Hall of Fame – Eric Orton


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Eric Orton is a 1984 graduate of Springville Griffith Institute.  As a multi-sport athlete for the Griffins, Eric lettered in football, baseball, and track and field.

As a junior, Eric was the starting catcher for the Griffins baseball team, before turning to the track his senior year, where he excelled as a long jumper and helped clock a school record of 48.3 seconds, as part of the 4 X 110 relay team.

Eric was always a runner, and this was no more evident than on the football field, where he starred as a defensive back and running back in both his junior and senior years.  As co-captain and two-way starter his senior year, he led the team in rushing, points, touchdowns, and interceptions.  He was not only known for his shifty moves that averaged over 6.5 yards per carry, but also known for his hard hitting style.

It was this unique combination of quickness and pound for pound toughness, along with great coaches, and teammates that helped Eric to All-Star honors and a Connolly Cup Finalist – recognizing the most outstanding varsity football player in Western New York.

His most distinguished honor came as the 1984 recipient of the Pop Warner Trophy.

After high school, Eric played two years of collegiate football, before transferring to Buffalo State to focus on academics, where he graduated in 1990 with a degree in Business Marketing.

After a life changing move out West to the mountains of Colorado, Eric earned another degree in Environmental Science from Metropolitan State College of Denver.  In Denver, Eric also began a career as an endurance athlete; competing in Ironman Triathlons, road cycling, and mountain ultra running.

It was while he was the Director of Fitness at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center that he began coaching triathletes, cyclists, and runners.  In 2002, he and his wife moved to Jackson Hole Wyoming, where he started his own online coaching business.

Eric has coached elite triathletes, champion ultra runners and cyclist, an Olympic athlete and Stanley Cup Champion, and many age group runners – and even a few of Hollywood’s fittest.  He is recognized as one of the leading run coaches in the world, and for his innovative approach to run technique and strength training; which has been embraced by NFL players and teams.

His training has been featured in many running and fitness publications, ESPN Network, and a BBC World News TV documentary.

Today, Eric is best known as an elite mountain runner, who was the coaching star and run character in the world wide best selling book Born To Run and soon to be Hollywood movie.

In 2013, Eric authored his own run training book, The Cool Impossible, which has been published in 15 countries and 7 languages.  This has allowed him to run and travel the World, speaking about running.

From running 17,000 foot volcano peaks of Mexico to Hong Kong’s mountain trails, and many stops in between, Eric continues to follow his passion for running and coaching.