By: William Drexel
Few people can say they are a teacher, coach and runner, but Nick Giampietro has found a way to invest time into all his passions.
The Babylon native is giving back to his Long Island community through assistant coaching and substitute teaching. Along with these demanding responsibilities, Giampietro is a hard-working long-distance runner who has big aspirations for the future.
After hours and on weekends, Giampietro serves as an assistant coach for Adelphi’s cross-country and track and field teams. His particular role, among the five other assistant coaches, is the team’s recruiting coordinator. He scouts and communicates with potential recruits for the team. Without his “behind the scenes” work, the team wouldn’t have had its largest incoming freshman class ever for 2019- ‘20. Giampietro also assistant coaches at North Babylon High School, where he helps design workouts to better improve athletes over their season.
After spending one year at SUNY Old Westbury, Giampietro transferred to Adelphi where he was only a try-out athlete. He climbed his way up to become one of Adelphi’s top seven runners who
Nick Giampietro is Adelphi's assistant coach competed at the NCAA Northeast
for cross-country and track and field, as well Regional Meet. The team was composed
as a two-time graduate of the university. All of some very talented runners, so this was
photos from AU Athletics. a big accomplishment for him, which
remains his favorite to this day. Through the Adelphi classrooms, he was awarded the “Thucydides Award for Excellence in History” by professors of the National History Honor Society. Giampietro graduated in December 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in history and graduated with a master’s degree in secondary education in May 2019.
On the weekdays, Giampietro works at Lindenhurst High School as a permanent substitute teacher. He gets handed a schedule of classes every morning that need filling in for absent or otherwise busy teachers. One of Giampietro’s long-term goals is to become a full-time high school history teacher, not just a substitute.
Giampietro finds his teaching and coaching duties to be extremely rewarding. For teaching, the former history major enjoys making connections with students who take great interest in history and watching them grow. For coaching, he enjoys being a part of the big decision of college commitment and helping athletes improve just as he has.
“It’s fun to watch students enjoy learning through the activities I’m instructing or even lessons that I created and watching them work,” said Giampietro. “In recruiting for Adelphi, my favorite feeling is when a recruit is ready to commit. Having a recruit sign commitment letters makes me feel like I’m a general manager of some major league baseball team.”
“Creating bonds with athletes or students and helping them succeed and grow as people is a major reason why I teach and coach,” said Giampietro.
And with the time he has left over, Giampietro dedicates himself to becoming the best runner he can. For the past few months, he’s been training hard, day in and day out. He’s steadily increased his miles-per-week from 65 up to 75. Each of these weeks include two interval running workouts and two weight room sessions. The longest single run of his current training block was 17 miles. His sights are set on the Niagara Marathon on Oct. 25. He plans on ramping up his training to 100 to 110 miles-per-week in preparation for the race.
Giampietro not only finds intrinsic rewards with running, but something much more meaningful.
“Running is just a part of me now, it’s proof to me that if you truly work hard at something you can be successful with it,” said Giampietro. “There are plenty of people faster than me, but I have yet to find someone who started as late in their running career and had as much improvement as I have.
“To balance teaching, coaching two teams and my own training requires a lot of planning, preparedness and discipline,” said Giampietro. “It’s easy to just go home and relax after work, but it takes dedication to get a 10-mile regular run in or drive to Sunken Meadow to do a workout on some hills.”
Along with running-related endeavors, Giampietro has a deep passion and excitement for his subject of expertise.
“History was a subject I always loved, even before high school,” said Giampietro. “My history teachers were also my favorite teachers in school; certain teachers inspired me to want to go into the profession.”
Giampietro has adopted those same inspirational traits, which his former teammates and current athletes take great note of.
“Nick was always someone who could sense if you were having a rough day on a run,” said Steven Mosher, a graduate student on the cross-country and track and field teams. “He transitioned into coaching with a lot of the same behavior by jumping in workouts to help pace his own athletes, making sure they were able to push to their capabilities. He’s always been someone to count on which, as a teammate and coach, is a valuable trait to have.”
His fellow coaches also have taken note of his dedicated character.
“Nick does a lot of behind-the-scenes work that most people on the team don’t even realize,” said Jose Velasquez, an assistant coach for the cross-country and track and field teams. “With all of his other responsibilities, we are lucky to have such a dedicated coach.”
One of Giampietro’s goals is to make his name more renowned among the Long Island racing community.
One of Giampietro's goals is to make his name more renowned among the Long Island racing community.
"When I line up for a race in the future, I want the runners around me to think, 'Aww man Nick Giampietro is running? Why did I even show up?'" he said.
Unfortunately, Giampietro’s daily life has been thrown out of whack, like many others, due to
the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Giampietro arrived at Adelphi in fall 2015 and became
He wasn’t able to finish teaching one of the university's top seven runners who competed
the remainder of the school year at the NCAA Northeat Regional Meet.
at Lindenhurst High School and coach the spring season at Babylon High School. On the contrary, he and his fellow coaches have adapted to the current situation and found ways to keep track with all the Adelphi athletes, as well as continue recruiting new athletes to the Panthers.
“Without the ability to visit campus and meet the team, Coach [Katie] Rees, myself and the rest of the coaching staff have been working hard to get into contact and help every recruit the best we can, by either Zoom calling or phone calling them,” said Giampietro. “I think we did a great job making the switch and we have a great freshman class coming in. We have really taken this time to tweak and refine our recruiting process and we have even gotten a head start by contacting 2021 recruits.”
Giampietro has still been training hard, while still taking appropriate precautions during this time.
“Not only have I been able to continue my training, but I have been able to increase my mileage and overall workload,” said Giampietro. “My 95-year-old grandmother lives with us and my family has been taking the extra precautions since she is most at risk. I did start a part-time job at a local boat yard where I can work while staying socially distant from the other workers, and when that’s not possible, I wear a respirator mask.”