In an appropriate tribute to his impact on New Jersey high school cross country and track, longtime Christian Brothers Academy head coach Tom Heath '65 was inducted into the NJSIAA Hall of Fame on March 27.
After taking an assistant coaching role with the cross country team in 1970, he quickly became the head coach the following year, remaining there for 45 years until his retirement in 2015. For many of those years, Heath was also the head coach of the indoor and outdoor track & field programs.
"On behalf of the CBA community, I’d like to congratulate Coach Heath on another historic achievement," said Director of Athletics Michael Mazzaccaro '11. "Coach Heath’s dedication and success are seen not only in his accolades and achievements, but also in the impact he has had on our athletics program. Coach Heath’s tenure shows what is possible when a group of young men are guided to become something greater than themselves."
Simply put, Tom Heath is one of the most successful coaches in the history of New Jersey high school sports.
In those 45 years, his teams won 21 NJSIAA Meet of Champions crowns, 26 Group state championships, a national championship, three Penn Relays DMR titles and 15 Eastern States cross country championships.
And then there was “The Streak.” His Cross Country Colts were beaten in a dual meet by Raritan on October 20, 1973, and amazingly never lost another during his tenure. The streak reached a national record total of 343 consecutive dual meet wins at the time of his retirement in 2015. The Streak now stands at 385 after the 2021 fall season.
His 45-year career totaled 135 running seasons. Following his coaching retirement, he taught for four additional years. Generations of CBA students learned from Heath in classes such as pre-calculus, geometry, algebra, finite math and college algebra.
His legacy at the school continues through things such as the annual Tom Heath Freshman Run, a 1.3 mile race around the campus at the start of the school year, something every freshman has participated in since the founding of the school in 1959.
- INSIDE ATHLETICS