Faith Remich hits ground running as Burrell’s new cross country coach

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 | 3:13 PM

Faith Remich has come full circle.

The running standout got her start as a freshman at Burrell and was member of the Bucs cross country team when the program was started in the fall of 2015.

Remich, who enjoyed a stellar career in both cross country and track and field at Burrell and in college at Washington & Jefferson, now sees the sports from a coaching perspective, and she is excited to give back at her alma mater as its cross country coach.

“I never ran until I was at Burrell,” said Remich, who led the Bucs girls cross country team at the WPIAL Class 2A championships as a senior in 2017.

“I didn’t realize that I had a chance to run in college until my junior year. My Burrell coaches really shaped me into who I am as a runner. Coaching was my plan for the next step. I loved competing, but I knew I couldn’t do that forever. So I knew that I wanted to teach people and help them grow the same way my coaches all along the way helped me. It’s really cool to come back and coach here and hopefully have that same impact on current Burrell runners.”

Remich was hired at the board meeting in June. She takes over the reins of the cross country teams from Chris Letgers, who stepped away for health reasons.

He is taking a medical sabbatical, but he will remain in contact with the cross country and track and field teams as a volunteer. He also will volunteer with the Burrell girls basketball team in the winter.

“Faith is going to be an absolute gem for this team,” said Letgers, the founder of the Burrell cross country teams eight years ago.

“She knows what she is doing backed by years of running experience.”

Remich hit the ground running as she hosted voluntary workouts — weight room sessions and runs — the following week.

“With doing three days a week, we had a pretty nice turnout,” she said. “The kids really seem to be latching on to my knowledge of the sport and the things I can give them to hopefully make them faster and stronger.

“I am grateful for all that Chris has done for me so far and what he will continue to do as he is able.”

Remich, after her time at Burrell, continued to excel in running and in the classroom at W&J.

The three-year captain graduated with three school records: the outdoor 800 meters and the indoor 600 and 1,600 relay.

“Getting the school record and going under 2:20 in the 800 was a big goal going into college,” Remich said.

“It was kind of cool to cap it off with it being one of my last races my senior year.”

She earned All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference honors nine times and finished her career in the top three in nine events on the W&J all-time record lists.

Remich helped her 1,600 relay team capture gold at the 2022 PAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“I had an amazing experience at W&J competing there for four years,” she said. “I can’t thank my coaches and teammates enough for all of their support. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Remich also was the 2022 winner of W&J’s Salvitti Award, which recognizes the top male and female scholar-athletes each year.

She graduated with a degree in economics, and for the past year, she has been employed full time as an associate consultant and analyst at Altius Healthcare Consulting Group in Arnold.

While her work career got off the ground, so did her coaching career.

She was brought on as a W&J cross country and track and field volunteer assistant last August.

“During my senior year, my coach kept mentioning to me about me coming on as an assistant because he knew how much I wanted to be a high school coach some day,” Remich said.

“I am forever grateful for that because I got to learn a ton working with him. It’s a lot different on the coaching side from when you are an athlete. It opened my eyes to all of that.”

It was a quick turnaround from athlete to coach in both programs.

“I was the only one who graduated from the distance group, so my entire team was still there,” she said.

“It wasn’t too weird of a feeling to all of a sudden be their coach and not their teammate. I think I had a lot stronger influence on the freshmen. In workouts, I ran with the freshmen girls and push them and pace them. I think they all still respected me because the year before, I was the only senior, and I already had that role model and leadership position. The first meet was just a slight adjustment because I was timing the runners and not running myself.”

While Remich could’ve have continued to coach at W&J, the opportunity to coach at home was too much to pass up.

“This all has worked out so perfectly,” she said.

Remich also will begin work online in the fall toward a master’s degree in healthcare administration through Duquesne.

Remich pulled double duty in the spring as she volunteered to instruct members of the Burrell track and field teams. She is expected to coach in some capacity again next spring.

As a middle distance runner for Burrell, she helped the Bucs capture the 2017 WPIAL Class 2A girls team championship. Burrell returned to the finals her senior year and placed third.

“We are ecstatic to have such a good caliber person and runner and a former athlete through the programs,” said Steve White, Burrell track and field coach.

“It’s always nice to see alumni come back to coach and to help the programs. Faith would often come up to visit us when she was running at W&J. Following her and W&J’s program, we were keeping updated on Twitter and re-tweeting all of her success.

“She has such a high level of knowledge, and I know so many of our athletes will benefit from that.”

Remich said she is excited to see what the Burrell cross country teams can accomplish this fall.

The girls team is led by seniors Catherine Scherer and Grace Nesko.

Nesko returns after battling through injury last year. She qualified for states as a sophomore.

“She’s healthy now, so she’s been training hard,” Remich said. “She and Catherine both have a great shot at making states. They will both be great leaders for the team. We also have several great newcomers to the team.”

Senior Alex Piatt, a state qualifier last year, is back to front the boys squad.

“On the boys team, we don’t have as many, so we are recruiting throughout the school right now,” Remich said.

“But Alex is in a really good position, and I am confident he can make it back to the state meet.”

The teams will make their season debuts at the 51st Marty Uher Vulcans Invitational in early September at Cal (Pa.). It is the same course that will host the WPIAL championships in October.

“It is a difficult course for sure, but it’s important to start on the course where they will race for WPIALs,” Remich said. “To get to states, you have to be familiar with that course. Then you can work all season on being ready to run again at WPIALs. Visualization is super important. It is a great foundation for the season.”

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at


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