Pete Colaizzo (Marist '86) is in his 26th year as head coach of the cross country and track and field programs at Marist College. Since taking over the program during the winter of 1991, Colaizzo has overseen the complete transformation of the Running Red Foxes. When Colaizzo began in January of 1991, there were four active runners taking part in the club sport of track and field. He marshaled the transition back to NCAA Division I intercollegiate competition for all three seasons. Marist has fielded intercollegiate cross country teams since 1963, while track alternated between club and varsity status from 1963-1991, before becoming a full three-season endeavor in 1991.
Colaizzo is a big believer in the long-term development of his athletes, and that development does not end with their graduation from Marist College. To that end, in the summer of 2004, Colaizzo formed the Marist Alumni Racing Team. Alumni runners now don the Marist red-and-white at such prestigious events as the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon.
Colaizzo was a four-year member of the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track teams at Marist College from 1982 through 1986. During his college career, Colaizzo specialized in long-distance races. Colaizzo still remains active as a recreational long-distance runner. Along with the Marist Alumni Racing Team, Colaizzo is also affiliated with the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club and the Broadway Ultra Society. He has completed 57 marathon or ultra-marathon runs in his career, including at least one marathon finish per year for the past 30 years.
In addition to his coaching responsibilities at Marist College, Colaizzo works in the Student-Athlete Enhancement Center as a Writing Skills Specialist, assisting Red Fox student-athletes with their academic course work throughout the semester. He is also an adjunct instructor at Marist. Colaizzo is a freelance writer whose work regularly appears in the Poughkeepsie Journal, where he worked full-time for 23 years. His writing has been honored by the New York State Associated Press and in Best of Gannett competitions.
Colaizzo resides in Hyde Park, NY, with his wife Heidi and their children, Joey, Natalie and James.