Track & Field Adds Travon Godette, Veronica Rocco '19 to Coaching Staff

Track & Field Adds Travon Godette, Veronica Rocco '19 to Coaching Staff

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College Athletics Department and the Mammoths' track & field programs are happy to announce the recent hiring of Veronica Rocco '19 and Travon Godette as assistant coaches for the program.

A 2019 graduate of Amherst College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies, Rocco was named the Athletic Department's Hitchcock Fellow and enters her first year on the Mammoths' coaching staff as an assistant coach for the cross country and track & field teams (long sprinters).

Captaining both the cross country and track & field teams during her junior and senior seasons at Amherst, Rocco is a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honoree, seven-time NESCAC All-Academic selection, and served as the President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and as the chair of NESCAC SAAC in 2019 - spearheading the development of the conference's and Amherst's first-ever Mental Health Week.

In addition to the knowledge, skills, and passion for the Amherst cross country and track & field programs developed during her time as a student-athlete, Rocco also brings several summers of coaching experience to the Mammoths - having served as an intern for the Northern Arizona Elite (NAZ), a professional running team based in Flagstaff, and Team Run Flagstaff, a community running group, while also conducting research for her senior thesis, "Why Flagstaff?: How a Mountain Town Became a Running Mecca," for which she earned cum laude honors.

Specializing in throws, Travon Godette is set to join Rocco as an assistant coach for the Mammoths' track & field teams in 2019-2020.

An alumnus of Westfield State University, Godette comes to the Pioneer Valley following a two-year stint in Louisiana as an assistant hurdles and high jump coach at Division I McNeese State while simultaneously serving as a Composition I and II Instructor of Records in the English Department.

Transitioning from collegiate athlete to collegiate coach while instructing a talented group of individuals, Godette saw 10 of his student-athletes add points the scoresheet and seven earn a spot of the podium in two conference championship meets, including one who would later compete in NCAA DI Eastern Preliminary competition. His efforts helped guide the men's program to their highest conference finish since 1980 in his first season.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Godette enjoyed an illustrious four-year career as a Westfield State Owl, highlighted by his performance at the 2015 NCAA Division III National Championships to become a National Champion in the javelin. The first male individual National Champion in the history of Westfield State's track & field program, Godette's impressive resume also boasts setting school records in the javelin, high jump and decathlon en route to being named a three-time All-American in five National Championship appearances across the javelin and high jump.

As a captain, Godette capped off his senior year by being named the USTFCCCA New England Region DIII Field Athlete of the Year and the DIII New England Sebasteanski Field MVP after leading his team to third-place finish at the 2016 New England DIII Men's Outdoor Championships - the team's best finish since 1989. Throughout his career, he helped Westfield State capture five MASCAC Conference titles and one New England Alliance Championship title.

Outside of athletics, Godette was an active member of the Olws community – acting as the Secondary Liaison for the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society, the President of Public Relations for the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, and the forum facilitator for several symposiums regarding cross-cultural conversations and the celebration of race in the English classroom. His dedication to academics shined bright between his junior and senior years at Westfield State, with Godette earning the prestigious NCAA DIII Scholar Athlete of the Year Award, the MASCAC Scholar Athlete of the Year Award, the Westfield State Presidential Award, and the Massachusetts "29 Who Shine" Award – an honor that is presented to only 29 students by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker for being "outstanding individuals who show exceptional promise as future leaders in civic affairs and professional activities." He has also been recognized as an NCAA DIII CoSIDA Academic All-American, an Arthur Ashe Jr. Second Team Sports Scholar, and a Sankofa Scholar.

Godette earned an M.F.A. in Poetry and an M.A. in Literature from McNeese State University and holds a B.A. in English with extensive studies done in Secondary Education and Ethnic and Gender Studies from Westfield State University. He's also passed certification tests for First Aid, CPR, and AED through the American Red Cross. 

The Mammoths kick off the 2019-2020 season on Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Little III Championships hosted by Wesleyan University.

Welcome Veronica and Travon!