud to welcome a diverse student population that spans many geographies, time zones, languages, ethnicities, age groups and life experiences,” said Dr. Cathleen C. McColgin, the College’s fourth president who began her tenure in 2015.
The Herkimer Generals athletic program began with five sports in 1970, under the direction of Tom LaPuma, and has grown to 20 varsity and two junior varsity offerings. With its growth has come great success with 60 NJCAA national championships, 128 Region III titles, 169 conference championships and 31 NJCAA Academic Team of the Year awards. The College has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s most successful junior college athletic programs, referenced by many as “The Home of the Champions.”
In 2014, 2015, and 2017, the Herkimer Generals athletic program has won the National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup, ranking Herkimer first in the nation among non-scholarship two-year athletic programs, based on national championship competition. In 2020, the Generals won the same award, now called the Daktronics Cup, for the fourth time in school history.
Director of Athletics and Herkimer Alum Donald Dutcher said, “This is a testament to a long history of hard work on the part of the entire athletic department staff, together with the support of our faculty and the College administration. It has been a total team effort.” The department also has won the Sportsmanship and Community Service Recognition award several times. The Sportsmanship Award recognizes dedication to the honor and integrity of intercollegiate athletics and the display of outstanding sportsmanship during competition throughout the year by student-athletes and coaching staff, while the community service award recognizes volunteer efforts within the community.
Dutcher attributes Herkimer’s athletic success to the commitment and quality of his coaching staff. All of Herkimer’s coaches are employed full-time at Herkimer. Dutcher said, “This gives coaches more opportunities to interact with and support their student-athletes which strengthens their commitment to them and the College.”
The Herkimer culture places great emphasis on academic success. To ensure academic success of student-athletes, a student athlete specialist meets with and supports athletes and tracks their grades and class attendance. Additionally, Herkimer employs a full-time athletic trainer as the primary source of care and rehabilitation for student-athletes.
Wehrum Stadium, a state-of-the-art facility, features an all-weather, synthetic grass playing surface, and is the home for soccer and lacrosse. Other facilities include a varsity gym, cross country course, softball and baseball fields, and recreational gym, as well as a strength and conditioning center, fitness center, aerobics room, six-lane competition pool, indoor track, and several practice fields.
Herkimer has hosted several regional and national tournaments, as well as local high school athletic events, bringing some of the best talent in the nation to the campus.
Alumni have continued their academic and athletic careers at four-year colleges and universities throughout the country, including: Johns Hopkins, Ohio State, Cornell, South Carolina, UMass, Penn State, Syracuse, Virginia, Albany, Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, University of Tampa, Clarkson, Binghamton, Geneseo, Boston, West Virginia, Lynn, Marist, Connecticut, St. John’s, Temple, Clarkson, Hofstra, Cortland, RIT and many more. Herkimer’s many transfer agreements allow for a smooth transition to many public and private colleges.
Former Herkimer soccer standout Ben Polk (’15) is one of many former Herkimer Generals to have been drafted. He said, “My coach [Pepe Aragon] always stressed that being an elite athlete involves succeeding both in soccer and in the classroom. He was right. My experience at Herkimer helped me move on to a Division I program which resulted into an eventual first round draft pick by the Portland Timbers in the 2016 Major League Soccer Super Draft after I helped lead Syracuse to their first ever NCAA Final Four appearance.” While at Herkimer, Polk was named Region III Male Athlete of the Year, NSCAA and NJCAA All-American, Region III Male Player of the Year, Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year and a SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete.
Herkimer College has grown and changed in many ways in its 50 plus years, but one thing that has remained constant is the College’s focus on students and their success.
|Herkimer's Team National Championships
|Women's Track & Field