• Faculty

Jessica Hammond-Graf


Assistant Professor

  • Staff

Norm Peterson


Student Success Advisor & Head Women's Soccer Coach

Norm is a Student Success Advisor on the Johnson campus. As an advocate for students on and off the field, the athletes on Norm’s team are well-positioned to succeed. He expects dedication that allows these student athletes to be the best versions of themselves.

The 2023 Season will be Coach Norm’s third season leading the Vermont State University Johnson Women’s Soccer Program. The 2022 season saw Coach Norm lead the Badgers back to the North Atlantic Conference playoffs for the first time in five years.

In Norm’s time at Johnson, he has coached four players to end of season all-Conference teams and two more to weekly conference player-of-the-week awards. The 2022 team placed nine players on the All-Conference Academic team and the team won the award for highest team GPA on campus.

Norm says, “Whether you are on a soccer team, in a group at work or in your family life, I believe you should focus on making the place around you better. Great teams are filled with great teammates, so model the behavior you want to see. We are constantly trying to raise the standards for ourselves – in our lives and in our play. I expect the same for all the Student Athletes involved in the Women’s Soccer Program at Johnson.”

Norm grew up in Central Massachusetts, worked in Boston for twelve years and Bermuda for eight before coming to Vermont in 2014. A graduate of Bryant University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance, Coach Norm went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.

He holds Coaching licenses from the US Soccer Federation and United Soccer Coaching Association. Norm lives in Waterbury Vermont with his wife, two children, two adopted dogs and a cat who adopted them.

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  • Staff

Kathleen Payne

Head Women's Basketball Coach

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Benjamin Warstler

Head Women's Lacrosse Coach/Head Strength and Conditioning Coach

Ben Warstler was appointed as Vermont State Lyndon’s Strength & Conditioning Coach in August of 2019. Warstler works in conjunction with Lyndon’s nationally renowned Exercise Science program in the performance training of all Hornet student-athletes.

Warstler has an extensive background in training high level athletes as well as other individuals across the spectrum of fitness levels and abilities. He currently works with Dan Wyand PT & Associates in assisting with the treatment, rehabilitation, and conditioning of patients.

For 12 years Warstler was the owner, head trainer, and coach of his own business, Fortitude Fitness Systems, Inc., where he ran all aspects of the business. Prior to opening Fortitude he spent two years as a certified athletic trainer at Amherst College. He also enjoyed a lengthy career as a competitive Olympic Weightlifter.

Warstler is a 2001 graduate of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training with a minor in Fitness and Wellness.

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John O’Connor

Head Mens Soccer Coach

John O’Connor enters his 11th season at the helm of the Spartans in 2023.

The Spartans have seen at least one player garner postseason recognition in each of the past four full seasons under O’Connor. Seraphin Iradukunda was named to the first team in the LEC debut season of 2018; Jack Kingdon earned second team honors in 2019; Adolphe Alfani was named the 2021 LEC Rookie of the Year; and Matt Spiller was tabbed to the league’s second team in 2022.

Over his first five seasons, O’Connor led the Spartans to the 2017 North Atlantic Conference regular season championship, tournament title, and a berth in the NCAA Championship, as well as the 2013 NAC regular season championship and a share of the 2015 NAC title. O’Connor picked up his 200th career win in the Spartans’ victory over Western New England in the 2015 ECAC Division III Tournament Quarterfinal. He was named 2017 NAC Coach of the Year – his third such honor.

O’Connor’s 2013 squad posted an 8-1-1 conference record to earn the regular season championship and top seed in the North Atlantic Conference Tournament before falling to eventual NAC champion Thomas. Senior Nate Koenemann was named the Defensive Player of the Year and became the program’s first NSCAA All-Region selection since 2010 when he was voted to the first team. Overall, O’Connor had five players earn NAC All-Conference honors and was himself named the NAC Coach of the Year as the team finished 13-4-2 overall.

Prior to Castleton, O’Connor served as the head coach for the University of Rhode Island from 2006-2012. During his tenure with the Rams he won an Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship and reached the tournament semifinals on two other occasions. Five of his former players went on to play professional soccer, and three of which played in Major League Soccer, including Geoff Cameron, who is currently a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team and Stoke City of the English Premier League.

In addition to his work at the Division I level, O’Connor also served as the head coach at Division III University of Chicago from 1995-2006. In just his second season the team reached the national semifinal and he was named the NSCAA Division III National Coach of the Year. He reached the NCAA Tournament again in 2001 and 2005 when his teams were ranked in the top-15 nationally. While at Chicago he also served as an associate professor in the department of Physical Education.

O’Connor earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from the University of Maine-Orono in 1984 and two years later completed his master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Leadership. From 1990-95, he spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Dartmouth under Bobby Clark, who went on to coach at the University of Notre Dame for 16 seasons (2001-16). O’Connor was a part of two Ivy League Championships with the Big Green, helping the team reach the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I Tournament twice during his tenure in Hanover.

The collegiate head coach earned a USSF “A” License and holds a NSCAA Premier Diploma. He is active in coaching education through the United Soccer Coaches and US Soccer, works with the Vermont Olympic Development Program, and is the Director of Coaching and Technical Director for Summit Football Club.

For the past three summers he has been the Head Coach for the Vermont Fusion of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) based out of Manchester, VT. Over this time he has amasses a record of 16-6-6 and was names the Northeast Coach of the Year in 2022 while leading the team to the WPSL Quarterfinals.

O’Connor resides in Rutland with his wife Sheila, the VTSU Castleton Aquatics Coordinator, and their children Megan (21) and Michael who is a sophomore midfielder for the Spartans.

  • Staff

Alec Brigante


Men's Soccer Head Coach

  • Staff

Alfred Johnson


Head Men's Basketball Coach/ Assistant Athletic Director

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Hilary Linehan

Director of Athletics & Recreation

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Greg Eckman


Director of Athletics

Class of 2013

  • Staff

Matthew Hill


Head Golf Coach

  • Staff

Kate Harney


Head Athletic Trainer/ Senior Women's Administrator

Class of 2002

  • Staff

Chris Chapdelaine

Women's Soccer Head Coach & Director of Club Sports

Man in a white shirt smiling at the camera, with a blue background.
  • Staff

Michael Audette

Head Coach: Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track & Field

Mike Audette enters his third year as the head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country coach at Vermont State University Castleton in 2023-2024, and first as the head coach for Men’s and Women’s Track and Field.

Since taking over the Spartan Cross Country program, Audette has helped coach and develop current sophomore Bethany Davis to a top 25 finish at the 2022 Little East Conference Cross Country Championship, as well as junior Amber Cuthbert to two school record breaking performances in the 800m and 1 mile runs. On the men’s side, Audette has overseen the continued progression of senior Jon Hendley to new Track and Field program records in the 1 mile and 5,000 meter runs.

Prior to joining Vermont State University Castleton, Audette spent fifteen years as the Division 1 Varsity Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Head Coach at Rutland High School, in Rutland, VT. During his time at Rutland, Audette helped guide several Division I State Meet individual champions and top-ten finishers, as well as several New England Championship qualifiers and individual school record holders in the distance and mid-distance events.

Audette is a 2004 graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and was a two-time Cross Country individual conference champion and runner of the year (2001-2002) in the Capital Athletic Conference, a three-time All Mason Dixon Conference runner (2001-2003) and the first three-time NCAA Southeast Region Cross Country all-region runner in school history (2001-2003). In college Track, Audette competed in the 1500 -10,000m distances and was the 2004 Mason Dixon Conference Indoor and Capital Athletic Conference Outdoor 5000m individual champion.

Audette recieved a bachelors degree in History and minor in Philosophy from Catholuc University, and is currently the assistant principal at Mt. St. Joseph Academy in Rutland, VT.

Audette lives in Rutland with his wife Jessica and their three children.

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  • Staff

Christopher Eder

Head Alpine Ski Coach

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